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Women’s golf set to host NCAA Regional

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Stanford women’s golf is set to host the NCAA Regional tournament Monday through Wednesday on the par-71 Stanford Golf Course. The Cardinal will need to secure a top-six finish to qualify for their 12th consecutive NCAA Championship.

While the Cardinal’s second-place finish at the Pac-12 Championship did not earn them an automatic bid, the NCAA women’s golf committee selected them anyway on the merits of their regular-season tournament results. In this shortened season, Stanford picked up big wins at both the Gunrock Invitational and the Fresno State Classic and only finished outside of the top two at one tournament.

Based on these results, Stanford was selected as the fifth-highest seed in the regional tournament behind Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, USC and Virginia Tech. The tournament field will consist of 13 other teams, including strong programs such as Arizona, Florida and Northwestern.

This week’s starting lineup will feature junior Aline Krauter, sophomores Brooke Seay and Angelina Ye and freshmen Sadie Englemann and Rachel Heck.

Heck comes into the tournament as the top-ranked player in the field (No. 9 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings), and it is easy to understand why. In the last month, she has been unbeatable. 

First, Heck shot a final round 63 to win the Fresno State Classic by six shots. Then, she became just the second golfer in program history to win the Pac-12 Championship. Last Monday, she posted an eight-under-par total for two rounds to claim medalist honors at sectional qualifying for the US Women’s Open. Most recently, she shot a 66 in US Open conditions to win the Olympic Club Collegiate by five shots.

Heck’s statistics during her four-tournament win streak are staggering. In nine rounds, her scoring average is 67.56, almost five strokes under par, and she has only shot in the 70s once. Heck has beaten 207 golfers, including several professionals at US Women’s Open qualifying, since she last lost.

While Heck’s stellar play has been the story this season, Ye has posted some very strong tournament results as well. Ye boasts the second-best scoring average on the team (72.17) and has finished in the top-11 in each event this season. Her highest finish came at the Fresno State Classic, where she shot a final round 67 to claim fourth place. Ye’s consistent play earned her Pac-12 All Conference Team honors.

Englemann has the third-lowest scoring average on the team (72.94) and is certainly a player to watch. After a tough start at the Pac-12 Championship, she shot a crucial final round 69 to help the Cardinal to a second place finish. Englemann has proved on several occasions that she has the ability to go low when it matters most; her third round scoring average is 71.20.

Rounding out the Cardinal lineup are Krauter and Seay. The two golfers have nearly identical scoring averages (73.56 and 73.67) and have been integral parts of the team this season. Krauter’s best result was a third place at the Olympic Club Collegiate, while Seay’s top finish was a tie for fifth at the Gunrock Invitational. Additionally, Krauter brings valuable experience as the only golfer in the lineup who has previously played in the NCAA Regional. In 2019, she posted a 23rd place finish to help the Cardinal advance to the NCAA Championship.

The Cardinal are set to tee off early Monday morning on the Stanford Golf Course. Stanford women’s golf will look to use its home course advantage to qualify for its 12th NCAA Championship in a row.

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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.