Arizona women stun top-seeded Stanford to advance in NCAAs


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Gile Bite Starkute holed a 30-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the first extra hole and Arizona, which grabbed the last qualifying spot, stunned top-seeded Stanford in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women’s Championship.

Stanford earned the No. 1 seed with a 13-shot victory over four rounds of stroke play at Grayhawk Golf Club and had Rachel Heck, who won the individual title.

Heck and Brooke Seay won their matches for the Cardinal. Vivian Hou and her sister, Yu-sang Hou, won for the Wildcats.

It came down to Starkute, who had to take a penalty shot from a bush and make a 4-foot bogey putt on the par-5 18th hole to extend her match against Angelia Ye of Stanford.

Starkute delivered the winner for Arizona, which is going for its second NCAA title the last three times. It was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the NCAA switched to match play in 2015, the No. 1 seed has not won the title.

Arizona advanced to play Mississippi, which beat Texas as Andrea Lignell (22 holes) and Smilla Sonderby (21 holes) won two overtime matches.

In other quarterfinals, Anne Chen needed only 13 holes and Gina Kim won in 17 holes as Duke knocked off Arizona State; and Oklahoma State won four of five matches to beat Auburn.

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