ASU women's golf wins NCAA record eighth National Championship

Senior Monica Vaughn captured the individual national title Monday

With one stroke of the putter, ASU women's golf capped off a memorable week at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois with a historic achievement.

The Sun Devils defeated Northwestern and captured the program's eighth team national title, the most of any women's golf program in NCAA history and the 499th team title for the Pacific 12 Conference. Before Wednesday's win, ASU last won it all in 2009, defeating UCLA. Prior to 2009, ASU hoisted the National Championship trophy six times in the 1990s (1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998).

Head coach Missy Farr-Kaye (CQ), who was hired as the 10th head coach in program history on June 26, 2015, also won a NCAA title as a senior at ASU in 1990 and as an assistant coach in 2009.

“I’m so proud of this team and their love for each other and fighting for each other and working so hard," Farr-Kaye said, speaking with Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill after the championship match. "It has not been as easy a year as it looks on the outside. We have had a few ups and downs but we’ve hung in tighter. I’m so happy for them that they get to be national champions for the rest of their lives. That to me is the coolest thing.”

Senior Monica Vaughn capped off a memorable four-year career in maroon and gold first with an individual NCAA title Monday and a five-hole deficit comeback against Wildcats sophomore Hannah Kim in her team match which ended in a tie.

Vaughn became the first woman in NCAA history since USC's Doris Chen in 2013 and the 12th overall to win the team title after being the individual medalist. The 2016-17 Pac-12 First Team All-Conference player also spoke to Cockerill about the win.

“Obviously this is the best possible way to go out my senior year," Vaughn said. "I knew at the beginning of the year that this team had it in us to win the national championship. That is all we talked about all year is how we didn’t say ‘we think we are going to win’ but, ‘we are going to win this national championship.’ We knew this was the best shot we’ve got. We’ve got this strong team and we’ve worked so hard every single day. It was all about being in the finals at the national championship.”

ASU's win was overall NCAA title no. 499 for the Pac-12 conference. No other conference has won 500. 

 Sophomore Linnea Strom clinched the victory, the program's first NCAA title in a match-play format, with a 5-foot birdie on the 15th hole. 

Lifting up the trophy concluded a wild day for Strom and the Sun Devils. After semifinal action was suspended because of darkness Tuesday, ASU had to come from behind against Stanford Wednesday morning to advance to the championship match. 

“It has been such a good week," Strom said, speaking to Golf Channel's Curt Byrum after clinching the national championship. "We have been working so hard for this since August. Every practice, every workout. All we have been talking about is this moment right here. We want to win a national championship, and today we did it. I can’t describe this feeling. This is amazing.”


Reach the reporter at jpjacqu1@asu.edu or follow @joejacquezaz on Twitter.

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