“It was so hard out there,” Margot and Mitch Milias Director of Women’s Golf Anne Walker said. “I do not know if it was that hard for everyone because I have not really checked the scores, but I certainly know that for our team it was hard, but they just kept fighting to the very end. I think just seeing the way they came home shows how much heart they have.
“Yesterday we faced the elements, the wind was howling, but the hole locations were pretty benign. And then today, wind wasn’t gusting as hard. It was pretty constant, but not horrible. But the hole locations were so challenging, so it was hard to get close and on a day like that, that’s when stuff can start to pile up. “
As a team, the Cardinal tallied 14 birdies, five of them coming from Zhang. After starting 2-over through three holes, she got one back at No. 7 before a bogey at No. 8 to close the front nine with a 2-over 38. After the turn, Zhang sandwiched her back nine with back-to-back birdies around five straight pars, tallying 4-under 32 on the backside to finish her round at 2-under 70.
“When you’ve got Rose Zhang 2 over through three holes, that shows you how hard those first three holes were for the entire field, “Walker said.” So she wasn’t alone in that, but that’s what Rose does, right? She’s never going to quit and if she ended up 2 over today, it would not have been because she quit, it would have been because of bad breaks or she just could not get one to fall. She’s always going to grind. ”
“Just starting the round was quite difficult,” Zhang said. “I was 2 over through three holes and it definitely put things into perspective for me where I had to stay as present as possible and just try to grind. I knew that coming out it’s going to be a grind and the first three holes kind of reinforced that idea and then I just had to keep going. But I would say on the back nine I just stayed as patient as possible. I was just waiting for putts to drop. I was waiting for shots to be hit closer to the hole. I was trying to get my right yardage. So it was very much an up and down round but that’s what this course kind of gives you. “
Rachel Heck fired an even-par 72 on Saturday, the first time she’s played competitive rounds on back-to-back days since the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in early April due to illness. Through two rounds, Heck is 4-over, with teammate Sadie Englemann (3-over), Aline Krauter (5-over) and Brooke Seay (7-over) all in the top half of the field.
At No. 1 on the leaderboard, Stanford will tee off hole No. 1 at 6:30 am on Sunday with Oregon and Auburn, the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively.
NCAA Championships (Grayhawk Golf Club, par 72)
|Name||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Total|
|1. Rose Zhang||68 (-4)||70 (-2)||–||–||138 (-6)|
|T19. Sadie Englemann||71 (-1)||76 (+4)||–||–||147 (+3)|
|T29. Rachel Heck||76 (+4)||72 (E)||–||–||148 (+4)|
|T41. Aline Krauter||75 (+3)||74 (+2)||–||–||149 (+5)|
|T56. Brooke Seay||75 (+3)||76 (+4)||–||–||151 (+7)|