Arizona State women’s golf won its national record eighth NCAA championship on Wednesday, defeating Northwestern 3.5 to 1.5 in the match play final.

ASU rallied from 2-1 down to beat Stanford 3-2 in completion of a semifinal at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., then came back in the afternoon to win its first NCAA title since 2009.

The NCAA championship is the first for ASU in any sport since softball won the 2011 Women’s College World Series and 24th overall. It is the 499th overall and 18th in women’s golf for the Pac-12.

RELATED: Final-round leaderboard

ASU women’s golf previously won NCAA titles in 1990, 1993-95 and 1997-98 under coach Linda Vollstedt and in 2009 under Melissa Luellen. Now Missy Farr-Kaye is a championship coach in just her second season leading the program. Farr-Kaye played on ASU’s 1990 title team and was assistant coach of the 2009 team.

“I’m so rpoud of this team and their love for each other and fighting for each other and working so hard,” Farr-Kaye said on the Golf Channel. “It’s not as easy as it looks like on the outside. We hung in together. I’m so happy for them that they get to be champions for the rest of their lives.”

The accomplishments

  • ASU wins its eighth women’s golf national title, the most in NCAA.
  • ASU wins its 24th overall national championship.
  • ASU is the third straight Pac-12 team to win since the format switched to match play in 2015.
  • ASU is the seventh Pac-12 team to win the title in the last 10 years.
  • ASU provides the Pac-12 its 18th women’s golf national championship.
  • ASU’s win is the Pac-12’s 499th national championship.

Olivia Mehaffey, a freshman from Ireland, was first to tee off for ASU in the final and won the first three holes over Sarah Cho, chipping in on the first. Mehaffey was 4 up at the turn and clinched ASU’s first point 4 and 3 on No. 15.

The other four matches were much tighter with Northwestern trying for its first NCAA title.  

Northwestern, which rallied from 4-1 down to beat USC 3-2 in the semifinals, led early in three matches with ASU junior Roberta Liti taking an early edge in her match.

ASU senior Monica Vaughn, who earlier won the individual championship, birdied No. 7 to pull even against Hannah Kim only to fall behind again by losing holes 8-10. Vaughn charged back as she has all week, winning three of the next five holes to pull even at No. 15. Kim sank a 35-foot birdie putt to win No. 17 and retake a 1 up lead then Vaughn won No. 18 to force an extra hole that was not needed. 

Vaughn is the first play to win individual and team titles in the same year since USC’s Annie Park in 2013.

“Obviously this is the best possible way to go out my senior year,” Vaughn said on the Golf Channel. “I knew at the beginning of the year this team had it in us to win a national championship. It’s all we talked out. Not that we think we’re going to win it, we are going to win it.”

Of her comeback win in the semifinal, Vaughn said, “I got a little fired up yesterday. When they called it off (for darkness), it was the right decision. Right then I said I am not going to let this team down, I’m not going to give up, I went out this morning and fought to the bitter end and we won.”

Liti added to her lead by winning the seventh, going 2 up over Janet Mao while junior Sophia Zeeb was pulling even with Kacie Komoto at No.  8 and sophomore Linnea Strom taking a 1 up lead over Stephanie Lau at No. 6.

The Sun Devils led 4-1 when Zeeb took a one-hole lead over Komoto at No. 10. Komoto pulled even again at No. 11 then sank a long putt to win No. 12 for a 1 up lead.

The Wildcats’ Lau made a long eagle putt at No. 11 to get within one hole of Strom, who like Vaughn made All-America first team.

Liti remained hot on the back nine, winning four straight holes for a 5 up lead through No. 13. She clinched ASU’s second point, winning 5 and 4 at No. 14. 

Komoto closed out Zeeb 3 and 1 for Northwestern’s first point. 

The title-deciding point was earned by Strom, who birdied No. 12 and 13 and won No. 14 with a par to go 4 up. On No. 15, Strom dropped her second shot within 10 feet then made her third birdie in four holes to win 5 and 3.

In addition to Mehaffey, other Sun Devils from outside the U.S. are Strom of Sweden, Zeeb of Germany and Liti of Italy. Vaughn is from Reedsport, Ore.

ASU also won a women’s triathlon national title this school year, but that championship is not yet sponsored by the NCAA. 

Arizona State mounts comeback, advances to finals

May 24, 2017, 11:34 a.m.

