Twelve myths about the U.S. Ryder Cup loss

By Jason SobelOctober 2, 2012, 2:10 pm

In the wake of the Americans losing yet another Ryder Cup, it seems like their fellow Americans are quick to lay blame. Using an informal poll of despondent respondents, the priority order is as follows: Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, the trooper who drove Rory McIlroy to the course, former president George H.W. Bush, Michael Jordan, former president George W. Bush, Johnny Miller and Ian Poulter's optometrist.

Feel free to play the blame game if that’s your thing, but come armed with enough knowledge to do it intelligently.

Personally, I think there’s way too much blame being thrown around already. Think of it this way: If just one U.S. player could have turned a loss into a win Sunday afternoon, the entire result would have changed and we’d be hailing Love and his team as heroes. Hell, one more point for the red, white and blue and we’d be calling DL3 one of the best captains in recent memory, maybe even wondering if he’s got a passport ready for Gleneagles in 2014.

It didn’t happen that way, of course. The U.S. lost and its fans are hurt, heartbroken and above all else, angry. In the aftermath of defeat, theories and analyses are flying all over the place as to what went wrong, where it went wrong and how it all could have been avoided.

Many of these hypotheses hold some credence, but for every notion that makes sense, there are two that fly in the face of logic. The following are 12 myths which have been floating around, followed by a thorough debunking that would even make Poulter’s eye guy proud.

Myth 1: Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley should have played Saturday afternoon.

Yes, they were hot, going 3-0 as partners. But there were a few reasons for not sending 'em back out for Saturday afternoon’s fourball session. First and foremost, Mickelson told Love that they shouldn’t play again. There aren’t too many hard and fast rules as a captain, but one of them states that when a player says he can’t play, then you can’t play him.

“Keegan and I knew going in that we were not playing in the afternoon, and we said on the first tee, ‘We are going to put everything we have into this one match, because we are not playing the afternoon,’” Mickelson said Sunday night. “When we got to 10, I went to Davis and I said, ‘Listen, you're seeing our best. You cannot put us in the afternoon, because we emotionally and mentally are not prepared for it.”

Bang on Mickelson all you’d like for essentially removing himself from a fourth straight match – and taking Bradley with him. (And yes, I’ve heard the sentiment which claims the rookie should have teamed with Woods in the afternoon. Nice thought. Other than the fact that they never practiced together, never played together and may not even know each other. For those who think such relationships aren’t important in fourballs, well, you’re contradicting yourself if you’ve already maintained Mickelson and Bradley needed to remain together for that very reason.)

Think about it from a negative point of view: After they won three matches together, Love had a chance to give both players some rest and let them enter Sunday riding a wave of confidence. If they let it ride and lost Saturday afternoon, though, Love was looking at the possibility of having two tired, less optimistic players the next day. It backfired because they each lost but would have been ingenious if they won.

Myth 2: Steve Stricker shouldn't have been a captain's pick.

He didn’t play well. In fact, Stricker played terribly. Worse than any other player in the competition.

It’s the ultimate in Monday morning quarterbacking, though, to second-guess this selection. At the time the captain’s picks were made, Stricker was the 10th-ranked player – in the entire world! He was the no-brainer of the four, the one unquestioned choice because of his ability to partner with Woods and his silky putting stroke. The idea backfired, but to claim Stricker shouldn’t have been named to this team is awfully shortsighted.

Just in the past 24-48 hours, I’ve heard hand-wringing over the fact that Stricker was named to the team over younger players such as Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler. I like each of those guys, I really do. Terrific talents. But what a poor memory some of you have. Just two years ago at Celtic Manor, Mahan was left in tears after losing the clinching match while Fowler finished a mundane 0-1-2. Add in the fact that after a combined three wins from those two players in the spring, they each endured underwhelming summers and were unimpressive in the events leading up to the captain’s picks being made.

Want to crush Stricker for his poor play at Medinah? Go right ahead. But if you’re trying to contend that you were against the pick a month ago, just stop. He was the easiest of the four picks. It didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision.

Myth 3: Jim Furyk has always been a choker.

