Stanford is on top of the women's collegiate golf world once again
Stanford women's golf team (Stanford Athletics Photo)
Stanford women's golf team (Stanford Athletics Photo)

The No. 1 seeded Stanford Cardinal women's golf team sent the conference of champions out with a bang, defeating the No. 6 UCLA Bruins and winning the NCAA Division I women's championships at the La Costa Resort and Spa Champions Course in Carlsbad, Calif., and becoming the 2024 national champions.

Kelly Xu, Megha Ganne, and Rachel Heck all won their respective matches, giving Stanford the three points it needed to win the final match. Zoe Campos and Caroline Canales earned UCLA two points. Heck won her match to clinch the victory, putting a bow on her storybook collegiate career. Heck will stay in the amateur golf realm, as she recently announced she would not be turning professional

Xu went 3-0 for Stanford in match play, winning the clinching matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals and getting the first point in the championship match. She is currently ranked No. 56 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Women's Rankings.

This is the third national championship for Stanford, joining 2015 and 2022.

It was an all Pac-12 semifinals as Stanford and USC faced off in a rematch of the 2023 semifinals, and Oregon defeated No. 2 LSU in the quarterfinals to set up a showdown with UCLA. 

In the quarterfinals, No. 1 Stanford defeated No. 8 Auburn 3-0, No. 7 Oregon defeated No. 2 LSU 3-2, No. 6 UCLA defeated No. 3 Texas A&M 3-0, and No. 4 USC defeated No. 5 Clemson 3-1. 

For Stanford, Sadie Englemann, Heck, and Xu all won their matches to advance the Cardinals to the semifinals. For UCLA, Natalie Vo, Canales, and Meghan Royal all won their matches to advance the Bruins to the semifinals. Royal is a Carlsbad native.

In the semifinal match, Stanford defeated USC 3-1-1 to get redemption after USC defeated Stanford in the semifinals in 2023. Englemann, Ganne, and Xu all won their matches. For the second straight match, Xu earned her point on the No. 16 green to advance Stanford and secure the win over the Trojans.

Earlier in the week, Adela Cernousek of Texas A&M shot rounds of 68-68-68-72 to finish 12-under and win the individual title by three shots over Lottie Woad of Florida State.

Cernousek was T2 after the first round, but two more rounds of 4-under 68 gave her a comfortable six-shot lead heading into the final round. Her final round of even-par 72 allowed her enough space to take the win.  

The first-round leader, Woad, finished in second place at 9-under with rounds of 65-74-71-69. She recently won the 2024 Augusta National Women's Amateur

Paula Martin Sampedro of Stanford finished in solo third place at 6-under, and Aine Donegan of LSU and Maria Jose Marin of Arkansas finished T4 at 5-under to round out the top five.

In the team competition, Stanford finished as the No. 1 seed, carding rounds of 285-285-285-299 to finish tied 2-over. 

Stanford and LSU both finished 2-over and tied for first, but Stanford earned the No. 1 seed based on the non-counting cumulative score. The final round played the hardest of the four, with only USC carding an under par round. 

2023 national champion Wake Forest finished just outside of the match play bracket, finishing two shots back of Auburn at 22-over.

All 30 teams competed in the first three rounds, Friday through Sunday, in a 54-hole stroke play tournament.

The field was cut to 15 teams for Monday's fourth and final round of stroke play. The top eight teams moved on to match play, with the quarterfinals and semifinals on Tuesday and the national championship match on Wednesday.

Results: NCAA Division I Women's Championship
1FranceAdela CernousekFrance150068-68-68-72=276
2EnglandLottie WoadEngland100065-74-71-69=279
3SpainPaula Martin SampedroSpain70070-72-70-70=282
T4IrelandAine DoneganIreland70074-67-71-71=283
T4ColombiaMaria Jose MarinColombia70072-68-71-72=283

View full results for NCAA Division I Women's 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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