Rose Zhang (Stanford Athletics photo)
Taking a comfortable seven-stroke lead into the final round on its home course, it seems the only team that can get in the way of Stanford winning its own Stanford Intercollegiate on Sunday is the Cardinal themselves.
The same can be said for Cardinal Rose Zhang
, who also enjoys a seven-stroke advantage over her closest pursuers after firing a 6-under 65 on Saturday which left the world's top female amateur at 11-under 131 with one round remaining.
Teeing off in the cool and breezy conditions of the morning, Zhang got off to a quick start with a birdie on the par 5 first. She moved to 2-under on the day with a birdie on the par 5 seventh before giving one back on the ninth to turn at 1-under.
Zhang came home in 31, thanks to back-to-back birdies to start her inward nine and a run of three consecutive birdies on holes 14-16 for a second 65.
In her five rounds at the Stanford Intercollegiate dating back to last year, the Irvine, Calif. native is 27-under par on her home course.
At 11-under 131, Zhang will take a seven-stroke lead over Karisa Chul-Ak-Sorn
of Iowa State, Texas' Angela Heo and Antonia Malate
of San Jose State.
Playing in the afternoon wave, Chul-Ak-Sorn nearly matched Zhang for the low round of the day, turning in a 5-under 66. The two players will be paired together for Sunday's final round, along with Malate and Heo.
While head coach Anne Walker isn't taking anything for granted, Stanford's march to a third team title this season seems to be a mere formality. However, San Jose State would like nothing more to make things a little uncomfortable for the Cardinal on Sunday.
At 4-under, the Spartans are the only other team in the field besides Stanford in red numbers at the 36-hole mark of the tournament. San Jose State was a thorn in the Cardinal's side last year, twice taking out its neighbor to the north at the Lampkin Invitational and the Juli Inkster Intercollegiate.
The odds are a little longer tomorrow, as the Spartans are starring at a 7-stroke deficit against the top-ranked team in the nation playing on its home course.
Stanford, San Jose State, Iowa State and Texas will be paired together for the final round and will tee off beginning at 8:30 a.m. on hole Nos. 1-4 in the shot gun start.
ABOUT THE Condoleezza Rice Intercollegiate
54-hole women's college event
hosted by Stanford University. Team (best four scores
out of five players each
round) and individual competitions.
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