Perhaps the most controversial captain’s selection, Furyk failed to prove Love right by finishing 1-2-0 and losing his singles match in dramatic fashion. He missed a 12-foot putt on 17 and a 6-foot putt on 18, the culmination of a brutal summer that included a pull-hook off the 16th tee at the U.S. Open and a yipped putt on the final green at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

How bad has it been? I’ll put it this way: The Boston Red Sox have had a more productive summer than Furyk.

Despite him enduring an ugly run as of late, it’s impossible to label a 15-time PGA Tour champion and likely future Hall of Fame member as a choker based simply on a few months of “unclutchness.”

This is a guy who has made a career out of not letting things rattle him and keeping calm under pressure. He’s done a world of hurt to that reputation since June and his atrocious Ryder Cup record won't assuage such criticism. All of which he understands.

“It's been a low year,” he said after losing to Sergio Garcia in singles. “I've played very well this year, but haven't closed the door. I'm pretty sure Sergio would tell you that I outplayed him today, but I didn't win and I lost the match. I've had a lot of that happen this year. As far as team versus individual, it's the lowest point of my year.”

Call it a choke, call it a collapse, call it whatever you want. It wasn’t good and he knows it. This week, though – heck, this whole year – shouldn’t serve as a symbolic representation of Furyk’s entire career. He’s been much better in the clutch than he has been lately, even if a dissenter would point out that he couldn’t have been any worse.

Myth 4: The U.S. players don't buy into the team concept.

Here’s some irony for you: The U.S. players have forever been criticized for not buying into the team concept and competing instead as 12 individuals. That isn’t always such a bad problem to have; it’s helped the team win each of the two previous singles sessions.

And yet, this time around, the team that “doesn’t play like a team” claimed 10 of a total 16 points in the opening four team sessions but only 3½ while playing as individuals on Sunday.

Mickelson and Bradley handed Garcia and Luke Donald their first loss ever in foursomes. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson never even saw the 15th hole in their two victories.

There was high-fiving, there was fist-bumping, there was hugging and there was butt-slapping – sometimes all at once. Even if those celebrations weren’t always coordinated so that the teammates were in synch, it’s the thought that counts.

These guys may not be best buddies the other 51 weeks of the years and they may not have even been best buddies last week, but they played like they were and they played like they didn’t want to let down any of the other 11 guys in the locker room. That’s exactly what the team concept is about. It’s taken the U.S. team awhile to figure that out, but like a poker player with pocket aces, they’re now all in.

Myth 5: Davis Love III didn't adjust well on the fly.

The captain came into the week with a few definitive plans. One was that none of his 12 players would compete in all five sessions. He wanted to keep everybody physically and emotional fresh for all three days. The other was that each player would have limited partners. It may not have mirrored Paul Azinger’s pod system exactly, but as it turned out, there were only six total teams, and each player had only one partner.

It’s much easier to shift from the original game plan when you’re losing. But Love’s squad was in control for the first two days, so he stuck to the blueprint rather than trying to make adjustments that didn’t need making. If the score had been reversed during the opening four team sessions, there would have been adjustments to make. As the case was, the plan worked until Sunday.

Once again, think of it from the opposing viewpoint: If Love had opted away from the script after a 5-3 lead on Friday night or an 8-4 lead on Saturday afternoon, wouldn’t that be more of a sign of panic than sticking with what got him there? Can you imagine the consternation if he came out Saturday afternoon with completely different pairings and it backfired? It would be the golf equivalent of a manager pulling his ace after six shutout innings.

Love was adhering to the old axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Nothing broke until late Sunday afternoon. By that time, it was too late for the captain to fix anything.

Myth 6: Tiger Woods was the goat.

And no, that doesn’t stand for Greatest Of All Time. At least, not in this case.

Wins are the thing – and when the team’s best player concludes his Ryder Cup week without a single one in four matches, he can expect to take his fair share of the blame.

Delve a little deeper, though, and you’ll find a guy who wasn’t nearly as pitiful as his record indicated.

Woods was the second-best player on the course Friday afternoon but lost to Nicolas Colsaerts, who enjoyed a career day. He received virtually no help from Stricker in their three team matches together.

And check out this stat: In three matches playing their own ball, Woods posted 13 birdies, while Dustin Johnson posted 11. Final records in those matches? Woods was winless, Johnson was undefeated.

Again, it all comes down to winning, and Tiger didn’t win. But he was hardly one of the worst players on the course.

