By Jose Saldana
No. 5 Stanford women’s golf will compete in the NCAA Championships beginning on May 18 after winning the NCAA Women’s Golf San Francisco Regional Championships last weekend.
The NCAA regional victory was the Cardinal’s third consecutive title in the event, and it was the their first victory of the season.
Stanford posted an eight-under 856 to win with four stroke lead over No. 1 UCLA, which led for most of the regional.
The Cardinal had to come back after being down seven strokes from the Bruins after round one. However, Stanford saved its best for last by hitting a third-round best six-under 282.
“We’ve known all year that this team had the ability to come in and compete with a great field such as this, and a great top-seed in UCLA,” Stanford head coach Anne Walker said. “To see that all come together has been great.”
After having one of the best showings her career with a fourth-place finish in the Pac-12 Championships, sophomore Ziyi Wang excelled last weekend by claiming second place in the regional.
All-Pac-12 First Team sophomore teammates Andrea Lee and Albane Valenzuela had solid showings as well. Lee finished tied for eighth, which was her eighth top-10 finish this season and Valenzuela finished sub-par in the final round to cap off the Cardinal’s rally.
The Cardinal now move on to the NCAA Championships, which will take place at the Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, OK.
Stanford last won the NCAA Championships back in 2015 and were the runner-ups in 2016 and 2000. In 2015, Mariah Stackhouse ‘16 sent the match with Baylor to sudden death by hitting birdies in the last two holes and then hit a two-putt par to elevate the Cardinal over Baylor for the program’s first national title.
Three years later, the Cardinal have come close to the final prize, but have fallen short each year. Maybe by winning the regional, this team has developed the resilience the 2015 squad had in its title run.
“We’ve had some close calls this season, and we’re glad we were able to earn a victory,” Walker said. “No we’re excited about giving it a run in the NCAA Championships.”
Contact Jose Saldana at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.