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Women’s golf, Heck dominate in Fresno State Classic

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Stanford women’s golf wrapped up regular-season play Tuesday with the Fresno State Classic at Copper River Country Club. The Cardinal got off to a blistering start and never looked back, winning the tournament by a whopping 29 shots. Freshman Rachel Heck picked up her second victory of the season and shot a program record 16-under-par for the three rounds.

Stanford entered the tournament as the highest-ranked team in the field (No. 26 in the Golfstat rankings) and the clear favorite to win. After 36 holes of play on Monday, the Cardinal demonstrated why this was the case heading into Tuesday.

In the morning round, Heck led the way with a three-under-par 69. After an average front nine, she kept a bogey off her scorecard on the back and was able to break 70. Freshman Sadie Englemann made six birdies to go against four bogeys in her two-under-par round of 70. Junior Aline Krauter and sophomore Angelina Ye posted rounds of 71 and 72, respectively, to complete the Cardinal’s scoring.

In the afternoon wave, the Cardinal continued to separate itself from the field. Heck cruised to a four-under-par 68. Both Ye and sophomore Brooke Seay shot even par, while Englemann carded a two-over-par 74.

At the end of Monday’s 36-hole marathon, the Cardinal stood at eight-under-par for the tournament. The nearest competitors, Long Beach State and tournament host Fresno State, were 12 strokes behind at four-over-par.

In the final round, Ye was in complete control of her golf ball. The reigning second-team All-American made five birdies and went bogey-free to shoot 67. Ye’s five-under-par total matched the lowest of her collegiate career and vaulted her into fourth place. 

While Ye played some phenomenal golf on Tuesday, the round of the day (and, so far, the year) belonged to Heck.

Heck started the final round in second place, three shots behind Fresno State junior Harriet Lynch. With warm temperatures and little wind, the conditions were optimal for scoring. Heck knew that if she wanted to catch Lynch, she would have to post a very low score.

And go low she did. Heck got off to a great start, making birdies on the first, fourth and eighth holes en route to a front nine 33. At the turn, she was 10-under-par for the tournament and tied for the lead. 

Then, Heck put her foot on the gas. She made back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11 before knocking her second shot on the par five 12th within eight feet. She rolled the putt to cap off a stretch of three holes that she played in four-under-par. At this point, she was firmly in the lead.

Strolling down the 18th fairway, Heck had a three-shot advantage and was clearly going to win the tournament, but she wasn’t done just yet. In true champion fashion, she capped off her round with a 45-foot putt for her seventh birdie of the day.

In the end, Heck finished with the sixth-lowest round on a par-72 course in NCAA Women’s Golf history, a nine-under-par 63. Her statistics from the final round were staggering: seven birdies, one eagle and no bogeys.

Englemann and Seay both shot 74 in the final round to finish in a tie for 12th, while Krauter placed in a tie for 21st. Competing as an individual in the tournament, junior Calista Reyes finished 42nd.

Stanford women’s golf will now turn its attention to the Pac-12 Championships which begins April 23. This year, the Cardinal will host the tournament at the Stanford Golf Course.

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Gavin McDonell is a desk editor in the sports section. He is a sophomore from San Francisco, California who is studying Mathematical and Computational Science and Economics. His rooting interests include the San Francisco Giants, the Golden State Warriors, Max Homa and of course, the Stanford Cardinal. Contact him at gmcdonell 'at' stanforddaily.com.