Myth 7: Playing in the No. 12 spot was a slap in the face to Tiger Woods.

Quite the contrary. Instead, he was the greatest insurance policy Love could ever want. Granted, the Ryder Cup doesn’t often come down to the final match – and this one didn’t, either, though not as the captain would have expected – but every point counts the same.

With such a large lead on Saturday night, the thought process was the following: If the team doesn’t need the final match, that means it has already won. If the team does need the final match, it has its best player in the right place.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Love was sort of the anti-Hal Sutton. Which is to say, rather than imposing his will on the team and telling them when they’d play, he asked for their input and usually obliged. If Woods wasn’t OK with running the anchor leg, he wouldn’t have. Simple as that.

Myth 8: Davis Love III should have front-loaded his lineup to match Europe's expected order.

Everyone from Medinah to Madrid knew that Jose Maria Olazabal would come out guns blazing with his best players at the top of the order on Sunday. Love didn’t exactly choose to fight fire with fire, but it’s not as if he had much of a choice, either.

“It's hard to decide who the best six players or the best eight players on your team are,” he said Saturday night. “It doesn't really matter which ones you put in which order, because everybody is playing so well.”

That may sound like the easy answer, but in reality, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner turned out to be the only winners in singles. If Love had placed those guys in the 1-2-3 spots, that wouldn’t have been considered front-loading.

The truth is, he did front-load in a way, putting a few high-energy guys along with those who had played well on Saturday right at the top of his lineup. Crowd favorite Watson led off – a no-brainer, because nobody else could get that first tee rockin’ like a guy who actually asked the gallery to cheer during his drive – followed by Simpson (who was electric on Saturday afternoon), Bradley (another fiery favorite) and Mickelson (ditto).

Those who grumble about Love’s ordering of players are likely complaining without offering a solution, because it’s unlikely that a better one existed.

With a blind draw, the match-up of players comes down to blind luck. The captain simply ran out of it Sunday.

Myth 9: Phil Mickelson shouldn't have been clapping for Justin Rose when his chances were imploding.

There aren’t any great analogies in other sports to what we witnessed Sunday. In other competitions, those involved can play defense on their opponents. Block a shot, make a diving save, physically knock the other guy out of the way.

In golf, there’s no defense. Only offense. And so when Rose holed an improbable 35-footer on the penultimate hole, then followed with another birdie at the last, Mickelson could only smile and tip his cap. It’s called class – and the fact that he is being criticized for it speaks greater volume about the critic.

If Mickelson had instead proffered a few choice four-letter words and thrown a tantrum, it wouldn’t have reversed those putts from going into the hole. Handling the situation with the proper spirit of the competition should be commended, not criticized.

Myth 10: Trotting out celebs and politicians was a distraction to the end result.

Once again, NBA icon Michael Jordan was involved in the festivities throughout the week. The presidents Bush joined him in the team room, giving a speech on Saturday night. Other luminaries from Justin Timberlake to Michael Phelps were hanging around at various times, too.

Over the top? Maybe. Major distraction? No way. The team didn’t lose because of a lack of focus. It didn’t lose because the players were too starstruck or asking for autographs from their new buddies instead of practicing and preparing.

Myth 11: Davis Love III was too nice to win.

There’s an assumption that the U.S. needs a fiery, inspirational type of captain in order to triumph, which is probably based on the fact that Paul Azinger was a fiery, inspirational type, and he’s the only one to have triumphed so far this century.

Let’s use two other examples to disprove this theory. The first is Hal Sutton. Not that the 2004 captain wasn’t a nice guy, but his fiery demeanor completely backfired. Instead of listening to the players' wants and needs, he imposed his will upon the team, and they subsequently laid an egg.

The second example is the captain who did win this week. If it’s true that “nice guys finish last,” then how can we explain Olazabal, who was classy when his team trailed and classier when they won? There’s no magic formula for the personality of a winning captain. Love and Olazabal actually own very similar personalities. One of 'em had to lose.

Myth 12: The U.S. players don't care enough about the Ryder Cup.

Here’s an idea: Go find Furyk, look him in the eye, and tell him the problem was that he didn’t care enough. See what happens.

On second thought, say it to any of the U.S. players. They care – whether you believe 'em or not. Just because they don’t have eyes popping out of their heads like Poulter doesn’t mean there’s abject apathy.

