- Stanford Women's Golf photo
We all knew the Stanford women's golf team was the best in college golf. Coming into the Nanea Pac-12 Preview, the Cardinal was three-for-three on the fall season, as was their freshman sensation Rose Zhang
. Three tournaments, three trophies.
But how would they do without three-fifths of their winning lineup -- Zhang, reigning NCAA champion Rachel Heck
, and talented freshman Caroline Sturdza
(already with two top-5 finishes)?
How about four-for-four?
With three starters representing their countries in The Spirit International (Zhang and Heck for the U.S., Sturdza for Switzerland, in addition to sophomore Rebecca Becht playing for Belgium), Stanford beat the rest of the Pac-12 anyway, going wire-to-wire for a gritty 3-shot win at Nanea Golf Club on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Senior Brooke Seay
was ready for her first start in the top five this season, contending for the individual title and eventually finishing third. Senior Aline Krauter
and sophomore Sadie Englemann
also finished in the top 10 while Angelina Ye
and Calista Reyes
also provided counting rounds for the Cardinal.
It was an ominous performance for the rest of the Pac-12.
USC stayed within a few shots all day long but could never get Stanford to buckle. Katherine Muzi
birdied the final hole to take the individual title for the Trojans at 9 under par, one ahead of a charging Emma Spitz of UCLA, who birdied four of her last six holes.
Both Stanford and USC closed with 296 totals on the par-73 layout. Arizona finished third, five shots back. Oregon, who had the only under-par team score in the final round, moved to fourth, eight shots behind. UCLA rounded out the top five.
The No. 1 ranked Cardinal will take their perfect record into the winter break and will return to action in February at the Lamkin Invitational in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
ROUND TWO REPORT
The top-ranked Stanford Cardinal maintained its first-place lead at the Nanea Pac-12 Preview on Tuesday and will sleep on a three-stroke lead over USC heading into Wednesday's final round.
The Cardinal, playing without the services of three of its top players in Rose Zhang
, Rachel Heck
and Caroline Sturdza
-- representing their countries USA, USA and Switzerland respectively this week at The Spirit in Texas -- continues to flash its tremendous depth on the Big Island in search of its fourth straight tournament title to start the season.
After carding a second round of 1-under 291 on Tuesday, Stanford improved to 5-under 579 at the 36-hole mark of the tournament, which is three shots clear of second-place USC at 2-under 582. The Cardinal and the Trojans are the only two teams under par at Nanea Golf Club in Kailua Kona.
Behind a 3-under round from U.S. Women's Amateur runner-up Vivian Hou
, Arizona turned in the low round of the day with a 4-under 288 to move four spots up the leaderboard into solo third at 1-over 585. All of Hou's birdies came consecutively on holes 4-8 but gave two strokes back with bogeys on 15 and 16.
With Zhang, Heck and Sturdza competing at The Spirit International in Trinity, Texas, the big question hanging over Stanford's heading into the Pac-12 Preview was which players would step up to fill the large void at the top of the lineup?
So far, Brooke Seay
, Aline Krauter
and Sadie Englemann
have answered the call, as all three players are inside the top-10 heading into Wednesday's final round.
Seeing action in just her second tournament of the season, Seay fired a 3-under 70 on Tuesday and is tied for second at 5-under, two strokes off Katherine Muzi's
(USC) lead at 7-under 139 (68-71). Krauter shot an even-par 73 in the second round and is tied for fifth place while Englemann's 1-under 72 shot her 15 spots up the leaderboard and into a tie for seventh.
Following an opening-round 68 on Monday, Muzi answered with a 2-under 71 and will take a two-stroke lead over Seay and Oregon State's Danique Stokmans
into Wednesday's final round. UCLA's Emma Spitz
is three back at 4-under 142.
ABOUT THE Pac-12 Women's Preview
The Pac-12 members get together to hold a
as the fall season nears its conclusion.
Team (best four scores out of five players) and
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