The NCAA Division I women’s regionals wrapped up Wednesday at four sites around the country. The low six teams in each regional after 54 holes advanced to the May 19-24 NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Here are the final results from the Albuquerque (N.M.), Athens (Ga.), Columbus (Ohio), Lubbock (Texas) regionals:
Albuquerque regional, at the UNM Championship Course:
Winner: Stanford (+2)
Runner-up: Duke (+9)
Rest of the top 6: Pepperdine (+15), USC (+20), Cal (+24), Miami (+24)
Better luck next year: N.C. State (+26), Washington (+27), Campbell (+29), Oklahoma State (+34)
Medalist: Albane Valenzuela, Stanford (-6)
Skinny: Top-ranked Stanford, which has reached the NCAA finals each of the past two years, cruised to a comfortable victory in this regional and appears, once again, to be a title favorite. Duke and Southern Cal also advanced in what was a top-heavy regional with perennial powerhouses. Defending champions Washington failed to qualify for nationals this year, while Miami, which entered the final round four shots off the cut line, played its way in thanks to the Huskies’ closing 304.
Athens regional, at the University of Georgia Golf Course:
Winner: Alabama (-7)
Runner-up: Northwestern (+7)
Rest of the top 6: Michigan State (+8), Baylor (+13), Clemson (+20), North Carolina (+22)
Better luck next year: Georgia (+25), Tennessee (+26), Augusta (+27), Arizona (+30), Wake Forest (+55)
Medalist: Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest (-10)
Skinny: The third-ranked Crimson Tide had no problem on one of their main rivals’ home courses, with Cheyenne Knight, Lauren Stephenson and Kristen Gillman all finishing inside the top 5 individually. That trio should make ’Bama a tough out in match play, if it is able to advance that far at nationals. Three teams seeded ninth or worse advanced. Michigan State, a 14 seed that only qualified for regionals thanks to its Big Ten title, continued its hot run with a solid third-place showing. Led by coach Kelley Hester, Clemson advanced to NCAAs for the first time in program history. Georgia was one of the day’s biggest disappointments, as the Bulldogs became the only host school that was unable to crack the top 6.
Columbus regional, at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course:
Winners: Florida and South Carolina (+22)
Rest of the top 6: Florida State (+27), Ohio State (+29), Purdue (+40), Michigan (+44)
Better luck next year: Colorado (+45), Arkansas (+46), Texas A&M (+53)
Medalists: Kelly Grassel, Florida; Ana Pelaez, South Carolina (E)
Skinny: At the most difficult regional for scoring, South Carolina jumped up three spots and caught SEC foe Florida with an even-par final round. Playing on its home course, eighth-seeded Ohio State was able to advance easily. Michigan played the final hole in 1 under par to edge Colorado by one shot and Arkansas, the No. 4 seed, by two shots, respectively.
Lubbock regional, at the Rawls Course:
Winner: Arizona State (-22)
Runner-up: Furman (-1)
Rest of the top 6: Oregon (+3), Texas (+5), Texas Tech (+9), Kent State (+11)
Better luck next year: Oregon State (+13), UCLA (+17), Oklahoma (+21)
Medalist: Monica Vaughn, Arizona State (-8)
Skinny: No team was more impressive at regionals than No. 7-ranked Arizona State, which went 1-2-3 on the individual leaderboard and routed the field in Texas. And no team was more disappointing than No. 2-ranked UCLA, which became the first top seed on either the men’s or women’s side to fail to advance to the NCAA Championship. Just two weeks after winning the Pac-12 title by 21, the Bruins finished eighth, six shots above the cut line. Much like Ohio State in Columbus, Texas Tech, seeded ninth, benefited from playing its home course in regional qualifying and finished fifth. At No. 47, Oregon is the lowest-ranked team to advance to this year’s national championship.