In the 2013 Peg Barnard Invitational, Stanford women’s golf team opened its spring season with a bang, with then-freshman Mariah Stackhouse setting a new Stanford Golf Course record with an eye-popping 10-under 61 as she shot 12-under for the tournament to almost single-handedly propel the Cardinal to victory.
Although there were no individual heroics from the sophomore in this past weekend’s edition of Peg Barnard, the No. 5 Cardinal’s more balanced top five allowed it to spread out the load and boost it to a second consecutive comfortable win at the Invitational over a field that included No. 17 Oregon and No. 26 California.
“This was a strong, convincing win for our team,” said head coach Anne Walker. “There were a couple of strong teams in the field and we beat them by a large margin. That feels good.”
The most significant factors in the Cardinal’s 16-stroke margin of victory were standout performances from sophomore Lauren Kim and freshman Casey Danielson, who finished tied for second individually with marks of 3-under 139 for the tournament. Although Kim finished with an even-par 71 and Danielson was just 1-under 70 after the first day of the two-day tournament, both underclassmen finished strong by finishing under 70 strokes on the second day.
One of the key elements in the strong second-round performances of both Kim and Danielson was good execution on the long par-5 holes — namely, the first, seventh and 12th holes. Danielson particularly stood out in that regard, as she birdied the first and 12th holes in both rounds and birdied the seventh in the second round. She also cut down on her bogeys on the par-4 holes after the first round.
Kim also birdied the seventh and 12th holes, as well as the shorter fourth and fifth holes to finish at 3-under 68 in the second round, which tied the eventual individual winner, Dana Finkelstein of UNLV, for the best showing on Sunday.
“They were terrific this weekend,” Walker said. “I’m not surprised by either of their performances; it has just been a matter of time. You will see a lot more of them this spring.”
While Stackhouse didn’t have a performance that was quite on par with that of her record-breaking effort last season in this event, she still finished the tournament under par, at 1-under 141, to finish tied for fourth individually. However, the relatively even performance is far from what Stanford fans have come to expect from the star, who admitted to struggling in the first round, in which she finished at an even-par 71 on familiar grounds at the Stanford Golf Course.
“Today was definitely a grind,” said Stackhouse after the first round of play. “I couldn’t quite find a rhythm, and I was definitely scrambling a lot to save par.”
“This wasn’t Mariah’s best ball-striking weekend,” Walker added. “But yet again, she finished under par. She has a unique ability to dig deep and make birdies even on her toughest of days. She is an amazing competitor.”
Freshman Quirine Eijkenboom and junior Mariko Tumangan rounded out the Cardinal’s top five for the tournament, with senior Marissa Mar, senior Danielle Frasier and freshman Jisoo Keel also competing in the tournament as individuals. Neither Tumangan nor Frasier improved on their scores from the tournament from last year, but all of the Cardinal players that competed, especially the freshmen, showed the ability to provide strong support for the top five if needed.
The Cardinal will next head to Santa Ana, Calif. for the UC-Irvine Invitational against another relatively weak field highlighted by No. 11 Pepperdine on Monday and Tuesday.
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dpark027 ‘at’ stanford.edu.