Starkute's Heroics Push Wildcats to NCAA Match Play Semifinals
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Tuesday morning's quarterfinal of match play at the 2021 NCAA Championships was a history lesson for Arizona Women's Golf. The Wildcats, with plenty of postseason thrillers, added another chapter to their dramatic history as they advanced to the semifinals on a birdie putt on a playoff hole from sophomore Gile Bite Starkute.
Arizona defeated Stanford 3 to 2 as Starkute's playoff point was preceded by points from Yu-Sang Hou and Vivian Hou. The birdie on the 19th hole of the round by Starkute came after a riveting 18th hole that saw the Lithuanian take an unplayable drop after her second shot on the par-5 rolled into the shrubbery above a bunker. Missed putts by Stanford's Angelica Ye left the door open for Starkute who buried a six-foot putt to force the playoff.
In Tuesday morning's victory over the top-seeded Stanford, Arizona also knocked off the champion of its regional as well as the Pac-12 Conference runner up.
The Wildcats will face Ole Miss in the semifinal at 2 p.m. (MST) on Tuesday afternoon after the Rebels downed Texas in extra holes in their quarterfinal matchup.