Juniors Mariah Stackhouse and Lauren Kim took home all-conference honors as the No. 17/18 Stanford women’s golf team came in seventh at the Pac-12 Championship last Monday through Wednesday.
Stanford was the defending conference champion going into the tournament, and the team began the competition looking to regain this title. The Cardinal came into the clubhouse in second on the first day after collectively hitting +2 in their opening round at the par-71 Boulder Country Club in Boulder, Colorado. Stackhouse and sophomore Casey Danielson both led the team at 1-under par, with Kim following at +1 and freshman Shannon Aubert landing at +3.
The Cardinal failed to duplicate this consistency in their subsequent rounds, however. Kim was the only Stanford player to match her first-round total on the second day as Stanford fell from second to seventh overall. Stackhouse and others struggled a little on the obstruction-heavy Boulder course, with Stackhouse’s day perhaps best encapsulated by one shot in which she hit the pin from almost 100 yards out but then was unable to earn better than a bogey on the hole.
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The Cardinal managed to recover a little on the final day, but it was clearly a strong day for the entire field as Stanford failed to move up the rankings despite a match-best round from Kim and a solid +2 from sophomore Quirine Eijkenboom.
Kim ended as Stanford’s top individual performer with a score of -2, enough to earn her an overall seventh-place finish in the tournament. Stackhouse and Danielson tied with each other and Cal’s Lucia Gutierrez for 25th overall at +8.
The immense depth of the Pac-12 was thoroughly demonstrated over the course of the week, with many top teams struggling amidst the incredibly impressive field. The course record was set twice within 20 minutes on Wednesday, indicative of the impressive ability that many participants showed throughout the event.
USC, the No. 1/2 women’s golf program in the country, hit just two strokes better than Stanford and ended the weekend in sixth, a tough finish for a team which had all its participants ranked amongst the top 60 in the nation. No. 3/3 UCLA and No. 7/1 Washington faired only slightly better on the weekend, coming in fourth and third respectively as No. 6/6 Arizona captured the title and No. 28/27 Oregon took second behind the remarkable performance of individual overall winner Caroline Inglis.
Conference Pac-12 honors were announced following the conclusion of the tournament. Kim and Stackhouse both broke onto the first team, joining a host of top golfers from some of these top-level programs.
Kim’s inclusion marked her first on the All-Pac-12 First Team after earning all-conference second-team honors last season. Stackhouse, meanwhile, has been a staple of the all-conference first team since she broke Tiger Woods’ Stanford Golf Course record during her freshman season.
The Cardinal’s fate for the remainder of the season now lies out of their hands. Stanford will have to wait until April 27 to hear if the team’s season will continue in one of the NCAA Regional Tournaments.
Contact Andrew Mather at amather ‘at’ stanford.edu.