SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It was a quick turnaround for the eight teams who advanced into the 2023 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship match play.
Come early Tuesday morning, they returned to Grayhawk Golf Club and began quarterfinal matches. Stanford, the defending national champion, was the top seed after stroke play and faced off against a Pepperdine team making its first appearance in NCAA match play. There was an ACC matchup between Florida State and Wake Forest. Then a Lone Star Showdown between Texas and Texas A&M. To wrap it up, there was a battle of the USCs, as South Carolina took on Southern California.
Here’s a recap of Tuesday morning’s NCAA match play quarterfinals and a look ahead at Tuesday afternoon’s semifinal pairings. Every team that makes the match play semifinals qualifies for the East Lake Cup in the fall.
Texas A&M 4, Texas 1
The first match to conclude was the one between Texas rivals. Zoe Slaughter got the Aggies’ first point, beating Huai-Chien Hsu, 3 and 2. Then Sophie Guo got the Longhorns’ lone point, winning 2 and 1. However, Bianca Fernandez Garcia-Poggio and Adela Cernousek each won their matches on the 18th green, 1 up, to advance Texas A&M to the semifinals.
Wake Forest 3.5, Florida State 1.5
It took until Rachel Kuehn’s 20th hole, but she took advantage of Amelia Williamson’s mistake. The senior at Wake Forest saw her Florida State playing partner dump her shot into the pond right of the 18th green. Kuehn found the fairway, then the green and two putted to win her match and secure the final point to propel Wake Forest, the 2019 national runner-up, into the semifinals. Carolina Lopez-Chacarra won 2 and 1, and Mimi Rhodes won 1 up.
Southern California 4, South Carolina 1
The Trojans have the longest streak of making the NCAA Championship at 25 years. However, it has been five years since USC made the match play semifinals. But the wait is over. South Carolina got on the board quickly with Mathilde Claisse winning, 6 and 5, but Cindy Kou and Catherine Park, the individual runner-up, each got a point on the board. Then Brianna Navarrosa got the clinching point when South Carolina’s Louise Rydqvist missed a birdie on the par-3 eighth, the group’s 17th hole.
Stanford 4, Pepperdine 1
Pepperdine’s Lion Higo watched her tee shot go right off the 18th tee in a tied match. It landed under a tree and near a shrub, leaving her in an awkward stance and lie. she missed the ball on her first swing and had to take another to get the ball back in the fairway, however. it was enough of a blunder to give Kelly Xu the final point and advance Stanford into the semis. Rose Zhang, the NCAA individual champion, won 6 and 5, and Sadie Englemann won 2 and 1.
No. 3 Wake Forest vs. No. 7 Texas A&M (3:45 p.m. ET, 1st tee)
No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 5 USC (4:35 p.m. ET, 1st tee)
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek