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Stanford golf takes on Cal in second-annual Big Match

Senior Alabane Valenzuela (left) and Director of Operations for Men's and Women's Golf Lauren Dobashi (right) discuss strategy for the upcoming match. Valenzuela looks to continue her dominance this year at The Big Match following her latest third-place individual finish at The Molly College Invitational. (BOB DREBIN/isiphotos.com)

Stanford men’s and women’s golf teams will merge their golfing prowess to tee off against the Cal Golden Bears in the much anticipated “Big Match” at the Menlo Country Club on Wednesday.

In what will surely be another chance to fuel the historic rivalry between Cal and Stanford, expect nothing short of a showdown as Stanford seeks revenge from last year’s down-to-the-wire loss. The battle wages on as each school will pair a man and a woman for a total of six teams to face off in a match-play tournament.

For the women’s head coach Anne Walker, “The Big Match” signifies a bit more than another chance to improve Stanford’s rankings.

“We are very excited to play the second edition of the Big Match,” said Walker. “It is a unique format in college golf, pairing men’s and women’s players together. The long-standing school rivalry between Cal and Stanford never fails to produce drama, which will make for an exciting afternoon.”  

Stanford women’s golf returns to the green following a decisive first-place victory at the Molly College Invitational on Oct. 1. Leading the Cardinal is senior Andrea Lee, the No. 1 amateur golfer in the world, whose last win set the Stanford record for career women’s golf titles.

Following second and third-place respective finishes at The Molly, reigning Pac-12 Golfer of the Year Albane Valenzuela ’20 and the promising freshman Angelina Ye provide the one-two-three punch necessary to remain the presumptive favorites in this matchup. As for the Bears, they will be looking to rebound from their second-to-last finish as a team at the same invitational.

With their sights set on yet another title run this year, the Cardinal men return to Menlo Country Club under the stewardship of head coach Conrad Ray. The tandem for the defending NCAA champions will certainly be in full force behind the swinging power of the returning senior David Snyder and sophomore Ethan Ng.

Snyder, who tied for fourth at The Nike Collegiate Invitational will look to make the case for Stanford’s continued dominance in the sport. Seeking to replicate the performance from his first-ever top-20 tourney finish, Ng will get a chance to go head-to-head in matchups against Cal rivals like James Song, who earned three top-20 finishes for Cal as a freshman last season.

There should be no shortage of swings for Wednesday’s Big Match. And in the event that the match does not come down to a nail-biting final put, we can enjoy a championship showcasing of the combined forces of Stanford’s men’s and women’s golf teams. Juniors Ziyi Wang and David Snyder begin the battle royale against Cal’s Cooper Hunt and Sophia Lundell at 11:45 am.

Contact Joseph Anderson at jodieous ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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