NCAA Women's Golf Championships 2021: Ole Miss Wins 1st Title in School History

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 27, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MAY 25: Julia Johnson and Chiara Tamburlini of the Ole Miss Rebels celebrate advancing to the finals in match play during the Division I Women's Golf Championship held at the Grayhawk Golf Club on May 25, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Ole Miss is a women's golf champion for the first time in school history, taking down Oklahoma State in Wednesday's final.

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Andrea Lignell sank the clinching putt.

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The Rebels were on the brink of elimination in the quarterfinals before Lignell and Smilla Sonderby both prevailed in sudden death to keep the team alive. Lignell also played a pivotal role in the semifinals as she held Arizona's Gile Bite Starkute at bay in a 3-2 team victory.

There wasn't much drama to be had Wednesday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, since Ole Miss took four of the five head-to-head matches.

2021 NCAA Women's Golf Championship Results

Kennedy Swann (Ole Miss) def. Maja Stark (Oklahoma State) 2 and 1

Andrea Lignell (Ole Miss) def. Isabella Fierro (Oklahoma State) 2 and 1

Chiara Tamburlini (Ole Miss) def. Lianna Bailey (Oklahoma State) 6 and 5

Julia Johnson (Ole Miss) def. Rina Tatematsu (Oklahoma State) 4 and 3

Maddison Hinson-Tolchard (Oklahoma State) def. Smilla Sonderby (Ole Miss) 4 and 3

Chiara Tamburlini delivered the most dominant performance of the day. The sophomore was 6-up on Lianna Bailey through nine holes.

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Bailey attempted to claw back by winning the 10th hole, but Tamburlini restored her 6-up advantage on No. 12 and effectively finished off the match.

Julia Johnson never trailed against Rina Tatematsu and opened up a sizable lead on the back nine.

A brilliant tee shot on No. 8 got her part of the way there as the senior went 2 up.

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Johnson then birdied No. 11 to go 4 up.

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Lignell and Kennedy Swann had to work for their individual victories.

Lignell trailed Isabella Fierro for the bulk of the front nine, with Fierro making the turn at 1-up. The Rebels sophomore tied things up on No. 10 and took her first lead of the match on No. 13. She opened up more breathing room on the following hole and maintained her 2-up edge the rest of the way.

Swann was able to take control much earlier against Maja Stark, but the Cowgirls sophomore mounted a comeback on the back nine. What had been a 3-up lead for Swann through 10 shrank to 1 up by the end of the 13th hole.

Stark was unable to get a breakthrough, though, and remained behind heading to the 17th tee. Sensing her opportunity to deal a decisive blow, Swann nailed her approach to set up an easy birdie putt.

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Ole Miss Womenโ€™s Golf @OleMissWGolf

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The efforts of Maddison Hinson-Tolchard weren't enough for Oklahoma State. Hinson-Tolchard took the first hole on Sonderby and didn't look back. Sonderby leveled the score on No. 7 but fell behind again on No. 8 en route to a lopsided loss.

Fortunately for the Rebels, that didn't prove to be a costly result. And after nerve-racking wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals, it probably felt good to play from ahead for the bulk of the final day.