By Jenny Peter
The Stanford women’s golf team shot a total of 909 after three rounds of golf to finish sixth out of 18 teams at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas last weekend. This was the first time all team members were present to play in a tournament. It was also everyone’s first time playing the UT golf course, including the upperclassmen.
UCLA took the top score with an 884, while Arizona placed second at 890. Texas A&M finished seven stokes clear of Arizona with an 897, and TCU placed fourth at 901. Stanford was just two shots shy of the tournament host Texas Longhorns, who placed fifth with a score of 907. The Cardinal faltered down the home stretch with double and triple bogeys, which allowed the Longhorns to slip ahead.
Stanford was in ninth place after shooting a 302 on the first day of the tournament and moved up to sixth place with a 300. Arizona and UCLA were neck-in-neck going into the last round on the last day, but UCLA won out by six strokes in the end. Third place Texas A&M also put pressure on second place Arizona with the help of Sarah Zwartynski, who won the individual title with a 54-hole score of 213.
Stanford freshman Kristina Wong carded an even-par 72 and a one-under 71 the first two days. She was two shots behind the lead going into the last round, but fell to fifth after shooting a final round 78. She finished eight strokes behind Zwartynski.
“The highlight of the tournament for me was watching Kristina hole out from the fairway on the 15th hole on the second day of the tournament for an eagle,” said senior Angela King.
Freshman Sally Watson procured Stanford’s lowest score in the final round with a three-over-par 75. Watson tied for 29th place with a total of 230. King was close behind with a 231 to tie for 33rd while Durham carded a 77 in the last round to tie for 39th with 233 (17 over par). Durham sank an 80-foot birdie putt on the last day. Cardinal sophomore Sydney Burlison scored a 241 to tie for 71st and fellow classmate Lila Barton carded a 242 to tie for 73rd.
“I enjoyed the enthusiasm and support our team showed for each other,” Durham said. “The person behind was always cheering, clapping and motivating the person ahead of them, no matter how they were playing. We were a little rusty going into this tournament and didn’t play to our potential, but it was nice to see how supportive our team was of each other.”
Next, the Cardinal women will move on to the PING Arizona State Invitational at the Karsten Golf Course in Tempe on April 9.
“I expect the playing conditions of the PING to be similar to that of Texas,” King said. “It’s a desert-style course and generally very windy. I’m looking forward to some great competition.”
“The course is difficult but fair,” Durham said. “The scores are generally low. Most importantly this tournament is going to have a very strong field and we are expecting to go out and contend with the top teams. It will be good preparation for Regionals and Nationals. We’ll be ready to go for championship season.”