Moore delivers for Arizona in NCAA quarterfinals
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Haley Moore delivered again for Arizona, making a 15-foot birdie putt for a 1-up victory that sent the defending champions to a 3-2 victory over Southern California and into the semifinals Tuesday in the rain-delayed NCAA Women’s Golf Championship.
Moore made the winning putt last year when the Wildcats won their first NCAA women’s golf title in 18 years.
Arizona moved on to face Duke, which advanced after the longest match on the longest opening day. The quarterfinal matches at Blessing Golf Club were delayed six hours because of heavy storms, meaning the semifinals and championship match will be played Wednesday morning and afternoon.
Virginia Elena Carta of Duke was 3 up with three to play when Ziyi Wang of Stanford won the next three holes — two with pars — to extend the match. Carta chose to lay up on the short par-4 sixth hole, leaving a 70-yard wedge to 6 feet. She made the birdie putt to win on the 24th hole, tying the record for the longest match since the NCAAs went to match play in 2015.
The biggest shock belonged to Auburn, which had to rally just to get the eighth and final spot it match play. Then, it trailed 3 down in all but one of its matches against top-seeded Texas until staging a rally after the rain delay.
Mychael O’Berry got up-and-down from right of the 18th green for par and won her match when Sara Kouskova of Texas three-putted from above the hole. In the decisive match for Auburn, Brooke Sansom rallied from 4 down through 11 holes to beat Emilee Hoffman in 20 holes.
Next up for Auburn is Wake Forest, which won its quarterfinal that featured plenty of highlights and a tight finish.
In the opener, Letizia Bagnoli of Wake Forest made a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth to tie the match with one hole to go, only for Brooke Matthews to win with a birdie for a 1-up victory that sparked an Arkansas rally.
NCAA champion Maria Fassi won her match, and the Razorbacks appeared to be on the verge of advancing on their home course until Siyun Liu of Wake Forest rallied with big putts to turn her match and beat Dylan Kim.
In the final match, Jennifer Kupcho hit a wedge to 3 feet to close it out for Wake Forest in a 1-up victory over Kaylee Benton.
Kupcho, who captured the NCAA title a year ago, won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur last month in a sparkling duel with Fassi, her close friend. Kupcho and Fassi shared a long embrace when the quarterfinal match ended in darkness, a match that ended Fassi’s career at Arkansas.
Kupcho and Fassi are turning pro after the NCAAs and will play in the U.S. Women’s Open.