Stanford and Rose Zhang won their third straight tournament on Sunday
From all indications, Rose Zhang
has adjusted well to college life.
The world's top-ranked female amateur and two-time USGA champion won her third consecutive tournament to begin her collegiate career on Sunday, claiming the individual title at the Stanford Intercollegiate by four shots over Sara Kouskova
After shooting back-to-back rounds of 65, Zhang, a freshman from Irvine, Calif. posted a 4-under 67 on Sunday to finish at 16-under 197, four strokes clear of Kouskova at 12-under 201. The 2020 U.S. Women's Amateur champion made just two bogeys in 54 holes and now has shot par or better in eight of her nine rounds and is a collective 23-under par over her first three tournaments.
With the win, Zhang becomes the first Stanford golfer - male or female - to win three consecutive tournaments to start a career while her 16-under total tied Rachel Heck's program record for a 54-hole event.
The second-ranked Cardinal ran away with the team title, finishing at 28-under 824 to claim a 22-stroke victory over San Jose State, which closed with a fine round of 6-under 278 on Sunday to finish 6-under 846 for the tournament. Stanford's 28-under team total of 824 also matches a school record for 54-hole event, set last season at the NCAA Stanford Regional.
In any other week, Kouskova is probably walking away with the individual title after turning in three rounds in the 60s, including a closing 66 on Sunday. However, Zhang was not to be deterred in her first tournament on her home course, where she played brilliantly for three days to win her third straight individual title following victories at The Molly Intercollegiate and Windy City Collegiate.
Zhang, who took a five-stroke lead over Kouskova into the final round, played bogey-free golf on Sunday, dropping in birdies on holes 1, 5, 7 and 12 en route to a 4-under 67. Starting on hole No. 8, Kouskova birdied her first three holes to get Zhang's attention. Following a dropped shot on the par-4 sixth hole, the senior from Prague, Czech Republic played 3-under the rest of the way for a 5-under round of 66.
"For me, I learn so much by watching a player of that caliber," said Stanford head coach Anne Walker of her prized freshman. "Her patience is unreal and obviously she has put in many hours of work so she doesn't make many mistakes. When she gets her opportunities, she makes the most of them with her patience and mental fortitude."
Natasha Andrea Oon
of San Jose State matched Kouskova for the lowest round of the day with her own 66 to jump eight spots up the leaderboard into third place at 8-under 205. The senior from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was sailing along at 5-under for her round through 12 holes and after making a double bogey on the par-4 13th, birdied holes 16 and 17 for her 66. It's Oon's third top-10 finish of the fall, after placing second at the Molly Intercollegiate and tying for 10th at the Illini Invitational at Medina.
Three other Stanford players - freshman Caroline Sturdza (t-5th; 209), senior Aline Krauter (t-7th; 210) and sophomore Rachel Heck (t-10th; 211) also finished in the top-10.
Stanford will next be in action at the Pac-12 Preview, Nov. 1-3 in Kailua Kona, Haw., although Zhang and Heck will not be with the team as they will be competing in the Spirit International.
Second Round Recap; Oct. 16
Following its spectacular first-round score of 11-under 273, the Stanford Cardinal were almost equal to the task on Saturday, carding a second-round score of 10-under 274 to open a 20 stroke lead over Oregon at the Stanford Intercollegiate.
Behind a second consecutive 65 from freshman Rose Zhang
, the second-ranked Cardinal nearly doubled its lead on the field on their home course, the par-71, 6,269-yard Stanford Golf Club.
Zhang, looking for her third consecutive victory to open her collegiate career, sits at 12-under 130 after 36 holes and is five strokes clear of Sara Kouskova
of Texas at 7-under 135.
Similar to Friday, the world's top-ranked amateur closed her round like a ball of fire. Starting on hole 10, Zhang made the turn at 1-under 35 and then hit the accelerator, birdieing every other hole on her inward nine to come home in 30 for a round of 65.
Tze-Han Lin of Oregon matched Zhang for the low round of the day with her own 65 and shot 29 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for fourth place at 4-under.
Stanford also counted rounds from Aline Krauter (70), who is tied for fourth at 4-under; Rachel Heck (70), who holds a share of sixth place at 3-under 139; and freshman Caroline Sturdza, who moved eight spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 11th at 2-under 140 after carding a 69 on Saturday.
First Round Recap; Oct. 15
Stanford took advantage of perfect early morning scoring conditions to shoot an 11-under 273 on its home course on Friday to claim the first-round lead at the Stanford Intercollegiate.
Paced by freshman Rose Zhang's
6-under round of 65, the second-ranked Cardinal holds an 11-stroke lead over Pac-12 foes Arizona State and USC, which came in at 2-under 282 while San Jose State also finished in the red at 1-under 283.
Looking for her third consecutive win to open her collegiate career, Zhang carded a 6-under 65 at Stanford Golf Course and holds a three-stroke lead over teammate Aline Krauter
, Cindy Kou
of USC, Alessia Nobilio
of UCLA and Sara Kouskova
of Texas, who all carded rounds of 3-under 68 on Friday.
Zhang was 2-under on her round through 13 holes before reeling off four birdies on her last five holes to finish at 6-under 65, the lowest round in her short collegiate career. The world's top-ranked female amateur and two-time USGA champion already has claimed wins at the Molly Intercollegiate and Windy City Collegiate to open her collegiate career.
Krauter, the 2020 R&A Women's Amateur champion, held the early first-round lead on Friday after opening with birdies on three of her first four holes. After dropping a shot on the fifth, the senior from Stuttgart, Germany rebounded with birdies on holes 8 and 9 to turn in 31. Eight pars and a bogey on the inward nine led to a 3-under round of 68.
, last year's ANNIKA Award winner and NCAA individual champion, ran off three straight birdies on holes 4, 5, and 6 en route to 2-under 69, while freshman Caroline Sturdza finished with an even-par score of 71.
The Stanford Intercollegiate continues with 18 holes on Saturday and Sunday.