SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Julia Johnson wrote out a listing of objectives when she arrived at Ole Miss to play golf for a program that had not gained a lot as an SEC title.
The fifth and last objective: nationwide champion.
“A part of me thought we might do it. A part of me thought, ‘It is a large dream,'” Johnson stated Wednesday after the Rebels overwhelmed Oklahoma State, 4-1, to win the NCAA girls’s championship. “I do not suppose it is hit me but. We will cherish this eternally.”
It’s the first nationwide title for Ole Miss girls in any sport.
Kennedy Swann and Andrea Legnell led the way in which for the Rebels by finishing excellent weeks at Grayhawk Golf Membership, successful all three of their matches.
Chiarra Tamburlini set the tone for Ole Miss within the third of 5 matches. She was 6 up on the flip over Lianna Bailey, and her 6-and-5 victory was the biggest margin for the ultimate spherical for the reason that NCAA switched to match play in 2015.
Proper behind her was Johnson, by no means giving any hope in a 4-and-3 victory over Rita Tatematsu.
The important thing, nevertheless, got here on the entrance of the lineup.
Swann confronted Maja Stark, the Cowgirls’ greatest participant and No. 7 within the girls’s world beginner rating. Swann fell behind after three holes, tied the match after which gained three straight holes to take a 3-up result in the again 9.
Stark holed a protracted birdie putt on the eleventh and birdied the par-3 thirteenth to get inside 1 down. However she could not catch as much as Swann, and it ended on the seventeenth.
Stark hit driver on the 272-yard par 4 to pin-high simply left of the inexperienced. Swann laid up with an iron that did not fairly clear the tough. Irrespective of. She hit wedge the proper distance, and it rolled out to tap-in vary for a conceded birdie.
Stark pitched it 6 ft by the outlet and missed the birdie putt that gave Swann a 2-and-1 win.
Behind her, Lignell rallied from an early deficit to take her first lead on the thirteenth gap over Isabella Fierro, who had not trailed all week. Lignell then had Fierro putt from 2 ft on the following gap, and Fierro missed to fall 2 down.
Lignell holed the successful putt from 6 ft for par on the seventeenth gap for a 2-and-1 victory, and the celebration was on.
Ole Miss was gracious in victory, its gamers ready on the sting of the seventeenth inexperienced to hurry over to Lignell, then pausing to let her bump fists with Fierro. After which the tears started to movement.
“We had been nowhere shut. We labored our tails off to get right here,” stated Swann, carrying face stickers that learn “Flim Flam” on one cheek and “Bim Bam” on the opposite. We have lastly confirmed we belong. Ole Miss is an efficient crew, and we’ll be round for a very long time.”
Swann and Lignell gained all three of their matches towards Texas within the quarterfinals, Arizona within the semifinals and the Cowgirls within the championship spherical.
Oklahoma State was attempting to win its first nationwide title in girls’s golf. The lads’s program has 11 NCAA titles. Maddison Hinson-Tolchard delivered the one level for the Cowgirls, 4 and three over Smilla Sonderby. By then it was too late.
Sonderby did her work within the quarterfinals by successful in 21 holes within the anchor match that enabled Ole Miss to get by Texas. She was jogging down a dust cart path when it was over, in a rush to rejoice together with her crew.