Women's NCAAs: Arizona Thrillride Ends in 3rd National Title

25 May, 2018, 10:30 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Alabama and Cheyenne Knight will play for an NCAA championship Wednesday in Stillwater Okla

This is the school's first championship in 18 years when its current head coach Laura Ianello was still a player for the Wildcats.

The trio of Alabama women's golf All-Americans led the way to a 3-1-1 match play win over USC in the NCAA Championship semi-finals.

. They returned in the afternoon to dispatch No. 5 seed Stanford, 4-1, and earn a spot in the finals to face No. 2-seed Alabama. The Trojans qualified for match play with a strong stroke-play performance, finishing third behind just Alabama and No. 1 UCLA, which was upset by Arizona on Tuesday.

Bianca Pagdanganan powered University of Arizona to the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women's golf championship Wednesday that earned her an exemption to play in an LPGA event in July. Alabama would make things close, extending the match all the way to the 18th hole, but luckily the Wildcats were able to escape, winning one up, and tying the match at 2-2.

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This after Abe had birdied and taken 18 to force the extra session. The other members of the five-player Crimson Tide team also played well in the semi-finals. Moore took advantage of Abe's bogey to win the second hole, then picked up another hole at No. 8 for a 2-up lead after the opening nine. His round included an eagle on the par-5 17th hole, three birdies and 14 pars. Moore conceding Abe's par putt, she would have the opportunity to win the championship if she makes her putt. This is the Wildcats' third team national title.

After a back-and-forth match between Alabama's Cheyenne Knight and Pagdanganan, in which Knight put together a run on the back nine to win 4 and 2, Nordaas had to fight off Angelica Moresco with the Crimson Tide needing just one point to win the title.

"When I got to one down, I just told myself there is a lot of golf left", Moore said. Abe's approach shot landed in a bunker just in front of the green while Moore's went left off the fringe, barely rolling into the rough. "When I have played match play, I felt good...because most of the time I just felt like I had more drama in me and I just play a little more aggressive". Collectively, they trailed only two holes in the 99 holes they played at Karsten Creek Golf Club.

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All three finished in the top 10 during the stroke play portion of the NCAA Championships.

"We thought that Bianca would be better off with Arizona", said Sam, Pagdanganan's father.

The final round begins at 2:30 p.m. CT Wednesday. "I'm like, 'Great. If he sees the mistake, he knows what can go wrong and we can go fix it.' So, I like having his eyes on me".

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