Mariah Stackhouse is the Wo-MAN. In 2015 she and the rest of the Stanford women’s golf team were having a great year. I’ve never been a good golf player and other than Tiger Woods, Vjay Singh and Michelle Wie, I could barley stand watching golf on TV growing up and didn’t know any players. It seemed to me as a kid boring, hard to follow and to be honest, there’s hardly any diversity in the sport. I’d been in debates before about whether you even needed to be athletic to play golf. That’s how I always thought of golf, even as a player in high school. My stepdad always wanted me to play and I did eventually on and off and it was challenging no doubt. A sport where perfection is impossible and easier said than done.
So when I moved to Palo Alto and started working at Stanford, it was only a matter of time before my colleagues and Stanford threw it’s golf history and environment at me. Everyone here loves golf. They love it! Then knowing that the Stanford Women’s golf team had a young, talented player, in Mariah made it more interesting to follow, not to mention, she had a bomb twitter handle (@mostacksbirdies).
So, it’s the end of May and I’m working in my second year here at Stanford and it’s towards the late afternoon. Now, the ticket office and it’s staff including sales and operations, are separate from the actual athletic office, so it’s a 10 minute walk away from the rest of our colleagues who are no doubt, watching the match that we were up against versus Baylor in Bradenton Florida for the National Championship. The majority of our days are filled with being on the phones having sales and service conversations with people, but it’s the end of the day and at this time, we didn’t have TV’s in our office where our cubicles are, so we occasionally check twitter on updates of the match. We realize around the 16th hole that whoa- we’ve got a shot at the National Championship and we’re making our way towards the last hole.
Mariah is playing against Hayley Davis from Baylor and they are putting on a show. We get to 18th and Mariah nails the birdie and we’re going into extra holes for the National Championship. At this point we’re all glued to our computer screens praying that our ESPN 3 webpages don’t skip or freeze and most of my colleagues are watching on someone else’s computer, but my computer is more up to speed or close to real time than the other guys. Davis and Stackhouse are on the green and Davis has to hit what looked like a 2 foot put to keep going to another extra hole. She lines up, it’s dead quiet in our office, everyone has their eyes glued to these computer screens. I’m thinking, there’s no way this girl (Davis) will miss this put, it’s 2 feet away if that, and it would be nothing short of a miracle if she were to miss.
She pulls back the her putter, there’s contact and the ball goes wide right! My first reaction is to scream but I cover my mouth because the others are 3 seconds behind on the others so I’m holding in my excitement but finally, we all scream in excitement jumping up and down with joy and high-fiving each other pumped about this win. Somehow, in some inexplicable way, we think, this is Stanford and we should be winning golf championships.
What a way to end the year and the great thing about Stanford is that all of the sports and student athletes are competing at high levels. An entire athletic department jumping for joy for yet another National Championship this time for our Women’s Golf team. We know this is another notch on the Director’s Cup count and we were just happy to be a part of that memory.