05/28/2016

The 2016 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship held at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon, came to a close Thursday in dramatic fashion with Washington edging out Stanford for the Championship Title.  This gave the Huskies their first NCAA title in the schools history, and finally after 33 years gave Coach Mary Lou Mulflur her big win.

The tournament began Friday May 20th with 24 teams and 12 individuals competing in a 54-hole stroke play event at the Eugene Country Club.  After 54 holes of play the field was knocked down to 15 teams and 9 individuals for an additional 18 holes of stroke play on Monday with Duke’s Freshman, Virginia Carta taking individual honors.  She played unbelievable steady golf for 4 days coming in at 16-under par for a total of 272, walking away with an 8 stroke lead over the rest of the field.

Monday’s play eliminated another 7 teams sending just 8 teams to the Match Play format to decide on a team champion.  The teams making the final days of play in only the second year of this format were, Washington, Stanford, South Carolina, USC, UCLA, Duke, Oregon and Virginia.

This week of golf for College Women was filled with exceptional play, amazing shots, playoffs, chip-ins, and freshmen players stepping up to the challenge to prove their worthiness on their team.

The championship came down to the wire for two teams– Washington and Stanford–and both fought hard making the ending to the tournament exciting and nerve wracking. It was back and forth all day long and the last three matches kept each team in contention.

With the Match tied at 1-1, Washington’s Ying Luo holed out from the fairway on 18 for birdie to halve the hole and win her match.  Her teammates erupted into hugs and cheers, setting the stage for her teammates still on the course.

That shot seemed to light a fire under Stanford’s Lauren Kim.  She was Down 3 to Washington’s Julianne Alvarez and came back and won 16, 17 and 18 to send that match into extra holes. 

As that match was heading into extra holes the match behind  was taking a turn as well.  Stanford’s Maria Stackhouse and Washington’s Sarah Rhee were almost in the same battle as Stackhouse lost her 3 hole lead to Rhee and that match went into extra holes as well.  However, Stackhouse won in 20 holes and the overall Match was tied again at 2-2.  With Alvarez and Kim still on the course the Title still up in the air.  It wasn’t to be for Kim this year and Alvarez walked away the winner.

This is the way championship titles should be won.  Coming down to extra holes, with both players fighting for their team and school. 

For Washington, it came down to the final putt and the Huskies finally winning their women’s golf title.