Top-ranked Stanford defeated No. 2 Oregon 3-2 on Wednesday to win the NCAA women’s golf championship.
The title is the second in program history for the Cardinal and their first since 2015. In the past two seasons, Stanford has lost in the quarterfinals – including last year as the No. 1 seed.
Stanford held the top seed again this season, but that loft spot came with baggage: No No. 1 seed had won the national title since match-play team finals started in 2015.
“For all the future No. 1 seeds, you’re welcome, because that question was getting tiresome,“ Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “We’ve had great success, but it’s really hard to get to this spot, and this group – the energy, the camaraderie, this entire year – they’ve never picked their heads up and looked ahead. They just stayed one day at a time.”
The Cardinal led four out of the five matches early. But Oregon’s Tze-Han Lin pulled off a win against Rachel Heck, who won the individual title in 2021, 4 and 3, and then Briana Chacon won one up on Stanford’s Sadie Englemann, which left the teams knotted 2-2.
“We did not play good golf in the start of this,” Oregon coach Derek Radley said. “We were a little timid, just for the moment, but I never count my Ducks out and, man, did we give it a run at the end.”
The championship came down to the match between Stanford freshman Rose Zhang, who won the individual NCAA title earlier this week, and Oregon’s Sophie Kibsgaard Nielson. Zhang took the win, and with it, the title.
“No words can describe it,” Zhang said. “That was the most incredible moment of my life.”