Arizona wins national championship in women's golf

Pinay golfer stars as Arizona advances to NCAA nat'l finals

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.

Olson closed the first round with a 6-under 66, putting her into the lead she ended up sharing later Thursday with Moriya Jutanugarn, Caroline Masson and Danielle Kang. Abe's chip rolled past the hole and she eventually two-putted. "It is actually like a dream. It's unbelievable. Ever since that putt it just helped pump my teammates up and I think that's what helped get us here".

With a chance for birdie, Abe would attempt her putt, but the ball just curved to the right.

Filipina golfer Bianca Pagdanganan helped rejuvenate the Wildcats from match-play hopefuls into championship contenders.

The last time Arizona's women won the national championship was in 2000. Aside from the break she took to try her hand at a professional golf career, Arizona is all she has ever known. "It's a national championship, it's not hard to stay motivated. I'm so proud I got to be the coach to bring it back". The Crimson Tide team followed that celebration by earning a reason for another one.

Arizona quickly turned things around. She finished off the match with a 4&3 victory.

On Monday's opening round, the team shot +17 in the final round of stroke play which was the highest of any team. It really helped me a lot. "It is awesome. And that I'm here with all of my teammates is fantastic".

Alabama immediately got its point back with a 4 and 3 win by Kristen Gillman over Gigi Stoll.

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Gillman didn't struggle in her match. She had three birdies in five-hole stretch on the back, almost making her second hole-in-one of the year at the par-3, 180-yard 16th. The Texas native didn't had more drama in her matchup with Pagdanganan, who was one up after nine holes. It was able to finish the job in dramatic fashion against No. 2 Alabama.

Moore would win the 17th, and headed to the 18th with a stroke lead, hoping to secure the schools' third championship. Abe putted first and missed from about the same distance.

On the final hole of regulation, Abe put a drive along the left side of the fairway and hit her second on the green. Her two-putt birdie sent the match to extra holes. 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.

"We got off to a good start today and just let it ride", Potter said in a release. Patrick Fishburn likely has the Cougars' best shot at that title. They have made me a better person and player. "It's hard to think of it just because it's so awesome how it happened. So, I can thank him enough".

"Who knew that that putt could go a long way", Pagdanganan told Arizona Athletics. "It was incredible. Going into this hole (18), I had no idea where we were at". My mindset was to get it close to the hole. And it fell in. I'm glad that it happened. When we got here, getting through regionals can be a bear, I knew anything was going to be possible. But she saw something special in this team developing throughout the second semester, and never felt Arizona played to its potential in the regular season.

Along with Arizona, the three other teams participating in match play semifinals are No. 2-seeded Alabama, No 3-seeded USC and No. 5-seeded Stanford. 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 Wildcats first brought the title trophy back to Tucson in 1996.

"We thought that Bianca would be better off with Arizona", said Sam, Pagdanganan's father. "She wasn't as precise with her driver, and that's tough out here". The championship match airs live on Golf Channel.

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