Stanford's Mariah Stackhouse capped a furious rally to defeat Baylor's Hayley Davis on the 19th hole, clinching Stanford's first-ever NCAA Championship in women's golf.
Stackhouse was 2 down with two holes to play, but she birdied Nos. 17 and 18 at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., and then won the deciding match with a par on the first extra hole.
"When I was sleeping last night, I could not sleep at all because I knew it would all come down to me," Stackhouse said.
With the team competition tied at two points apiece, the championship did come down to the anchor match. Baylor appeared on its way to victory after Davis authored one of the shots of the tournament, sticking her approach at No. 16 from a muddy lie in the hazard to within 10 feet. The birdie gave Davis, the Bears' lone senior, a 2-up lead before Stackhouse roared back to force overtime.
Stanford’s Shannon Aubert scored the first point of the day over Baylor’s Lauren Whyte, and the Cardinal led 2-1 after Casey Danielson’s 2-up victory over Laura Lonardi. Baylor freshman Dylan Kim then squared the competition with her victory over Lauren Kim, 3 and 1, setting the stage for the drama between Stackhouse and Davis.
Stanford was making its 30th appearance in the national championship, with a T-2 in 2000 its best prior result. This was only Baylor's third appearance in the national championship. The Bears' best prior finish was T-16 in 2012.
This is the first year that women’s golf used match-play to crown a champion, which previously was decided by 72 holes of stroke play.