Courtesy of Stanford Athletics
In a showdown between the top two teams in the nation, Stanford defeated Oregon Wednesday afternoon at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. to win its second national championship since 2015.
Stanford jumped on Oregon early, with Brooke Seay
and Aline Krauter
delivering the first two points for the Cardinal with convincing wins, leaving Rose Zhang
, the NCAA individual champion and ANNIKA Award winner, to clinch the championship point on the 17th hole for a 3&1 win over Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen
Seay, Krauter or Zhang never trailed in their matches and at one point, Krauter got out to a six-hole lead and Seay was up by five. After being down by as many as three holes, Kibsgaard Nielsen fought back to close to within one with a birdie on the 14th. However, Zhang bounced right back with a birdie of her own on 15 and then after the two players exchanged pars on 16, the world's top-ranked female amateur closed out the match with a par on 17.
Though it probably wouldn't have mattered in the final outcome, Kibsgaard Nielsen was accessed a one-stroke penalty on 17 after she inadvertently ran over Zhang's ball in the rough with her pull cart.
Seay and Krauter won all three of their matches at Grayhawk while Zhang went 2-1.
The Cardinal become the first No. 1 seed to win the title since the championship switched to match play in 2015. They also became the first team since Arizona State in 2017 to win the team and individual championship in the same year.
"It feels incredible," said Stanford head coach Anne Walker. "It takes really special people to (win with expectations), to be able to shut that noise out and be able to come out here and perform and allow yourself to swing free the way they did today. It speaks to the caliber of player that they are, but it also speaks to the type of person that they are. They really desired that they wanted that for each other. I think that fueled them to be able to do it more readily.
"And we saw that with Rose being the individual, when you're fighting for an individual title, it's much harder. But when you're fighting for a team title, you're just powered by something so huge and so deep, that for some reason, you're able to put that aside."
The national championship marked Stanford's sixth win in 11 teams events on the season, concluding one of the most dominant seasons in collegiate history. Oregon enjoyed a historical season of its own. After going winless in five years prior to this season, the Ducks won five times in 2021-22, including the program's first Pac-12 Championship to go along with a regional title.
"I'm proud of our performance," Oregon head coach Derek Radley said. "Hats off to Stanford; they're an incredible program. They deserve it, they played better than us today. But this was huge, for our program to get our logo on this stage. This was the dream, and we're here. And I hope we're here stay."
Both teams return stacked rosters next season, adding further intrigue to what is becoming one of the best rivalries in women's golf.
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Championship Match Results
Stanford 3, Oregon 2
Brooke Seay (Stanford) d. Ching-Tzu Chen, 4&3
Aline Krauter (Stanford) d. Hsin-Yu Lu, 5&3
Briana Chacon (Oregon) d. Sadie Englemann, 1UP
Tze-Han Lin (Oregon) d. Rachel Heck, 3&2
Rose Zhang (Stanford) d. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen, 3&1
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
Division I women's golf.
After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual
champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance
match play to determine the team champion.
View Complete Tournament Information