STILLWATER, Okla. — The University of Arizona women’s golf team captured its third national title as the Wildcats edged Alabama, 3-2, in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships match play final at Karsten Creek Golf Club in May.
Haley Moore’s birdie on her 19th hole of the day secured the championship after Alabama’s Lakareber Abe forced the sudden-death extra hole.
“It means so much,” Moore told the Golf Channel. “It is actually like a dream. I never would have thought that it would be like this. I’m just so happy right now and for my team, and I did this for them.”
All five individuals won at least one match for the Wildcats over the last two days of match play. It was a most satisfying collective team effort for eighth-year head coach Laura Ianello, who was a member of the last UA women’s golf team to win a national title in 2000.
“Arizona is my home,” Ianello told the Golf Channel. “It is where I went to school and it [the national championship] needs to be back home. So, I am so proud to be the coach to bring it back.”
The Crimson Tide stacked its lineup with three first team All-Americans in the top three spots in the lineup. Each took an early 1-up lead as the Wildcats were sluggish off the first tee.
The championship is the third in program history. The Wildcats first won the title trophy in 1996.
“This year it has been an interesting year, but with the talent of these five young women, I knew anything was possible,” Ianello said. “We played solid this entire spring, and we didn’t play our best, so in my gut I still felt we had something out there. And so when we got here, getting through Regionals can be a bear. When we got here, I knew anything was going to be possible.”
The University of Arizona now has 22 team national championships, with the golf title being the first since 2012, when Arizona baseball won the College World Series.