There’s no tangible measure for caring, no statistic which can definitively show who cared the most and who cared the least. But I’ll tell you this much: For as much as you cared standing outside the gallery ropes or yelling at the TV from the confines of your couch, the players cared about the Ryder Cup more than you. Way more.

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Bifurcate to make game easier for amateurs

By Phil BlackmarMay 24, 2018, 1:01 pm

In January of 2017, Golf Digest ran a story about the average driving distance of amateurs. If you missed the article (click here to read it), the numbers may surprise you. It conveniently breaks down the results, both by handicap and by age, to provide a more detailed view of what golf is really like for the majority of players.

I recently ran across the post again and couldn’t help myself; hence this article. The average driving distance on the PGA Tour is around 295 yards, with the leader in the 320-plus range. Per the article, low handicap players top the list at 250 yards, while the 10-19 handicapper – average player – drives it around 215. That’s a big difference.

Bifurcation, the hotbed topic which ignites division among golfers at a level nearly on par with our nation’s current political weather, keeps banging at my door. Frank Nobilo recently said something to the effect that “the average player has never been further removed from the professional game.” I agree.

The most common argument against splitting the rules is that golf is one game – where amateurs and professionals, alike, play the same game. But, do they really?

The “regular” tees on many courses today have been stretched to around 6,500 yards, while the PGA Tour average is over 7,400. Most courses keep greens soft and running around 10 on a stimpmeter (I know, you’re course prides itself on 14’s) while the average on Tour is 12 1/2. Even with the Tour’s comparative lack of rough, it’s still deeper and more penal than most courses opt for, day in and day out.

Tour players also compete under the watchful eye of a staff keen on strict adherence to the rules, while a large percentage of average players are unfamiliar with many of the rules (Me, too; they keep changing). One other thing: Tour players have to count every shot they hit, finish every hole and there are no gimmes nor mulligans.

Add the distance pros hit the ball and it’s easy to see they play a different game. If you disagree, take the time to play a “Tour” course from the tournament tees right after a competition and see what you can shoot.

Putting that argument aside, it occurred to me that I’ve been looking at this from the wrong angle. My reasons for bifurcation have had more to do with protecting my view of the integrity of the game rather than what would be best for the average player.

The guys on the PGA Tour and Tour (LPGA and PGA Tour Champions, too) can really, really play. Last week, I watched a 36-year-old unknown player who had never won on either tour shoot 27 (with a bogey on the front-nine, par 35) in route to a 60. Then he came back two days later with a 28 on the same nine. He won on the Tour.

Science has unlocked many of the mysteries of the game. Club and ball technology have prompted a benefit for athleticism like never before. Biomechanics, video, launch monitors and force plates have combined to create a huge pool of players with very good swings. Did I mention that they can really play?

However, taking advantage of all this technology requires hours in the gym every day, hours on the range every day, hours on the course every day, and hours in the laboratory on a consistent basis. How many amateur players have the time and money to do all this? That’s right, not most. That’s why the median 10-19 handicap player averages 215 off the tee. They just don’t receive nearly as much benefit from today’s technological advancements as does the touring pro.

So, instead of penalizing the professional player for working hard and taking advantage of all that is available today, my argument has shifted to wanting bifurcation in order to make the game easier, less costly and quicker for the average player.

My idea for the average player begins with distance; the game is too darn long. Think about it: If a player gives up 80 yards off the tee and 45 yards on a 7-iron (180-135), it makes sense that this player should play from 7,400 – ((80 X 14) + (45 X 14) + (4 X 50)) = 5,450 yards to relate to the tour game. Even for the player who averages 250 off the tee and 160 with a 7-iron, the same reasoning yields a 6,400-yard course, give or take a little. But I’m not stopping there, equipment rules need to be relaxed as well.

For instance, the allowable trampoline effect for amateurs should be increased with a focus to fit slower club-head speeds. The limit on the size of the club head needs to be removed and larger grooves for more control and spin should be allowed. Ball limits should be relaxed so the player with lower club-head speed gets more benefit from new ball technologies.

Courses also need to quit watering so much, which would yield a more natural look as opposed to playing in the botanical gardens. This will allow the ball to run out more, effectively shorten the course and open up more options for how to play a shot or hole. Running the ball up on a green or down a fairway needs to return to the game. Rough needs to be eliminated; it’s supposed to be a game rewarding angles not just penalizing off the mark shots. It would also be great to see tree branches trimmed up, when possible, to allow for windows of opportunity and artistry instead of simply creating pitch-out masters.

There will always be the faction that consider themselves purists, which is great. Let major amateur championships stick to the stricter set of rules.

Wait, you could even go as far as to make it a different game altogether and give it a different name, flog for example. That way you don’t need different sets of rules for the same game; each game can have its own set of rules. Tennis is seeing a shift to include pickle ball, maybe golf embraces flog. You could go to the flog course instead of the golf course.

You could even have the USFA, United States Flogging Association, established for the advancement and preservation of flogging, tasked with protecting the game’s original vision of a fun, cheap game which plays quick and embraces imagination and artistry. I think you would be surprised how much you would like flog.

Anyone care to go flogging Saturday?

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LPGA Korean event gets sponsor, new venue

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2018, 12:21 pm

BMW Group Korea will be the title sponsor of the LPGA’s new South Korean event scheduled for next year. 

The event will be played at LPGA International Busan in the port city of Busan in October of 2019. It’s the first LPGA golf facility to be opened outside the United States, with the golf course scheduled to be ready for play in the summer of next year. The LPGA announced in a news conference in Busan in March that the course would host a new event with the title sponsor to be named at a later date.

BMW Group Korea will give South Korea two LPGA events in the fall Asian swing. The KEB Hana Bank Championship is played in Incheon in October.

The Busan event will feature a $2 million purse with a first-place check of $300,000.

Formerly Asiad Country Club, LPGA International Busan is a renovation being managed by Rees Jones. The golf facility’s opening will mark the first of several projects the LPGA plans in the region, including the opening of an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Center and the establishment of an LPGA regional qualifying school.

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Arizona caps an improbable journey with a title

By Ryan LavnerMay 24, 2018, 3:49 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Five hours before the final match at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Arizona coach Laura Ianello sat cross-legged on a couch in the Holiday Inn lobby and broke down four times in a half-hour interview.

It’s been that kind of exhausting season.

From poor play to stunning midseason defections to a stroke-play collapse, Ianello has felt uneasy for months. She has felt like she was losing control. Felt like her carefully crafted roster was coming apart.

So to even have a chance to win a NCAA title?

“I know what this team has gone through,” she said, beginning to tear up, “and you don’t get these opportunities all the time. So I want it for them. This could be so life-changing for so many of them.”

A moment that seemed impossible six months ago became reality Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Arizona continued its magical run through the match-play bracket and knocked off top-ranked Alabama to capture its third NCAA title, with junior Haley Moore – who first rose to fame by making the cut at an LPGA major as a 16-year-old – rolling in a 4-footer to earn the clinching point in extra holes.

All throughout nationals Arizona was fueled by momentum and adrenaline, but this was no Cinderella squad. The Wildcats were ranked ninth in the country. They won twice this spring. They had four medalists. They were one of the longest-hitting teams in the country.

But even before a miracle end to NCAA stroke play, Arizona needed some help just to get here.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, texted Ianello that she was turning pro. It may have been a gift to her parents, for their years of sacrifice, but it was a lump of coal in Ianello’s stocking.

“I was absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “It was devastating.”

Even more bad news arrived a few weeks later, when junior Gigi Stoll told Ianello that she was unhappy, homesick and wanted to return to Portland, Ore. Just like that, a promising season had gone off the rails.

Ianello offered her a full release, but Stoll looked around, found no other suitors and decided to remain with the team – as long as she signed a contract of expected behavior.

“It was the most exhausting two months of my life,” Ianello said. “We care so much about these freakin’ girls, and we’re like, Come on, this is just a small, little picture of your life, so you don’t realize what you’re possibly giving up. It’s so hard to see that sometimes.”

Stoll eventually bought in, but the rest of the team was blindsided by Quihuis’ decision.

“We became even more motivated to prove we were a great team,” said junior Bianca Pagdanganan.

It also helped that Yu-Sang Hou joined the squad in January. The morale immediately improved, not least because the players now could poke fun at Hou; on her fourth day on campus she nearly burned down the dorm when she forgot to add water to her mac-and-cheese.

