Who can challenge Stanford's Rose Zhang at the NCAA Women's Golf Championships?
Starting Friday, the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship gets underway from Grayhawk Golf Club.

Thirty teams and six individuals will battle it out, beginning with four rounds of stroke play, starting Friday and concluding Monday when an individual champion will be crowned. Then the top eight teams will advance to match play, which begins Tuesday, and the finals will be Wednesday, when the team champion will be crowned.

Ahead of the first round of competition, Golfweek takes a look at some of the players to watch, including the favorite, those who could challenge for the individual crown and some dark horses who could make a run.

• • • • •

The Favorite

Rose Zhang
Rose Zhang, Stanford
It should be no surprise to see Rose Zhang hoisting a trophy at the end of the tournament. The sophomore at Stanford has won seven times this season, is the defending NCAA individual champion and won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last month. She also won the Pac-12 Championship at Papago Golf Course in Phoenix and the NCAA Pullman Regional at Palouse Ridge in Washington. She knows how to win, and barring something crazy, expect to see Zhang near the top of the leaderboard all week.

• • • • •

The Challengers

Jenny Bae (L) and Rose Zhang at the ANWA
Jenny Bae, Georgia
Bae, the fifth-year senior, won the Athens regional on Georgia’s home course and also lost on the second playoff hole against Zhang at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. She has eight top-10 finishes this year, but she has been playing strong as of late.

Julia Lopez Ramirez, Mississippi State
The sophomore at Mississippi State won the SEC Championship and the NCAA Westfield Regional. In addition to her victory at the Blessings Collegiate earlier this year, she has added eight top-5 finishes. Lopez Ramirez has been a catalyst all season, and she could be one of the few golfers who could challenge Zhang.

Rachel Kuehn, Wake Forest
The back-to-back ACC Player of the Year has two victories this year, and she should be one of the favorites to challenge for the individual title. However, Kuehn struggled at Grayhawk last year, but don’t expect those struggles to carry over this time around.

• • • • •

The Dark Horses

Maddison Hinson-Tolchard
Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Oklahoma State
Although Oklahoma State missed out on the NCAA Championship last year, they made the match play final before falling against Ole Miss in 2021. Hinson-Tolchard tied for 15th in stroke play at 2 over that year, and this season she heads to Grayhawk on the heels of winning the 2023 Big 12 Championship.

Jennie Park, Texas A&M
Park finished T-11 at the NCAA San Antonio Regional and ninth at the SEC Championships, so she’s in good form. But it’s the T-3 finish at Grayhawk last spring, one of only four players to finish under par after 72 holes, that shows she’s more than capable of a big run at the individual title.

Chiara Tamburlini, Ole Miss
Tamburlini is no stranger to success at Grayhawk, and she could be primed for a big week in the desert. After a T-15 finish in 2021, she secured one of the three matches Ole Miss needed to win the title. Then last year, she finished solo eighth in stroke play. Tamburlini is coming off a T-7 finish at regionals.

by Cameron Jourdan, Golfweek

ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Women's Championship

30 teams and 6 individuals not on a qualifying team make up the field for the championship of NCAA Division I women's golf.

After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance to match play to determine the team champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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