I'm not sure anyone tuning in early on to the final stroke play day of the NCAA Women's Golf could have come away feeling good about what they saw.
--Six hour rounds.
--Players pushing around grocery cart-sized trolleys with corporate-emblazoned umbrellas.
--Coaches interjecting mind-numbingly simple advice adding to the excruciating pace.
--A lush, tree-choked, traditionally anti-septic Fazio design free of spectators that even friends and family passed on coming to see.
--The debut of a new episode of Driven delayed two hours. But boy those OU and OSU boys know how to board a private jet and leave the bag loading to a luggage handler! America!
Anyway, the entire affair in Stillwater felt like anything but a national championship, despite the fine effort by Golf Channel and the course maintenance team. And what a shame, as eventual individual winner Jennifer Kupcho is a phenomenal redemption story, pulling away to victory in front of her parents and excited teammates.
As Ryan Lavner recounts for GolfChannel.com, Kupcho lost last year's individual title down the stretch and faced a water-lined hole this year to clinch the coveted individual title. This time, she was all clutch and the pride exuded by all made the long slog of a day all worth the payoff.
On the team side, Arizona defeated Baylor in the dark to secure the 8th and final spot in match play starting Tuesday. This after Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan (T2 at 6-under par) eagled the 18th hole to force a playoff. The two-hole team playoff ended action two hours after Golf Channel was due to sign off.
Team Match Play Quarterfinal Matchups starting at 10 am CT:
UCLA vs. Arizona
Alabama vs. Kent State
USC vs. Duke
Northwestern vs. Stanford