Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 5/23/13
ATHENS, Ga. It is a homecoming of sorts, one the young freshman has been looking forward to for some time. "I miss mama's cooking, theres no doubt about that," said Riverdale, Ga. native Mariah Stackhouse, who traveled to her home state this week with her Stanford Cardinal women's golf teammates for the Womens NCAA Championship at the University of Georgia Golf Course. Stackhouse received a warm welcome, and not just from friends and family. As the owner of the new NCAA women's single-round scoring record and a recent First Team All Pac-12 selection, the 19-year-old is no longer seen as the local kid with a lot of potential. She is now looked upon as one of the best amateur women in the world. Her galleries in Athens proved it. Teeing off on Thursday afternoon, Stackhouse was tied for fourth behind Alabama's Stephanie Meadow, who won the SEC individual title, Southern California freshman Annie Park, the top-ranked collegiate golfer in the country and a surging Ally McDonald from Mississippi State. But the local girl was the definite favorite, even though she brushed off schools nearer to home to go to school in Palo Alto, Calif. She has not regretted the decision. "It is all the way across the country," she said with a laugh when the subject of choosing Stanford came up. "But coming out here wasnt that bad. We had our first (golf) event before school started, so I got to get out here and get acquainted with the team and with Coach (Anne Walker) without the stress of academics." She had another fan who made a big difference in her choice. "I follow golf and so I knew of Mariah's exceptional talent and success on the course," Stanford professor and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. "I remember meeting her with her parents outside of the Stanford Golf Club House. She was confident, well-spoken, interested in her academic choices, and very nice. I said to the coach, 'She's a natural for Stanford.'" As an African-American woman still a rarity in the world of womens golf Stackhouse was honored that Dr. Rice took such an interest. "You hear about what an amazing person Dr. Rice is and all her accomplishments, but more than anything Ive been impressed by how real and down to earth she is," Stackhouse said. "One of the highlights of my year has been getting to know her. She took the time to come out and meet me and when I shot (an NCAA record) 61 she sent a note to me congratulating me on the round." The 61 Stackhouse fired on Feb. 17 (Peg Barnard Invitational at Stanford) included a front-nine 26, equaling the lowest nine-hole score on the PGA Tour and a stroke better than the lowest nine holes in LPGA Tour history. "I feel so lucky that I got to see that," Walker said. "The fact that I got to see a 61 and be a part of that: what a blessing." It would be an even bigger blessing if Stackhouse captures an NCAA title for Stanford. The team was 21 shots behind USC in the middle of Thursday's third round, but Stackhouse was within striking distance of an individual title. No African-American woman has ever won an NCAA golf title, a fact that Stackhouse knows but tries not to think about. "Mariah will make her own way," Dr. Rice said. "I do know that I benefited a great deal from competitive athletics I was a skater. I am sure that the same is true of Mariah."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Reggie Jackson's trolling in an NBA of long-tailed narratives

Top storylines for college football's Rivalry Week

Gabby Douglas says she was also abused by Larry Nassar

MLB punishes Braves, bans former GM for life

Report: Paxton Lynch will start for Broncos in Week 12

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ray Allen claims he was victim of catfishing scheme

Joe Morgan to voters: ‘Steroid users don’t belong here’

Jones confident he will get his way with Goodell contract

Clippers' Doc Rivers firmly on the hot seat

Report: Raiders fire DC Ken Norton Jr.

Cam Newton shares 2008 police photo to share message of hope

NFL Week 12 predictions

College football Week 13 predictions

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

Young Maple Leafs maturing their way to the NHL elite

The Eagles are soaring but to what heights?

2017 Week 13 college football players to watch

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

The 'Wheelin' and Thielen in Minnesota' quiz

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

Winners and losers from NBA's first month

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 12 predictions

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

Young Maple Leafs maturing their way to the NHL elite

The Eagles are soaring but to what heights?

2017 Week 13 college football players to watch

The 'Wheelin' and Thielen in Minnesota' quiz

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

NFL Week 11 injury report

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker