It has been quite a successful past couple of days for the Stanford golf teams. A day after the men scored a convincing win at the Erin Hills Intercollegiate in Wisconsin, the women’s squad—led by veterans sophomore Mariah Stackhouse and junior Mariko Tumangan—won by an even greater margin at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational. Stackhouse also captured the individual crown at the event, held at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.
“This is our most dominant win, certainly [in my tenure],” said head coach Anne Walker. “Washington is a great team and will definitely be in the mix in May. To beat them by 27 [strokes], on an extremely difficult course gives us a ton of confidence.”
The tournament was a 54-hole event played over two days, meaning the teams had to play 36 holes on Tuesday. Though that kind of setup can tax players’ patience and endurance, the Cardinal did an excellent job of focusing on each individual shot.
“We had a great mindset going into [Tuesday],” Walker remarked. “We tried to look at this 10-hour, 36 hole day, as a football game and break it into quarters. Not every down is going to go as planned, but you have to regroup quickly and play the next down well if you want to compete. We regrouped very well, bounced back quickly after mistakes and took opportunities when they presented themselves.”
For Tumangan, however, there was little adversity to overcome, save for the wet conditions and a burst of hail that temporarily stopped play. The junior from San Jose, Calif., played bogey-free golf in the first two rounds, recording seven birdies to put herself alone in first place. Stackhouse’s opening day was a bit bumpier; the sophomore had to overcome two bogeys in the first round and a double-bogey in the afternoon frame to finish at 6-under 138.
“It’s awesome to be with another teammate at the top of the leaderboard,” Stackhouse commented after Tuesday’s rounds. “As a team, we have pretty high goals and it takes all of us being able to compete against the rest of the field and not each other. To have a couple players on the same team leading mid-tournament means that we haven’t lost sight of the fact that every team in the field is capable of winning and we have to play with the desire to come out on top as a team.”
The Card certainly showed a desire not only to win, but also to dominate. It placed four players in the top-10 and had all five golfers finish in the top-25 of the tournament’s individual race. Sophomore Lauren Kim—last week’s hero at the Windy City Collegiate—placed seventh with a three-round total of 7-over 223, as did freshman Quirine Eijkenboom. Eijkenboom, hailing from Germany, was one of two freshmen in the Stanford lineup along with Casey Danielson. Though Walker could have gone with the more tested seniors Danielle Frasier and Marissa Mar, the second-year head coach has chosen to continue the youth movement on her starting five.
“They are steady,” Walker said of her freshmen. “They both have a tremendous amount of playing experience and it shows in their game. They fight hard, never give up and love the competition. They are super fun to coach.”
Stackhouse—one year removed from her own freshman experience—collected her third individual collegiate title, leapfrogging teammate Tumangan in the final round with a 1-under 71. The sophomore from Georgia birdied the final hole to move to 7-under for the tournament, her second best combined score to par in an NCAA event. With the win, Stackhouse has cemented herself once again as a contender for Pac-12 and NCAA titles come April and May.
“[Stackhouse] made some small swing adjustments between Chicago and [Sahalee] that allowed her to hit more accurate approach shots, which in turn gave her more birdie opportunities,” Walker said of her budding superstar. “Given the opportunity, Mariah will make a lot of putts.”
From the team perspective, Stanford knocked off four conference opponents at Edean Ihlanfeldt en route to the win. Much like their male counterparts in Erin Hills, the Cardinal women jumped out to a whopping 21-shot lead after 36 holes, increasing the margin to 27 when play concluded yesterday.
Next up for the Cardinal is the Stanford Intercollegiate, held at the Stanford Golf Course Oct. 25-27.
Contact Cameron Miller at cmiller6 ‘at’ stanford.edu.