PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Recently Mariah Stackhouse was flipping through some old photos, and she came across a few of herself playing golf when she was just a little kid.
And it dawned on her that even though she’s making her debut as a professional in the Portland Classic, she’d been working toward this goal for a long time.
“Just looking at that span and knowing how much I’ve grown and how much has changed in my life, it’s pretty – I guess ‘special’ is the word,” she said, “and I feel fortunate to have made it this far.”
The 72-hole Portland Classic gets underway on Thursday at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. The tournament, in its 45th year, is the longest-running non-major on the LPGA Tour.
Stackhouse just wrapped her college career at Stanford, where she was a four-year All-American. She helped the Cardinal to an NCAA title in 2015 and to the team final against eventual winner Washington this year – played just a couple of hour’s drive away in Eugene.
“The camaraderie I’ve shared with my teammates the past four years, especially these last two with such good performances all the way through postseason, it’s a lot fun,” the communications major said. “I think those are the memories that I’ll carry with me from my college golf experience.”
But Stackhouse was a prodigy well before her career at Stanford.
When she was just 2 years old, father Ken recognized that she may have a talent for the game. She played in her first tournament at age 6 and tied for first,…