NCAA Women's Regional: Four big things from the week
Stanford and Rachel Heck both won trophies (Stanford Athletics Photo)
Stanford and Rachel Heck both won trophies (Stanford Athletics Photo)

30 women’s teams punched their tickets to La Costa for the National Championship. The six regional sites saw some top seeds falter as low seeds climbed into the top five to claim a spot. Other regions went chalk, while one top seed needed a late charge to keep their season alive.

Here are four storylines from the women’s regionals.

1. Individual stars shine

The list of regional champions is quite impressive. Ingrid Lindblad (LSU), Rachel Heck (Stanford), and Anna Davis (Auburn) took home medalist honors in their respective regions. Rachel Kuehn (Wake Forest) and Caitlyn Macnab (Ole Miss) shared the honors in the North Carolina regional while Zoe Campos (UCLA) and Kajal Mistry (Arkansas) were Las Vegas co-medalists. The only real surprise was Notre Dame’s Lauren Beaudreau beating Bailey Shoemaker in East Lansing.

Heck burst onto the scene as a freshman, winning the NCAA Individual championship and helping Stanford take home the team title. Now as a senior who has announced her decision to remain an amateur, her game might be rounding into form for bookend titles. She’s battled injury and illness for a big part of her sophomore and junior year.

Kuehn and Lindblad are two other college stars who will wrap up their careers at La Costa. Kuehn was part of last year’s Wake Forest championship win, and Lindblad returned for a fifth year with teammate Latanna Stone to win what Heck and Kuehn already have. Kuehn also won the 2024 ACC individual title

Lindblad is currently ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Women's Rankings.

If all these players continue this type of play, La Costa could be in for quite a show.

2. A shake-up in Las Vegas

California and the University of Arizona were left on the outside looking in after 54 holes in Las Vegas. According to Scoreboard, the Arizona Wildcats entered the week as the No. 16 team in the country, while Cal was No. 28. Instead, Purdue (No. 33) and Baylor (No. 40) will head for La Costa in a couple of weeks. 

Cal and Arizona immediately fell outside the top 5 with poor first-round scores that they couldn’t recover from. The lowest scores across the field came on the second day, and they couldn’t make up the ground. Cal ended up in seventh place, six shots behind the fifth-place team, Florida State. Arizona was four shots behind FSU in sixth place.

It was an impressive showing from both Purdue and Baylor. Purdue finished in second place behind Arkansas and Baylor finished in third. There was very little drama for them, as they didn’t have to worry about the cut line.

3. Eights are wild

Three 8 seeds reached the National Championship. Tulsa entered the final day tied for fifth place with Georgia and edged the Bulldogs by a single shot to finish T4 with South Carolina and earn a berth. Grace Kilcrease was the low finisher for Tulsa; she finished T7.

Oklahoma State’s final day saw them jump five spots from seventh to second. They shot 9-under par as a team, the best score by six shots on the day. It was also the low round of the tournament. Three of their counting score were under par - Marta Silchenko (-5), Maddison Hinson-Tolchard (-4), and Angelica Pfefferkorn (-1). Pfefferkorn’s round was extraordinary considering her opening rounds were 81 and 75. It came at the perfect time for OSU.

The Oregon State Beavers rode excellent performances from Raya Nakao (T5) and Chayse Gomez (T7) to finish fifth in the Bermuda Run Regional. They had a superb final day to leap frog both Tennessee and North Texas. Oregon State shot 4-under par as a team, which was eleven shots better than Tennessee and 20 shots better than North Texas. When the dust settled, the Beavers were in fifth place, five shots ahead of Tennessee. The top five team that Oregon State replaced was UCF, who came into the week at the #5 seed in the region. The Golden Knights ended up finishing in ninth place.

4.  South Carolina leaves it late

It didn’t look great for South Carolina after 36 holes. The Auburn Region’s top seed shot a 305 (+17) and was in seventh place. They had just one player finish in the top 25 - Louise Rydqvist. Rydqvist was runner-up with a 2-under-par total. In the final round, South Carolina’s 5-over team score helped them climb into the top 5.

They edged out Georgia and Houston by a single shot, as they finished tied with Tulsa for the final two spots. Houston will be kicking themselves on the way home, as they started the day in second place but shot 13-over par and plummeted to a T6 finish just one shot out of a playoff with Tulsa and South Carolina for a trip to the National Championship.                                                     

ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Women's Championship

30 teams and 6 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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