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Stanford's Rachel Heck sweeps postseason as NCAA match play set
- Stanford Women's Golf photo
- Stanford Women's Golf photo

Rachel Heck and Stanford continued their postseason dominance Monday afternoon at Grayhawk Country Club in Scottsdale.

Heck, a freshman from Memphis, Tenn., claimed the individual title with near ease in the 72-hole stroke play portion of the 2021 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships, giving Stanford the coveted No. 1 seed - a spot the both have been all too familiar within the path to the championship.

The ANNIKA Award finalist became Stanford's first individual national champion, finishing with an 8-under score of 280 on rounds of 69-67-70-74 to earn a one shot victory over UCLA's Emma Spitz. Heck's teammate Angelina Ye finished third at 6-under 282.

Heck, who won the individual title in wire-to-wire fashion, started her her final round on Monday with a 5-shot lead over Ye and held off a hard-charging Spitz by making six consecutive pars to wrap up the championship. Spitz's final round of 68 earned her a second place finish.

Heck began her final round by writing down the name of a fallen soldier after her first tee shot. Announced ahead of the shot, Monday’s final round was played in honor of Air Force Captain Victoria Pinckney, who passed in 2013 serving in Kyrgyzstan. With Air Force Reserve aspirations, throughout Heck’s round, she said she’d look at Pinckney’s name to add perspective to the moment.

Heck's mastery in the desert manifested itself into her fourth consecutive win and sixth title of the season. She becomes just the third player in Division I history to win a conference championship (PAC-12), an NCAA Regional and the NCAA Championship in succession. She is just the ninth freshman in NCAA history to win the individual championship.

“When I was sitting in my room in January and they told us we couldn’t come back for a few weeks, there’s no way I pictured I’d be here,” Heck said upon receiving her trophy.

Heck’s excellence in clinching the No. 1 seed wasn’t without meaningful contributions from her teammates. Ye helped the Cardinal lock up the first seed with a 6-under total, which included a third-round 65, thanks to seven birdies.

While Heck mightily held down the individual leaderboard, plenty of movement occurred in the journey to claim the final few match-play seed.

Auburn, the 2021 SEC champions, catapulted itself eight spots in their best performance yet with a hard-fought 10-under 278 score to earn the sixth seed. The championship's overall No. 1 seed, South Carolina, failed to advance to match play, as did LSU, Florida State and Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons had a strong start on the back nine but collapsed down the final stretch on the front nine.

Host Arizona State nearly stumbled but shot a final round 296 to claim the seventh seed. Arizona’s Yu Sang Hou clutch par on her final hole coupled with a pair of missed putts by Florida State helped the Wildcats claim the final spot in match play.

The Cardinal earned the No. 1 overall seed in the match play portion of the championship with a dominant 72-hole effort which resulted in a 10-under score of 1142, which was 13 strokes clear of defending national champion Duke, which earned the second seed.

Below are the quarterfinal pairings for the match play portion of the event.

Tuesday Quarterfinals

No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 8 Arizona
No. 4 Ole Miss vs. No. 5 Texas
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 7 Arizona State
No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. Auburn

The winners of the quarterfinals will meet in semifinal action later in the afternoon, with the championship match slated for Wednesday.

Results: NCAA Division I Women's Championship
1TNRachel HeckMemphis, TN150069-67-70-74=280
2AustriaEmma SpitzAustria100072-70-71-68=281
3ChinaAngelina (Lei) YeChina70077-69-65-71=282
4AZAshley MenneSurprise, AZ70076-72-65-72=285
T5CAHailey BorjaLake Forest, CA70075-71-72-68=286

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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