Arizona women's golf beats Alabama to win national championship
Haley Moore came in clutch to win it
In an improbable and magical run, the Arizona women’s golf team defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 3-2 to win the NCAA National Championship on Wednesday in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Junior UA golfer Haley Moore sunk a putt in a sudden-death 19th hole to beat Alabama’s Lakareber Abe to capture the program’s third national championship and first since 2000.
The No. 8 seeded Wildcats also got match points from freshman Yu-Sang Hou and Sandra Nordass to take down No. 2 Alabama.
So just how unexpected was this postseason run from Arizona?
On Monday’s opening round, the team shot +17 in the final round of stroke play which was the highest of any team. But the ‘Cats were saved with a Bianca Pagdanganan eagled on the last hole to force a playoff with Baylor, where Arizona eventually won.
Then on Tuesday, the Wildcats defeated No. 1 UCLA by a score of 3-2 in the quarterfinals and No. 5 Stanford by a score of 4-1 in the semifinal to advance to the championship match.
Alabama won the first two out of three matches in the championship as UA’s Pagdanganan and Gigi Stoll were bested by their opponents, Cheyenne Knight and Kristen Gillman, respectively.
But Nordaas held off a late surge from Angelica Moresco to tie up the score at 2-2. Nordass is ranked as the 1,009th best amatuer women’s golfer, according to World Amatuer Golf Ranking.
Moore and Abe engaged in a back and forth final few holes, matching each other stroke for stroke. The match needed to be decided in a sudden-death 19th hole where Abe missed a putt and Moore followed it up by sinking her’s to win the title.
“It means so much, it’s actually like a dream,” Moore told Golf Channel. “I’m just so happy right now for my team and I did this for them.”
The women’s golf championship marks the first team national title for the University of Arizona since the baseball team won the College World Series in 2012.
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