Early on Ianello and assistant Derek Radley organized a team retreat at a hotel in Tucson. There the players created Oprah-inspired vision boards and completed exercises blindfolded and delivered 60-second speeches to break down barriers. At the end of the session, they created T-shirts that they donned all spring. They splashed “The Great Eight” on the front, put the state of Arizona and each player’s country of origin on the sleeves, and on the back printed their names and a slogan: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

“I can’t think of anything else that better embodies this team,” Radley said.

This spring, they rallied together and finished no worse than fourth in a tournament. Through three rounds of stroke play here at the NCAA Championship, they used their distance advantage and sat third in the standings. Then they shot 17 over par in the final round, tumbling outside the top-8 cut line.

They were down to their final chance on the 72nd hole, needing an eagle to tie, as Pagdanganan lined up her 30-footer. She dramatically drained the putt, then gathered her teammates on the range.

“This means we were meant to be in the top 8,” she said. Less than an hour later, they beat Baylor in the team playoff to earn the last match-play berth.

Ianello was so amped up from the frenetic finish that she slept only three hours on Monday night, but they continued to roll and knocked off top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals, beating a pair of Player of the Year contenders, Lilia Vu and Patty Tavatanakit, in the process. In the afternoon semifinals, they jumped all over Stanford and won easily.

It was a cute story, the last team into the match-play field reaching the final match, but a stiffer challenge awaited the Wildcats Wednesday.

Alabama was the top-ranked team in the country. The Tide were a whopping 110 under par for the season, boasting three first-team All-Americans who were so dominant in their first two matches that they trailed for only two of the 99 holes they played.

Ianello already seemed to be bracing for the result on the eve of the final match.

“Win or lose,” she said, “this has been a hell of a ride.”

But their wild ride continued Wednesday, as Hou won four holes in a row to start the back nine and defeat Alabama’s best player, Lauren Stephenson, who had the best single-season scoring average (69.5) in Division I history.

Then sophomore Sandra Nordaas – the main beneficiary after Quihuis left at the midway point of the season – held on for a 1-up victory over Angelica Moresco.

And so Arizona’s national-title hopes hinged on the success of its most mercurial player, Moore. In the anchor match against Lakareber Abe, Moore jumped out to a 2-up lead at the turn but lost the first three holes on the back nine.

By the time Radley sped back to help Moore, in the 12th fairway, she was frazzled.

“But seeing me,” Radley said, “I saw a sense of calm wash over her.”

Moore played solidly for the rest of the back nine and took a 1-up lead into the home hole. She didn’t flinch when Abe hit one of the shots of the entire championship – a smoked 3-wood to 12 feet to set up a two-putt birdie and force extras – and then gave herself 4 feet for the win on the first playoff hole. She sank the putt and within seconds was mobbed by her teammates.

In the giddy aftermath, Ianello could barely speak. She wandered around the green in a daze, looking for someone, anyone, to hug.

The most trying year of her career had somehow ended in a title.

“At some moments, it felt impossible,” she said. “But I underestimated these young women a little bit.”

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Pac-12 continues to dominate women's golf

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2018, 3:04 am

Arizona's women's golf championship marked the fourth consecutive year in‌ which the women's Division I national title was won by a Pac-12 team. All four championships were won by different schools (Stanford, 2015; Washington, 2016; Arizona State, 2017; Arizona, 2018). The Pac-12 is the only conference to win four straight golf championships (men or women) with four different schools.

Here are some other statistical notes from the just-concluded NCAA Div. I Women's Golf Championship:

• This is the second time that Arizona has won the national title the year after rival Arizona State won it. The last time was 1996.

• Arizona now has three women's golf national championships. The previous two came in 1996 and 2000.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

• Arizona is only the sixth school to win three or more Div. I women's golf championships, joining Arizona State (8), Duke (6), San Jose State (3), UCLA (3) and USC (3).

• Arizona's Haley Moore, who earned the clinching point on the 19th hole of her match with Alabama's Lakareber Abe, was the only Arizona player to win all three of her matches this week.

• Alabama's Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight also went 3-0. Gillman did not trail in any match.

• Since the match-play format was instituted in 2015, Arizona is the lowest seed (8) to claim the national title. The seeds claiming the national championship were Stanford (4) in 2015; Washington (4) in 2016; and Arizona State (3) in 2017.