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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Stanford beat Oregon 3-2 for second national title

Scottsdale, Ariz. ( Associated Press) – Rose Zhang ended her match with a two-put equal on the 17th hole when Sophie Kibsgaard Nielsen scored a bizarre penalty as Stanford beat Oregon 3-2 for their second national championship on Wednesday.

The Ducks lost the first two matches, but rallied to win the next two matches, leaving it up to Zhang and Kibsgaard Nielsen at Greyhawk Golf Club.

Moving to 2 up, Zhang hits his tee shot in the rough short of par-4 17th. Kibsgaard Nielsen did not see the ball and rolled over with her push cart.

Kibsgaard scored a penalty shot—this stroke would not have occurred in play—and Zhang scored a 15-foot par put for the Pac-12’s unprecedented 200th women’s NCAA title in all games.

Brook Si defeated Ching-Tzu Chen 4 and 3 in the opening match, and Aline Krauter gave the Cardinals a 2–0 lead with a 5 and 3 win over Hsin-Yu Lu.

Tze-Han Lin then defeated Rachel Heck 4 and 3, giving Oregon hope with two close matches still on the course.

After not getting up and down the front of Sadie Engleman’s green on 17, Briana Chacon, down two, with four holes through, tied her match. Chacon hit his second shot on the par-5 18th into the greenside bunker and made a 15-foot birdie putt 1 up to win, also pulling a duck.

Zhang, who won the individual title on Monday, thought she would dominate the closing match. He won the first two holes and took the lead from 3 to 11. Kibsgaard Nielsen held him close, with birdies at No. 12 and 14 to cut the lead down to one.

Zhang went up 2 with a birdie on the par-4 15th and barely got his ball off the ruff at No. 17 on the front of the green. With a penalty on Kibsgaard, Zhang needed only three putts to close the match and cut it down to two, sending the Cardinals to charge on the green in celebration.

Despite the loss in the title match, the Ducks made great strides in their fourth season under coach Derek Radley.

Oregon won the Pac-12 championship for the first time—Sean-Yu was the individual champion—and claimed its first NCAA regional. The Ducks rolled through San Jose State and Texas A&M on Tuesday to reach their first NCAA title match.


More Associated Press Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

World Nation News Desk
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