This year in Pac-12 women's golf

Mark Hoffman

SAN FRANCISCO — Pac-12 Women’s Golf teams never disappoint, with high levels of competition and consistent ranks among the best in the nation. This year STANFORD took home the coveted national championship for the first time in school history. In 2015, six Pac-12 teams were selected to compete in the NCAA regionals, with four of those finishing amongst the top eight in the nation. Golfweek’s final season rankings saw four Pac-12 teams ranked in the top five in the nation with Washington No. 1, and USC, UCLA, and Arizona in second, third and fifth respectively.

For the NCAA team title, new formatting was added in NCAA postseason, having eight teams advance to match play. Four Pac-12 teams were forced head to head, with USC against WASHINGTON and STANFORD facing ARIZONA in the opening round. The Cardinal and the Trojans proceeded to the national semi-finals, where a 3-2-0 score advanced Stanford to the final day. A clutch birdie performance on the final two holes from two-time All-American, Mariah Stackhouse, forced a sudden death playoff ultimately leading to the team’s championship.

This year’s Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships were played on a long course which challenged the field. In what was set to be one of the closest Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships in recent memory, with four teams within three strokes entering the final round, ARIZONA was able to come away from the Boulder Country Club with the program’s eighth conference championship and first in five years. Landing in second, Oregon had its best finish ever in the Pac-12 Championship, out-ranking a third place finish in 2010 when the Ducks hosted the event in Eugene. That effort was lead by individual medalist, Caroline Inglis, who led after the first round with a career-best 4-under par 67 and then matched that total in the third round to finish 7-under par 206 (67-72-67). She became the first golfer in Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championship history to shoot a 206, besting the standing record by one stroke.

UCLA sophomore Bronte Law was named Pac-12 Golfer of the Year playing 16 rounds under par, with nine rounds of 69 or better. Her 71.91 stroke average led the Pac-12 and was seventh nationally. ARIZONA’s Krystal Quihuis took home Freshman of the Year honors after posting five top-10 finishes and being named WGCA Honorable Mention All-America, as well as All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention. In only her third year in the role, Stanford head coach Anne Walker was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Her mentoring of some of the nation’s best talent lead her team to the 2014 Pac-12 Championship, and that coveted first ever National Championship in 2015. The Cardinal are the fifth Pac-12 women’s golf program to collect a national crown, with ASU leading the nation with seven and USC with three total. 

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