FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

NOTABLE QUOTES: NCAA WOMEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS – TEAM MATCH PLAY FINAL – ARIZONA DEFEATS ALABAMA FOR ITS THIRD NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

NCAA Women’s Golf Championships

Championship Match

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Karsten Creek Golf Club

Stillwater, Okla.

 

**Arizona defeated Alabama 3-2 to win its third NCAA Division I Women’s Golf National Championship

**Haley Moore (Arizona) defeated Lakareber Abe (Alabama) in a sudden death playoff to win the championship point.

**Third playoff in the past four years to determine the NCAA Women’s NCAA Golf Team National Championship.

 

Championship Match Results

Yu-Sang Hou (Arizona)          4&3                 Lauren Stephenson (Alabama)

Kristen Gillman (Alabama)     4&3                 Gigi Stoll (Arizona)

Cheyenne Knight (Alabama)  4&2                 Bianca Pagdanganan (Arizona)

Sandra Nordaas (Arizona)      1up                  Angelica Moresco (Alabama)

Haley Moore (Arizona)         19 holes           Lakareber Abe (Alabama)

 

On Arizona’s Haley Moore defeating Alabama’s Lakareber Abe in a sudden death playoff to win the team national championship

Bob Papa – “After being the last team in the match play, Arizona defeated top-seeded UCLA in the quarters, favorite Stanford in the semis and now the top-ranked team in the country.”

Papa – “Third time in four years the women going to extra holes.”

Papa – “For Arizona, it was a difficult road. But they showed phenomenal resilience in coming down the stretch.”

Paige Mackenzie – She did exactly what every collegiate athlete wants to do is to step up in the biggest moment on the biggest stage.”

Curt Byrum – “Everybody on that Arizona team stepped up and won at least one match. Without that, they wouldn’t be holding the trophy right now.”

 

Haley Moore speaking with Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill following the match

Haley MooreIt means so much. 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.”

Moore –When I got to 1 down, I just told myself there is a lot of golf left. Anything can happen. Just keep making pars and keep hitting good shots. On 13, I made a really good par save and just battled it out. I just kept breathing, and my assistant coach [Derek Radley] he was by my side the whole time and was with me no matter what would have happened. So, I can thank him enough.”

 

Alabama’s Lakareber Abe speaking with Golf Channel’s Billy Ray Brown following the match

Lakareber Abe – “Honestly all of the memories. Being my senior year, we came in here and we have been really good the past two years and haven’t had a chance at getting it done. So just reveling in the moment of coming down 18. If you could have any other way, I don’t think you could dream it up. It has been a fun week. I love my teammates. If you could have told us we would have this chance at the beginning of the year, we’d be ok.”

Abe — “I kind of screwed up on 17 and then came to 18 and I knew I was going to have to make a birdie or eagle because Haley had been outdriving me all day. Just to hit a good drive and a good 3-wood and to have a chance to play 19 holes is the best feeling.”

 

Arizona head coach Laura Ianello speaking with Golf Channel’s Steve Burkowski following the championship

Laura Ianello – “This year it has been an interesting year, but with the talent of these five young women, I knew anything was possible. 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.

Ianello – “Arizona is my home. It is where I went to school and it needs to be back home. So, I am so proud to be the coach to bring it back.”

 

Arizona’s Bianca Pagdanganan speaking with Golf Channel’s Steve Burkowski following the championship

Bianca Pagdanganan – “I honestly did not see this coming. It was such a huge dream of mine. Knowing that it has come true is amazing. It is the best feeling in the world. I am so honored to have these girls as my teammates and my coaches have made me a better person and player. So, I am just really blessed and honored to be a part of this team.”

Pagdanganan – “Who knew that that putt could go a long way. It was amazing. Going into this hole [18] I had no idea where we were at. My mindset was get it close to the hole. And it fell in. I’m glad that it happened. But ever since that putt, it helped pumped my teammates up and I think that is what helped get us here.”

 

On the championship match between Alabama and Arizona

Bob Papa – “Incredible drama.”

Kay Cockerill – “It is crazy how the momentum fluctuates in just one 18 hole match.”

Karen Stupples – “You can really feel the tension out here in these matches.”

Mackenzie – “Karsten Creek has been a great test. It really has separated the best teams, the best players in the country. Extremely difficult golf course, but certainly a fair golf course, which is what every one of these student athletes wants.”

 

On Arizona

Steve Burkowski – “The longer you keep that underdog hanging around, the more they start believing.”

Byrum – “If these two teams went at it a stroke play, you’d feel very strongly about Alabama. What is happening today is not atypical for match play. This happens. Any given day.”

Stupples – “Nordaas played with some incredible confidence today.”

 

Arizona’s Yu-Sang Hou speaking with Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill following her match

Yu-Sang Hou – “I think my coach really helped me a lot. I had a really bad first hole, but she told me don’t think too much, just like stroke play, just watch the speed. It really helped me a lot. After Bianca made that eagle putt we just felt like we were alive. It is amazing. And that I’m here with all of my teammates is amazing.”

 

On Alabama

Burkowski – “From the very beginning, Kristen Gillman came out of the gates, made a statement and did not allow Gigi Stoll to ever really have a chance. But that is what you would expect from one of the best players in college golf.”

Mackenzie – “As a former U.S. Amateur champion, she [Gillman] played like it today. She really smothered Gigi as it related to this match. Just never gave her an opening or an opportunity.”

 

Alabama’s Cheyenne Knight speaking with Golf Channel’s Billy Ray Brown following her match

Cheyenne Knight – “I tried not to think about how it was the national championship. It is just a bigger stage. When you go to the range in the morning and there is just Alabama and Arizona and there is no one there but the 10 of you. There is some added pressure today but I just told myself to play the golf course. If I played solid then the match will take care of itself.”

Knight – “I wanted it so badly. I was 1-down after nine and Mic came up to me and said, ‘You’ve got to grind it out. Dig deep.’ I won three holes in a row. That was huge. This is the biggest stage. I’ve loved every minute of it. It hasn’t hit me yet but I’ve loved every minute of this journey.”

 

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