NCAA Women's Championship: Down to the Final Eight
Eight teams still have the chance to win the NCAA Women's Championship
Eight teams still have the chance to win the NCAA Women's Championship

SUGAR GROVE, IL (May 22, 2017) - Northwestern University led wire-to-wire to capture the number one seed for match play in the NCAA Women's Championship at Rich Harvest Farms. The Wildcats, who started the day eight shots ahead of Kent State, put together a steady round of 298 to finish at 33-over 897, eight shots ahead of Stanford. The Cardinal took the second seed with a 296 final round for a 905 total.

After the miserable weather conditions that produced high scoring in round one and wiped out round two, the conditions eased somewhat in the final round, finally allowing some good scoring. After no under-par rounds on day one and just five on day two, nine players shot under par in the final round with three rounds in teh 60s. The #2 ranked University of Alabama, far back in the standings and teeing off early Monday, returned a one-under 287 as a team.

Much of the drama in the final round surrounded which teams would make it inside the top eight and advance to match play to determine the team champion. The leader board was tightly bunched around that eighth spot all day, as seven teams started within five shots of it.

Playing early, the University of North Carolina tried to make a charge and post a target score. The Tar Heels shot 296 to post a 920 total and waited to see if it would be enough.

The first teams to fall away were Purdue and Texas, who by the time their final player made the turn were seven and twelve over, respectively. South Carolina, who started the day in sixth, also struggled around the turn to put themselves on the bubble.

Miami then went on a free fall, making five doubles and a triple over a four-hole stretch, and taking them out of contention.

The University of Florida went the other way. Starting in 12th and three shots behind the eighth spot, shot three under on the front nine to pass six teams and get into sixth. The Gators finished with a 292 for a 914 total.

As the round went on, North Carolina's position kept improving as teams backed up behind them. As South Carolina made five doubles on the back nine, the Tar Heels found themselves in ninth place, with only one more team to pass to make it to the match play stage and a chance at the team title.

Baylor appeared to be in a comfortable position heading in to the back nine, but the team started losing shot after shot (sixteen in all) and found themselves only two shots ahead of North Carolina for the final spot with their final two players on the course. Needing one of them to par on the final hole, the Bears did one better, as Amy Lee made birdie to send the Bears through.

But just as the Tar Heels were convinced that it was over, Kent State ran into late trouble. Two doubles and a quad on the seventeenth suddenly left the Golden Flashes hanging on to the eighth and final spot by one shot, with their final two players on the final hole. It all came down to Michaela Finn, who needed to get up and down from the front bunker, and she did, making a four footer to put Kent State through.

The Final 8

Northwestern (1) v. Kent State (8)
Stanford (2) v. Baylor (7)
Arizona State (3) v. Florida (6)
Ohio State (4) v. USC (5)

Results: NCAA Division I Women's Championship
1ORMonica VaughnReedsport, OR150074-72-71=217
T2IrelandLeona MaguireIreland100077-71-70=218
T2COJennifer KupchoDenver, CO100074-70-74=218
T4BelgiumElodie van DievoetBelgium70072-79-68=219
T4FLAugust KimSt. Augustine, FL70072-73-74=219

View full results for NCAA Division I Women's Championship

ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Women's Championship

24 teams and 12 individuals not on a qualifying team make up the field for the championship of NCAA Division I women's golf.

After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance to match play to determine the team champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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