Stanford, Oregon advance to NCAA women’s championship final
After a long, hot day of quarterfinals and semifinals – approximately 36 holes in total – the two top-seeded teams are heading to the final of the NCAA DI Women’s Golf Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
It will be No. 1 seed Stanford vs. No. 2 Oregon after the two teams emerged triumphant from semifinal match play.
Oregon was the first team to secure its spot in the final, beating Texas A&M, 4-1, to advance to its first championship match appearance.
The only win for Texas A&M came in the matchup of the aggies’ Adela Cernousek and Oregon’s Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen, who went back and forth through the first 10 holes before Cernousek took the lead and hung on for a 1-up win.
In an exciting match, Oregon’s Ching-Tzu Chen trailed A&M’s Blanca Fernandez Garcia-Poggio by 1 after four. Chen won the fifth and sixth holes and maintained the lead for all but one hole on the back nine. For her part, Fernandez Garcia-Poggio made a hole-in-one on the 16th hole but had to concede at No. 17. Chen won the match, 2 and 1.
For the second time on Tuesday, Hsin-Yu “Cynthia” Lu clinched the match for Oregon with a par on No. 16.
Lu never relinquished the advantage over A&M’s Zoe Slaughter, with the latter only able to best the Taiwanese star on Nos. 13 and 14.
Oregon is the Pac-12 champion and has been strong all season. Its five team members are all ranked among the top 50 college players in the country.
The Cardinal emerged victorious in a tight match against Auburn, besting the Tigers, 3-2.
It’s a redeeming win for Stanford, who was also the top seed entering match play last year before falling to Arizona in the quarterfinals.
Newly-crowned individual champion Rose Zhang notched the first point for her team in dominating fashion with a 5-and-4 win over Mychael O’Berry. But her Cardinal teammates met tougher challenges.
Aline Krauter faced Auburn’s Elina Sinz. After going 1 up on the first hole, Krauter and Sinz tied on the second hole before Sinz went on a seven-hole run with the advantage. Krauter was able to regain the lead on the back nine, resulting in a concession on the 17th hole.
Although Stanford freshman Brooke Seay couldn’t repeat her hole-in-one from Monday’s final round of stroke play, she was able to maintain control of her round against Auburn’s Kaleigh Telfer. Toward the middle of the match, Telfer tied things up with a win on No. 8. She once again gave up a hole on No. 13 before tying it up on No. 17. Ultimately, Seay was able to sink the putt on No. 18 to secure the berth for Stanford.
Stanford is attempting to become the first No. 1 seed to win since the inception of the match-play format in 2015. The highest seeded team to go on to win the championship was second-seed Duke in 2019.
Live coverage of the team final begins Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET on Golf Channel. Here’s a look at the championship matchups:
- 4:35 p.m.: Brooke Seay (Stanford) vs. Ching-Tzu Chen (Oregon)
- 4:45 p.m.: Aline Krauter (Stanford) vs. Hsin Yu Lu (Oregon)
- 4:55 p.m.: Sadie Englemann (Stanford) vs. Briana Chacon (Oregon)
- 5:05 p.m.: Rachel Heck (Stanford) vs. Tze-Han Lin (Oregon)
- 5:15 p.m.: Rose Zhang (Stanford) vs. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen (Oregon)