SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Rachel Heck’s magical freshman season lastly got here to an finish Tuesday on the NCAA Women’s Championship. Heck gained her match, however top-seeded Stanford nonetheless fell within the quarterfinals to Arizona.
However, Heck isn’t leaving Grayhawk empty-handed. She captured the NCAA particular person title on Monday, turning into simply the ninth freshman to take action, and on Tuesday afternoon she was awarded the Annika Award, which is offered to the feminine collegiate golfer of the year.
“It is unreal,” Heck stated. “I remember in high school the Annika Award Instagram page followed me and I was freaking out. I thought it was the coolest thing in the whole world. Every year I would see the watch list come out and see all of the girls I always looked up to and thought that maybe one day I would crack the watch list. To actually receive the award is unbelievable, I am speechless right now.”
Heck started her faculty profession later than most as Stanford didn’t play its first full-field occasion till March. But she shortly established herself as one of many prime gamers within the nation, profitable 5 instances, together with Pac-12 and NCAA regional titles, earlier than arriving at Grayhawk because the NCAA Championship favourite.
She didn’t disappoint at nationals, going wire to wire to beat UCLA’s Emma Spitz by a shot and win for a sixth time. Heck is now simply the third participant to win convention, regional and NCAA titles. Her scoring common of 69.72 is an NCAA document, too.
Heck joins a listing of Annika winners that features Arkansas’ Maria Fassi (twice), Duke’s Leona Maguire (twice) and UCLA’s Alison Lee. The different two finalists this year have been Arizona State’s Linn Grant and South Carolina’s Pauline Roussin-Bouchard.
“My biggest role model in golf is Annika,” Heck added. “She is incredible. What she did with her career in golf alone speaks for itself, but what she has done after that is unbelievable. She has given so much back to the game, she has spent the rest of her life just giving back to the game, growing golf and growing girls golf, so to receive the award from her is so special.”