checked another box on her impressive amateur resume on Monday, winning the NCAA Division I Women's Golf individual championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Stanford freshman, who took a seven-shot lead into the final round, completed the wire-to-wire victory with a closing 75 to finish at 6-under 282, good for a three-shot win over San Jose State's Natasha Andrea Oon
. Jennie Park
of Texas A&M and LSU's Ingrid Lindblad
were the only other players who managed to finish in the red at 1-under.
Zhang's win at Grayhawk, her fourth individual title of the season, adds to her impressive list of amateur championships, which include the 2019 U.S. Amateur and a pair of U.S. Girls' Junior titles. It also marks the second consecutive year a Stanford freshman claimed the NCAA individual title following Rachel Heck's victory
A native of Irvine, Calif., Zhang has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the top-ranked female amateur in the world in each of the last two years
and has represented her country in numerous competitions including the Curtis Cup, Junior Solheim Cup, Junior Ryder Cup and the Pan American Games.
|Zhang joins elite list: With the win, Zhang joins Pat Hurst as the only two players to win the U.S. Girls' Jr., U.S. Women's Amateur and the NCAA individual championships. Tiger Woods is the only male player to win the U.S. Junior Boys', U.S. Amateur and NCAA titles.
"It's amazing," Zhang said. "I feel like coming into this week, I definitely did not expect it. Even though I was the player to watch, I felt like I just, I didn't really have that expectation. I felt like the entire day I just had to grind each and every step of the way. It was very difficult, but I felt like today just showed that I really persevered out there, I really tried to stay as patient as possible. Even when I did hit a bad shot, I tried not to waver as much as possible. So I felt like that really helps me just stay in the zone and just execute every single shot I can out there."
Stanford fends off Oregon and Texas A&M to earn top seed
Stanford also landed the top seed in the match play portion of the championship which begins with quarterfinal action on Tuesday. The Cardinal took a nine-stroke lead into the final round but landing the top seed turned out to be no small task for the nation's top-ranked team, which relinquished its lead to both Texas A&M and Oregon before eventually securing the top spot.
A blazing front nine by Texas A&M, which entered the day in third place 13 strokes off the lead, and a shaky start by the Cardinal, gave the Aggies a brief hold on first place. After Texas A&M cooled down a bit, Oregon moved into the top spot at the turn.
With the top-seed hanging in the balance, Stanford's Brooke Seay
delivered the shot of the championship, acing the par-3, 129-yard 16th hole with a pitching wedge to put the Cardinal back in the driver's seat.
Oregon earned the No. 2 seed, followed by Texas A&M, UCLA, Auburn, Florida State, San Jose State and Georgia.
The biggest suprise of the day was the fall of LSU, which shot a final round of 12-over 300 to drop from a tie for seventh to six shots outside of the cutline at +36.
Arizona State made a valiant effort to crash the top eight with a final round 290 (+2), but fell two strokes shy of the cutline.
Stanford Regional champion USC also saw its season come to an end on Monday as the Trojans finished 10th at 33-over.
• • • • •
Tuesday's Quarterfinal Matches
No. 1. Stanford vs. No. 8 Georgia
No. 2. Oregon vs. No. 7 San Jose State
No. 3. Texas A&M vs. No. 6. Florida State
No. 4. UCLA vs. No. 5 Auburn
Tuesday, May 24
Wednesday, May 25
• • • • •
GOLF Channel Coverage
Tuesday, May 24
11:30 a.m.-Noon; 4:30-5:00 p.m. ET
Noon-2:30 p.m. ET; 5-9:00 p.m. ET
9-10:00 p.m. ET
10:00 p.m.-2:30 a.m. ET; 3-5:30 a.m. ET (Wednesday)
Wednesday, May 25
4:30-5:00 p.m. ET
5-9:00 p.m. ET
9-10 p.m. ET
10:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. ET
ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Women's Championship
24 teams and 12 individuals not on a qualifying
team make up the field for the championship of
Division I women's golf.
After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual
champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance
match play to determine the team champion.
View Complete Tournament Information