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – Monica Vaughn delivered another big moment for Arizona State, helping the Sun Devils to a comeback victory over Stanford that sent them to the title match of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship against top-seeded Northwestern.

Golf Channel will have live coverage starting at 11:45 a.m.

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The Wildcats also put together a rally on a rain-softened course. They trailed in four matches when play was halted by darkness on Tuesday, and they returned Wednesday morning to beat USC, 3-2. Janet Mao made a 12-foot par putt on the 19th hole for the decisive victory.

On the line

  • ASU is trying for its eighth women’s golf national title, the most in NCAA.
  • ASU is aiming for its 24th overall national championship.
  • ASU would become the third straight Pac-12 school to win since the format switched to match play in 2015.
  • ASU would be the seventh Pac-12 team to win the title in the last 10 years.
  • ASU would be the 18th women’s golf national champion for the Pac-12.
  • ASU would be the 499th national champion overall for the Pac-12.
  • Northwestern is trying to become the second Big Ten team to win a women’s golf title. Purdue won in 2010.

Vaughn won the NCAA individual title on Monday, ASU’s NCAA-best sixth overall. Her performance in the rain-delayed semifinals was significant.

Stanford already had won two matches. Swiss freshman Albane Valenzuela was 1 up on Vaughn and in the fairway on the par-5 18th hole when ASU chose not to keep playing because of darkness. Heavy rain on Tuesday forced the semifinals to finish the next morning.

Both players laid up. Vaughn’s pitch from 40 yards short of the green hit the pin and settled a few feet away, and the birdie sent the match to extra holes.

“That was about the greatest shot I’ve hit in my life,” Vaughn said.

She won the 19th hole with a par when Valenzuela, who played in the Olympics last summer, chipped 10 feet by the hole and missed the par putt.

The Sun Devils weren’t in the clear just yet. Linnea Strom, all square in her match with Stanford’s Madeline Chou, had to make a 7-foot par putt on the 18th hole to extend the match, and Strom hit a clutch approach to 10 feet on the first extra hole. Chou was well left of the green and made bogey.

The other semifinal match also went extra holes, and it was just as tense.

Northwestern trailed at some point in all five matches and wound up winning the top two. Kacie Komoto won the final three holes to extend her match against Muni He of Southern California, but then Komoto three-putted the 19th hole from 40 feet and lost.

The decisive match Mao against Gabriella Then, who was 2 up with four to play until Mao won the 16th and the 18th holes to force overtime. Both players missed the green, with Mao in a bunker and Then facing a downhill chip out of the rough.

Mao pumped her fist when her 12-foot par found the middle of the cup. Then, with an 8-foot putt to extend the match, left her putt one rotation short of going in.

Golfweek and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

NCAA Women’s golf national champions

2016 – Washington

2015 – Stanford

2014 – Duke

2013 – USC

2012 – Alabama

2011 – UCLA

2010 – Purdue

2009 – Arizona State

2008 – USC

2007 – Duke

2006 – Duke

2005 – Duke

2004 – UCLA

2003 – USC

2002 – Duke

2001 – Georgia

2000 – Arizona

1999 – Duke

1998 – Arizona State

1997 – Arizona State

1996 – Arizona

1995 – Arizona State

1994 – Arizona State

1993 – Arizona State

1992 – San Jose State

1991 – UCLA

1990 – Arizona State

1989 – San Jose State

1988 – Tulsa

1987 – San Jose State

1986 – Florida

1985 – Florida

1984 – Miami

1983 – TCU

1982 – Tulsa

ASU advances to semifinals

Arizona State advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships in Sugar Grove, Illinois, on Tuesday.

A day after finishing third as a team in the 54-hole stroke play portion, the Sun Devils made quick work of Florida in the match play quarterfinals, winning 5-0.

Olivia Mehaffey and Roberta Liti each notched 5-and-4 victories, while Linnea Strom and Sophia Zeeb also won. But the clinching point was earned by NCAA individual medalist, senior Monica Vaughn, who defeated Karolina Vlckova, 2 and 1. Vaughn was 2 down through seven holes in her match before giving herself a wake-up call.

“I just tried to play the golf and course and make as many pars as I could,” Vaughn said.

ASU next faces Stanford, the national runner up to Washington a year ago. Stanford eliminated Baylor to advance.

A third Pac-12 team is still alive: USC faces Northwestern in the other semifinal match.

“We’re just trying to enjoy ourselves,” ASU head coach Missy Farr-Kaye said. “Take it one shot and one hole at a time, and just see what happens.”

