San Jose State downed Stanford for the second time this spring (Conner Penfold photo)
Most coaches would get a good night's rest if their team held on a 14-stroke lead heading into a final round of a tournament.
However, such wasn't the case Monday night for San Jose State head coach Dana Dormann, as she tossed and turned thinking about the challenge which awaited her team in the final round of the Juli Inkster Meadow Club Collegiate in Fairfax, Calif.
After turning in rounds of 281 (-7) and 283 (-5) on Monday, the seventh-ranked Spartans enjoyed a 14-stroke lead over Stanford heading into Tuesday's final round play and while the Spartans had math on their side, Dormann knew if there was one team that had the firepower to overcome such a deficit, it was the mighty Cardinal.
Stanford threw everything it had at San Jose State over the final 18 holes Tuesday at the Meadow Club, including a course-record 64 by freshman Rose Zhang
, and though they bent, the Spartans didn't break and survived the Cardinal's surge to hang on for a one-stroke victory.
Washington's Camille Boyd
fired a final round 65 to win her first-ever collegiate title with a 14-under score of 202.
With the team title hanging in the balance, it took late birdies from Lucia Lopez Ortega and Antonia Malate
to deliver San Jose State's second win of the spring, which have both come at the expense of top-ranked Stanford.
"It was a great win for our team," said Dormann. "We knew Stanford would make a charge at us but we were able to make a few key putts down the stretch to hold them off.
"We have so much respect for them - they shot 50-under in their last tournament to set an NCAA record. They're an amazing team. So it makes it all that much more special to have beaten them twice this spring."
It was a nailbiter all afternoon for San Jose State, as Lopez Ortega was the only Spartan under par on Tuesday, carding a final round 68 to finish fourth overall at 6-under 210.
Meanwhile, Zhang and Brooke Seay
, who finished with a 5-under 67, were leading the Cardinal's valiant comeback.
Zhang birdied three of her first four holes and added two more birdies on holes 7 and 9 to turn at 5-under 31. With Boyd now in her crosshairs, she added her sixth birdie of the day on the par-4 10th to move to 9-under for the tournament with eight holes remaining. Zhang parred the next six holes to remain at 9-under heading into the challenging 17th hole.
Following a perfect drive, Zhang's approach left her with a 32-foot left downhill put for birdie, which she made to go to 10-under. She closed out her round in style by draining a five-footer for birdie on the 18th for a course-record 64, which was also her best round of the season.
"Being able to learn from each round was key to what I was able to do today," said Zhang, who followed a first-round 72 with rounds of 69 and 64. "The three early birdies relaxed me a bit and gave me some confidence that I can score on this course. Birdies are hard to come by out here and being able to convert those putts were very important."
Playing four holes ahead Zhang, Boyd was on a heater of her own. The sophomore from Yorba Linda, Calif. was 5-under through 11 holes before making her only bogey of the day on her 15th hole (No. 18). With the top female amateur in the world breathing down her neck, Boyd nearly holed her second shot on the par-5 first hole (her 16th) and tapped in for an eagle to move to 6-under. Following a par on the second (her 17th), Boyd closed her round with a birdie on her final hole, the uphill par-4 third.
Her final round 65, which tied for the second-best single-round score in school history. Her winning score of 14-under 202 set the best-ever for a Husky compared to par, and earned her a three-stroke win over the Zhang for her first collegiate victory.
"I just tried to do what I had been doing all week and take advantage of the par-5s and trust my putting," said Boyd. "I didn't know where I stood but hit an eight-iron for a tap-in eagle on my 16th hole and then made a six-footer for birdie on my last hole."
"It's a huge win for Camille today with a solid 65," said Washington head coach Mary Lou Mulflur. "She set a new team record at 14 under par. She was so steady and patient this week and she was properly rewarded for it. Plus, she beat the No. 1 player in the country, which should do wonders for her confidence."
of San Francisco finished third at 8-under 208 after a final round of 70. The rapidly improving Dons finished fourth in the team standings, just one stroke behind Washington.
Three Spartans finished in the top-10, including Lopez Ortega (4th; 210), Kajsa Arwefjäll
(t-5th; 213) and Natasha Andrea Oon