The NCAA Division I women’s regionals wrapped up Saturday at four sites around the country. The low six teams in each regional after the third and final round advanced to the May 20-25 NCAA Championship at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.
In all, seven of the top 25 teams in the country won't move on to the national finals. Here are the final results from the Shoal Creek (Ala.), Baton Rouge (La.), Bryan (Texas) and Stanford (Calif.) regionals:
Shoal Creek Regional, at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.:
Winner: Northwestern (+23)
Runner-up: Florida State (+41)
Rest of the top 6: Oklahoma State (+43), Alabama (+44), Tennessee (+48), Michigan (+52)
Better luck next year: California (+60), Clemson (+65), Purdue (+72), Iowa State (+80)
Medalists: Matilda Castren, Florida State; Marianne Li, California; Janet Mao, Northwestern (all finished at +4)
Individuals advancing: Li, California; Lauren Stephenson, Clemson; August Kim, Purdue
Skinny: Eighth-ranked Northwestern rolled to an 18-shot victory in difficult conditions at Shoal Creek, with Mao sharing medalist honors. Two other Wildcats players finished inside the top 10 individually as they won a regional for the first time in program history. Top-ranked Alabama had an off-week on its home golf course, finishing 21 shots back, but it still was able to advance without much concern. Michigan grabbed the sixth and final spot, just the second time in program history that the Wolverines booked a trip to the NCAA finals (2002). A 13 seed, Michigan was the lowest-ranked team to advance. Missing out were California and Iowa State, the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds, respectively.
Baton Rouge Regional, at The University Club in Baton Rouge, La.:
Winners: South Carolina and Florida (-6)
Rest of the top 6: Washington (-1), Duke (+6), Oregon (+18), BYU (+20)
Better luck next year: Houston (+21), Arizona State (+27), East Carolina (+40), LSU (+41), N.C. State (+43)
Medalist: Katelyn Dambaugh, South Carolina (-9)
Individuals advancing: Elise Bradley, LSU; Linnea Strom, Arizona State; Leonie Harm, Houston
Skinny: South Carolina’s 277 in the second round carried the Gamecocks to a share of the team title, and Dambaugh, ranked fourth in the country, led the way individually. Florida shot the same 11-under round on the final day to surge into a tie for first behind Karolina Vlckova's school-record 65. Five of the top six seeds advanced, the lone exception being 10th-ranked Arizona State, which finished seven shots above the cut line. It’s a disappointing end to the season for the Sun Devils, who finished third in the Pac-12 Championship and had three other runner-up finishes this spring. Player-of-the-year contender Monica Vaughn shot 13 over par for the week. Oregon, which in two weeks will host the NCAA Championship at Eugene Country Club, finished fifth to play an NCAA home game. Moving inside the top six was BYU, the No. 10 seed. Tied with Houston for the final spot, Lea Garner ended a run of three consecutive bogeys with a 54-hole birdie to send the Cougars to the finals. LSU finished 11th on its home golf course, 21 shots off the cut line.
More on BYU: As a Mormon-run school, BYU does not play any sport on Sunday. To accommodate the school’s policy, the Cougars will have the option to participate in the practice round on Thursday (May 19) with the other 132 participants (24 teams and 12 individuals) and then begin their first round of stroke play (with Sunday hole locations) on Thursday afternoon following the practice round. All 24 teams and 12 individuals will play Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday the other 23 teams and 12 individuals will finish their third rounds. If BYU is among the low 15 teams after 54 holes, the Cougars will play the fourth and final round on Monday (May 23), as originally scheduled.
Bryan Regional, at Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas:
Winner: Georgia (-6)
Runner-up: Arizona (E)
Rest of the top 6: UCLA (+1), Furman (+9), Miami (+13), Texas (+15)
Better luck next year: Tulane (+16), Kent State (+17), TCU (+20), Campbell (+20), Texas A&M (+24)
Medalist: Bronte Law, UCLA; Bailey Tardy, Georgia (both finished at -7)
Individuals advancing: Laura Lonardi, Baylor; Olivia Cason, Louisville; Bianca Pagdanganan, Gonzaga
Skinny: Georgia reestablished itself as an NCAA favorite with a six-shot victory in this regional. Freshman Bailey Tardy shared medalist honors for the Bulldogs, and Jillian Hollis was fourth. No. 3-ranked UCLA easily advanced, and Law became the frontrunner for national player of the year honors after picking up her third victory of the season. It was Miami's first NCAA finals berth since 1992, while Furman advanced for the first time since 2008. Julia Beck's par on the final hole secured the sixth and final spot for Texas, which finished one shot ahead of Tulane. The biggest surprise was Texas A&M, which finished 12th despite playing on its home golf course. Kent State, the No. 4 seed, missed the final spot by two shots.
Stanford Regional, at Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif.:
Winner: Southern Cal and Stanford (+4)
Rest of the top 6: Ohio State (+23), North Carolina (+26), Arkansas (+27), Virginia (+31)
Better luck next year: Colorado (+32), Wake Forest (+35), Pepperdine (+37), San Diego State (+43), UNLV (+56)
Medalist: Elizabeth Szokol, Virginia; Andrea Wong, UC Davis (both finished at -4)
Individuals advancing: Wong, UC Davis; Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest; Sarah Burnham, Michigan State
Skinny: Second-ranked USC and host Stanford shared the team title after the Cardinal’s Mariah Stackhouse missed a 5-footer for par on the final hole. Nonetheless, it was a stress-free week for one of the NCAA favorites and the defending champion. Two teams outside the top six seeds who came west – Ohio State and North Carolina – advanced after steady final rounds kept them inside the bubble. Szokol shared medalist honors and helped Virginia weather a disastrous final-round 299, the worst score of any of the contenders. Szokol shot 67, including three birdies on the back nine, to keep the ACC champions one shot clear of Colorado.