Monica Vaughn wins ASU’s 6th NCAA women’s golf championship

May 22, 2017

Arizona State’s Monica Vaughn won the national title at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships in Sugar Grove, Illinois, on Monday.

Vaughn shot 74-72-71 to finish one stroke ahead of Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest and Leona Maguire of Duke, the top-ranked amateur in women’s golf.

“It actually didn’t even hit me until this morning when we got out of the cars when we got to the golf course, Coach gave her great opening speech of each day, and then we kind of all started crying and I started crying and was like, oh, my gosh, it could be my last round ever as a Sun Devil,” Vaughn said. “… I pulled it together and said, ‘I have one round to play, and we’ll hopefully get into match play, but being a senior and to finish like this is an amazing feeling.’ I mean, I can’t even describe how I‘m feeling right now. But to be a Sun Devil, too, is one of the greatest things.”

Vaughn was four shots back with four holes to play when she made back-to-back birdies, while Kupcho hit a 9-iron into the water on 17 and three-putted for triple bogey.

Vaughn is ASU’s sixth national champion – the most in women’s college golf – and first since 2008.

She also won medalist honors at the NCAA Regional last week while leading ASU to the team victory in Lubbock, Texas, giving the senior two wins and two second-place finishes in her last five events.

ASU’s individual champions

2017 – Monica Vaughn

2008 – Azahara Munoz

1999 – Grace Park

1995- Kristel Mourge d’Algue

1994 – Emilee Klein

1985 – Danielle Ammaccapane

ASU still alive in team event

ASU finished the three-day, stroke-play portion on Monday in third place (+45). Northwestern was first (+33), followed by Stanford (+41).

The Sun Devils are one of eight teams left and will face Florida in the quarterfinals as match play begins.

“We’re not done,” Vaughn said. “The Sun Devils are not done yet. We’re going to go out and give it our best shot (Tuesday) and Wednesday.”

Missy Farr-Kaye is in her second year as head coach at ASU.

Tuesday’s quarterfinal matches

  • ASU vs. Florida
  • Northwestern vs. Kent State
  • Stanford vs. Baylor
  • Ohio State vs. USC

Should the Sun Devils advance to the semis, they will face the winner of the Stanford-Baylor match.

The championship match will be on Wednesday.

ASU has seven national titles in women’s golf, the most in women’s college golf. Its last came in 2009.

Television coverage

Tuesday – NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, team match play quarterfinals, 8 a.m., Golf Channel

Tuesday – NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, team match play semifinals, 1 p.m., Golf Channel

Wednesday – NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, team match play National Championship, 1 p.m., Golf Channel


ASU womens golf wins NCAA regional in Texas

May 11, 2017

The Arizona State women’s golf team advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2014 after winning the Lubbock Regional on Wednesday by 21 shots.

ASU finished 22-under, easily winning its first regional title since 2009 and its sixth overall.

Monica Vaughn (-8), Olivia Mehaffey (-7) and Linnea Strom (-6) finished 1-2-3 in the regional. Roberta Liti (+2) tied for 17th and Sophia Zeeb (+4) finished T-25.

The Pac-12 had ten teams qualify for the four regionals. Cal, Oregon, Stanford and USC also advanced to the NCAAs. Arizona, Colorado, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington failed to advance.

The NCAA championships are May 19-24, hosted by Northern Illinois.

Golf Channel will carry the live coverage of the final three days (May 22, 23 and 24).

Lubbock Regional

1. Arizona State

2. Furman

3. Oregon

4. Texas

5. Texas Tech

6. Kent State

Individuals: Julienne Soo, Oklahoma; Alex White,BYU; Susie Cavanagh, Oregon State.

Albuquerque Regional

1. Stanford

2. Duke

3. Pepperdine

4. USC

5. California

6. Miami

Individuals: Martina Edberg, Cal State Fullerton; Bianca Pagdanganan, Gonzaga; Nadine White, Campbell.

Athens Regional

1. Alabama

2. Northwestern

3. Michigan State

4. Baylor

5. Clemson

6. North Carolina

Individuals: Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest; Laura Fuenfstueck, College of Charleston; Maya Walton – Princeton.

Columbus Regional

1. Florida

2. South Carolina

3. Florida State University

4. Ohio State

5. Purdue

6. Michigan

Individuals: Cara Gorlei, Arkansas; Camila Serrano, Florida International; Maddie Szeryk – Texas A&M.