Women’s regional recaps: Playoff-winning Purdue among NCAA qualifiers
Tickets have been punched for Grayhawk.
Six NCAA women’s regionals wrapped up Wednesday at various sites, with the top four teams from each regional moving on to next week’s NCAA Championship, which begins next Thursday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Among the teams advancing to the field of 24: all top seeds, including Stanford, Oregon, Wake Forest, South Carolina, San Jose State and Oklahoma State. Not advancing: three of the four national semifinalists from last year, including reigning NCAA champion Ole Miss, Arizona and Duke.
By seeding, here’s who all advanced: Six No. 1 seeds, five No. 2 seeds, six No. 3 seeds, two No. 4 seeds, one No. 5 seed, three No. 6 seeds, and one No. 8 seed (Purdue, which needed a playoff to advance out of the Stanford Regional).
Here is a region-by-region recap of everything you need to know:
Seminole Legacy GC, Tallahassee, Florida
Advancing teams: 1. Florida State (-4), 2. South Carolina (+13), 2. UCLA (+13), 4. Mississippi State (+27)
Just missed: 5. Miami (+32), 6. Ole Miss (+35), 7. Georgia Southern (+39), 8. North Florida (+43)
Individual medalist: Beatrice Wallin, Florida State (-6)
Advancing individuals: Letizia Bagnoli, Florida Atlantic (-5), and Chiara Tamburlini, Ole Miss (+2)
What stands out: For just the second time since in the match-play era began in 2015, the reigning NCAA champion will not defend its title. Washington failed to qualify in 2017 after winning the year prior in Eugene, Oregon. Now, fourth-seeded Ole Miss won’t be returning to Grayhawk next week after finishing sixth, eight shots behind Mississippi State, the No. 6 seed. The Bulldogs, who had their season ended last May without hitting a shot at the Baton Rouge Regional, qualified for nationals for the first time since 2014.
Ann Arbor Regional
University of Michigan GC, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Advancing teams: 1. San Jose State (+10), 2. Virginia (+13), 3. Arkansas (+28), 3. Michigan (+28)
Just missed: 5. Virginia Tech (+31), 6. Pepperdine (+41), 7. North Carolina (+43)
Individual medalist: Natasha Andrea Oon, San Jose State (-6)
Advancing individuals: Emily Mahar, Virginia Tech (-1), and Jana Melichova, Old Dominion (E)
What stands out: Just two individuals finished under par – Natasha Andrea Oon, who medaled to lead the Spartans to their first region title since 1995, and Emily Mahar, who nearly helped Virginia Tech rally from 11th place after Round 1 to fifth, just three shots out of that tie for third between host Michigan and Arkansas. The fourth-seeded Razorbacks, which had struggled for much of the spring following the departure of All-American Brooke Matthews to the LPGA, rounded out the top seeds all advancing out of this regional.
Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Advancing teams: 1. Baylor (+1), 2. Arizona State (+15), 3. Oklahoma State (+17), 3. Auburn (+17)
Just missed: 5. Michigan State (+21), 6. Furman (+34), 7. Clemson (+37)
Individual medalist: Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Oklahoma State (-4)
Advancing individuals: Anna Morgan, Furman (E), and Leila Raines, Michigan State (+3; won playoff)
What stands out: Baylor placed three players – Gurleen Kaur, Rosie Belsham and Britta Snyder – at T-2 as the Bears dominated. Otherwise, this regional was a nail biter. Clemson ballooned with a 20-over closing round that dropped the Tigers from third to seventh, while the other Tigers, Auburn, rallied yet again. For the fifth straight postseason tournament, Auburn went from outside the cut line heading into the final round to advancing. Its 12-under 276, the round of the tournament by nine shots, helped Auburn more than make up its 11-shot deficit entering Wednesday. Auburn was also 11 shots back after 54 holes last year at Grayhawk before qualifying for match play and seven shots with one round to play last year at the NCAA Louisville Regional before getting through. Arizona State notched four birdies on the par-5 18th to finish six shots ahead of fifth-place Michigan State.
Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tennessee
Advancing teams: 1. Vanderbilt (-16), 2. Alabama (-8), 3. Wake Forest (-3), 4. Texas A&M (+3)
Just missed: 5. Duke (+4), 6. UTSA (+11), 7. BYU (+15), 8. Oregon State (+19)
Individual medalist: Polly Mack, Alabama (-12)
Advancing individuals: Camryn Carreon, UTSA (-5), and Natalia Yoko, Augusta (-3)
What stands out: For the just the second time in the last 24 seasons, Duke will not be advancing out of a regional. During that span, the Blue Devils own seven NCAA team titles, though they won’t get a chance to add to that haul next week in Grayhawk. Erica Shepherd and Anne Chen needed to play the par-5 18th hole in a collective 1 under for Duke to force a playoff with Texas A&M for the fourth and final nationals ticket, but they each parred the hole as the Blue Devils finished at 4 over, shot behind the Aggies, who advance under first-year head coach Gerrod Chadwell to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2015. Individually, Alabama’s Polly Mack, who unlike Duke’s Gina Kim decided to return to school after playing LPGA Q-Series last winter, closed in 6-under 66 to medal by four shots. Mack notched a field-best 20 birdies, including seven straight to cap an opening-round 65. While 44 players were subbed in or out across the other five regionals, no subs were made in Franklin.
UNM Championship Course, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Advancing teams: 1. Oregon (-4), 2. Texas (-1), 3. Georgia (+2), 4. TCU (+10)
Just missed: 5. Florida (+11), 6. Arizona (+12), 7. Louisville (+21), 7. Sam Houston (+7)
Individual medalist: Briana Chacon, Oregon (-9)
Advancing individuals: Marina Escobar Domingo, Florida (-3), and Viera Permata Rosada, Sam Houston (E)
What stands out: Second-ranked and top-seeded Oregon, on the heels of its first Pac-12 title in school history, won its first-ever regional crown while third-seeded Texas also advanced to its sixth straight NCAA Championship. However, Florida and Arizona, the Nos. 2 and 4 seeds, finished one and two shots out of the top 4, respectively. Florida’s counting scorers on Wednesday played the final two holes in 4 over. TCU’s Caitlyn Macnab proved to be the difference as she birdied the par-5 18th following a triple bogey on her penultimate hole. The Horned Frogs are now headed to nationals for the first time since 2010.
Stanford GC, Stanford, California
Advancing teams: 1. USC (-15), 2. Stanford (-7), 3. LSU (-7), 4. Purdue (+12; won playoff)
Just missed: 5. Northwestern (+12; lost playoff), 6. Princeton (+21), 7. Kentucky (+23), 7. Texas Tech (+23)
Individual medalist: Amari Avery, USC (-9)
Advancing individuals: Ruby Chou, Iowa State (-2), and Taglao Jeeravivitaporn, Iowa State (E)
What stands out: Purdue extended the hall-of-fame career of head coach Devon Brouse, who is retiring at season’s end, by defeating Northwestern in a one-hole, aggregate playoff to earn the fourth and final ticket to nationals. Four Boilermakers made par on Stanford’s par-4 10th hole to beat the Wildcats, 1 over to 3 over. Purdue, as an eighth seed, will be the highest-ranked team at next week’s NCAA Championship at No. 48 in Golfstat. Amari Avery medaled for first-place USC, her third win of the spring since arriving in January for the Trojans, who now have 14 regional titles, an NCAA record. Stanford tied LSU for second despite Rachel Heck having to withdraw after an opening 75 because of illness, which forced her out of the Pac-12s last month.