CORVALLIS, Ore. – No. 9 Stanford rallied Sunday by shooting a 4-over 292 to earn the Pac-12 Conference title, its second in program history.
With Stanford’s 5-over 869 at the par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Club, the Cardinal (286-291-292) went from third after its second round to raising the conference trophy on the strength of a one-stroke win.
The feat came against a premier field which made the Pac-12 Championships one of the best showcases of collegiate golf this season. Six Pac-12 teams were ranked among the top-11 in the nation heading into the tournament, including defending NCAA champion and top-ranked USC.
Prior to Sunday’s comeback finish, the program’s only other Pac-12 title came in 1999. The top billing was the 11th top-10 finish in as many events on the season for Stanford.
UCLA entered the day holding a one-stroke lead, with Arizona and Stanford close behind as all three teams were poised to make a run at the title.
As the Bruins fell back, the Wildcats emerged as leaders heading into the final nine holes. However, the Cardinal played confident after the final turn to overpower the field and win by one stroke over Arizona.
The win was unexpected, so much so that Cardinal head coach Anne Walker was not even aware they had won after the last hole was finished.
“I hadn’t seen the scores so I had no idea where we stood,” said Walker. “I thought we were third, maybe fourth so it was shocking to say the least. We knew we had to play hard, and if it was to be our day, the putts would drop – and that’s exactly what happened. It was an unbelievable day and an incredibly hard-fought battle.”
Taking advantage of its depth, three Cardinal finished in the top-10 with Casey Danielson (74-73-72), Lauren Kim (75-71-73) and Mariah Stackhouse (71-75-73) all tying for ninth at 3-over. Marissa Mar (74-72-74) checked in one stroke behind to tie for 13th. Mariko Tumangan (67-81-78) tied for 32nd at 10-over.
Stackhouse recovered from a double bogey on the first hole and stood at 3-over after bogeying the par-4 sixth. Birdies on nine, 11 and 13 put her at even before a bogey on 14. Pars on the next four holes wrapped up her day at 1-over.
Kim’s 1-over came with three birdies, and Danielson shined with an even-par 72 with a pair of birdies and two bogeys.
Mar overcame five bogeys with three birdies, including a clutch conversion on 18.
Both Mar and Tumangan had 10 birdies during the three-day, 56-hole tournament.
UCLA’s Alison Lee recorded a 5-under 211 three-day total to become the fourth consecutive freshman to walk away as the Pac-12 individual champion.
The NCAA Regionals will be held May 8-10 with SouthWood Golf Club (Tallahassee, Fla.), Karsten Creek Golf Club (Stillwater, Okla.) and Tumble Creek at Suncadia Resort (Seattle, Wash.) serving as the host sites.
The teams and individuals that will participate will be announced live Monday on the Golf Channel.
|Finish||Team • Player||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Total|
|1||Stanford||286 (-2)||291 (+3)||292 (+4)||869 (+5)|
|T9||Mariah Stackhouse||71 (-1)||75 (+3)||73 (+1)||219 (+3)|
|T9||Lauren Kim||75 (+3)||71 (-1)||73 (+1)||219 (+3)|
|T9||Casey Danielson||74 (+2)||73 (+1)||72 (E)||219 (+3)|
|T13||Marissa Mar||74 (+2)||72 (E)||74 (+2)||220 (+4)|
|T32||Mariko Tumangan||67 (-5)||81 (+9)||78 (+6)||226 (+10)|