BRADENTON, Fla. -- Baylor and Stanford will play for the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf National Championship on Wednesday, surviving two rounds of match play on Tuesday to advance to the final day of competition at The Concession Golf Club.
Baylor defeated Duke 3-2 and Stanford defeated Southern California 3-2 to advance to the championship round on the 6,468-yard, par-72 course.Freshman Lauren Whyte went toe-to-toe with Duke’s Lisa Maguire for 24 holes in the deciding match of the day, finally besting her opponent in an epic made-for-tv drama played out live on the Golf Channel to rally the Lady Bears past the Blue Devils for the final spot in the NCAA Championship.
“It was a long day,” Whyte said. “There was a lot of adrenaline at the end there but I think it's sunk in this has happened and everybody is ready to go for tomorrow and really excited about what can happen.”
Whyte’s Baylor team will face off against Stanford as the Cardinal overtook top-seeded Southern California in the semifinal after advancing in a nail-biter against Arizona during quarterfinal play earlier Tuesday.
Stanford posted a 4-1 win against the fifth-seed Wildcats, but won three of its four matches in the final hole or in extras. Teeing off on the tenth hole, junior Mariah Stackhouse and freshman Shannon Aubert wrapped up their victories on the par-4 ninth, while sophomore teammate Casey Danielson needed 20 holes to best Arizona’s Wanasa Zhou, helping to send the Cardinal into semifinal play.
Danielson found herself on the deciding hole again in the semifinals, splitting a 2-2 tie with Southern California as she finished off the Trojans’ Kyung Kim on the 17th hole, sending Stanford into the championship round for the first time since 2000. Stanford could win its first national women’s golf title in program history with a win against Baylor on Wednesday.
“We're not going to do anything different,” Stanford head coach Anne Walker said about the title match. “We've had a really great plan, a great game plan for this golf course. We've stuck to it for six rounds, we have that experience under our belt and we know if we stick with our plan, that's the best we can do.”
Baylor will also be playing for its first women’s golf national title.