The Pepperdine women’s golf team’s impressive 2022-2023 run came to an end in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon, as the Waves went toe-to-toe with defending national champions Stanford.
The match was close throughout, with Stanford’s lead player taking the first point, but freshman Jeneath Wong answered with a win over her opponent after leading by five on the 15th hole. The Cardinal would collect a pair of wins down the stretch to win the match 3-1 and leave one duo unfinished.
Pepperdine was the one of only three non-Power Five conference schools to compete in the fourth round of stroke play and the only one to qualify for match play.
The Waves have reached the NCAA finals 13 times and this was the first time they advanced to match play, as the NCAA began match play format in 2015. The Waves best-ever NCAA Tournament finish was second in 2003 when the tournament was still stroke-play format.
- Rose Zhang (STAN) def. Reese Guzman (PEPP), 6&5 – Guzman (Kahului, Hawai’i) fell behind early as the back-to-back NCAA individual Champion Zhang collected on four holes before the turn. The Cardinal player won two more holes on the back for the match to conclude and Stanford to get the first point on the board.
- Sadie Englemann (STAN) def. Kaleiya Romero (PEPP), 2&1 – It was a battle for Romero (San Jose, Calif.) and Engelmann from start to finish. The Wave collected the first advantage on the second hole, but the Cardinal countered two holes later to tie things back up. After tying the following four holes, the opposition collected another point before the turn to gain her first advantage, but Romero won the 10th to even things up yet again. Englemann was able to birdie the next hole to pull ahead, but Romero birdied a par three on the 13th to even things up. Stanford won the 16th hole to gain another edge and was able to clinch the point with a birdie on 17 to give the opposition their second point of the day.
- Jeneath Wong def. Megha Ganne (STAN), 5&3 – Wong (Melbourne, Australia) impressed from the first hole as a bogey from the opposition gave her a point to start the day. She then birdied the next two holes to make it 3-0 in the first three holes of action. Ganne was able to cut her deficit to one by the seventh hole, but Wong buckled down. She posted birdies on the eighth, 14th and 15th holes, and capitalized on a bogey from her opposition on the 10th, to win her match and put the Waves on the board.
- Kelly Xu (STAN) def. Lion Higo (PEPP), 1 up – Higo (Gold Coast, Australia) and her opponent were close throughout the day, though Xu was able to hold a lead from the second hole through the 11th hole early on. The Cardinal bogeyed on the 12th for Higo to tie things up, but a birdie on the 14th gave Stanford the edge once again. Another bogey from Xu helped the casue and tied the score, but a tough shot off the tee on the 18th put Higo in a rough position and she bogeyed the 18th, while Xu shot for par to take the final point of the day.
- Lauren Gomez (PEPP) vs. Brooke Seay (STAN), Stanford up one through 17 – Gomez (Murrieta, Calif.) had the edge throughout the majority of her match with Seay, as a bogey from the opposition on the first hole gave her an early lead. A birdie from Gomez on the third extended her advantage – one she would keep through the seventh. A birdie from Seay had her closing the gap on the eighth and she eventually tied things up on the 10th as well. Gomez picked up a birdie on the 11th to gain the lead once again, but the Cardinal tied things up on the next hole once again. Seay had pulled ahead on the 15th hole and maintained it to the 18th, but neither would finish the final hole as the Cardinal clinched the match first.
Source : Pepper Dine