University of Washington
Women's Golf

Heck Triumphant at NCAA Regional

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CLE ELUM, Wash. — It had been 800 days since Rachel Heck was last crowned a champion. The drought ended on Wednesday at the NCAA Cle Elum Regional, as Heck held off two of her own teammates to emerge victorious with her ninth career win. Her incredible effort helped top-ranked Stanford win a regional for the second year in a row.
Despite better weather in the final round, scores remained high across the board, with just six golfers in the 67-player field finishing under par. Stanford had four of those six. Kelly Xu finished second, and Megha Ganne and Paula Martin Sampedro finished tied for third. It marks the first time in Stanford history that the Card has held the top four spots on the leaderboard in a tournament.
After winning six times as a freshman, including an NCAA Individual Championship, and twice as a sophomore, Heck had not won since the 2022 Gunrock Invitational. Heck snapped an 800-day drought with the win, which ties her with Andrea Lee for the second most in program history (9).
 "It was incredible to wear the 'S' on my chest again," said Heck after capturing the win. "It's been hard the past couple of years, being at home and constantly refreshing Golfstat. So, to be out here with my teammates, my best friends, is such a privilege and I don't take a second of it for granted."

On a day when scores were all over the board, Heck remained steady. After tying the Tumble Creek women's course record on Tuesday with a 65, Heck birdied three times to finish with a 1-under 71, capping off a 72-65-71-208. Her 54-hole total is her lowest since that 2022 Gunrock Invitational win.
For the second tournament in a row, Kelly Xu finished second, four strokes behind Heck. It might not have been the smoothest of starts for Xu, but she birdied twice over the final four holes to put a stranglehold on second. Xu ends the tournament with a 70-69-73-212 while tying the best finish of her collegiate career, which she did at the 2024 Pac-12 Championship last month.
Rocketing up the leaderboard on the final day was Megha Ganne, who shot up 13 spots with the day's best round. After remaining even with par through the first 10 holes, Ganne birdied on five of the last eight holes, including 17 and 18 to pull into a tie for third place overall. Her 5-under 67 was the lowest round on Wednesday and is the fourth time this season she has shot a 67 or better.
Tying Ganne in third was Paula Martin Sampedro, who entered the day leading Heck by one stroke. For just the fourth time this year, Martin Sampedro finished a round over par, but still managed to join her teammates in filling up the top of the leaderboard. She ends her first NCAA Regional going 68-68-78-214 and is very much a contender in Carlsbad next week.
Also advancing to the NCAA Championship is Duke, Virginia, Arizona State, and San Jose State. Jasmine Leovao of Long Beach State qualified as an individual, finishing eighth overall.
The 2024 NCAA Championship begins on May 17 at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. 30 teams and six individuals will complete 54 holes of stroke play over the first three days before the field is cut down 15 teams with the top nine individuals for an additional round of stroke play. This will determine the top eight teams advancing to match play, where the national champion will need to win three times.
Stanford most recently won the NCAA Championship in 2022, defeating Pac-12 rival Oregon 3-2 in match play. The last three NCAA Individual Champions have been Cardinal: Heck in 2021 and Rose Zhang in 2022 and 2023. Stanford has made the match play portion of the NCAA Championship every season since it was instituted in 2015.

NCAA Regionals (Tumble Creek Club, par 72)

NameRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
1. Stanford284 (-4)274 (-14)289 (+1)847 (-17)
1. Rachel Heck72 (E)65 (-7)71 (-1)208 (-8)
2. Kelly Xu70 (-2)69 (-3)73 (+1)212 (-4)
T3. Paula Martín Sampedro68 (-4)68 (-4)78 (+6)214 (-2)
T3. Megha Ganne74 (+2)73 (+1)67 (-5)214 (-2)
T30. Sadie Englemann76 (+4)72 (E)78 (+6)226 (+10)