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Playing In Front – Stanford University Athletics


Playing In Front – Stanford University Athletics

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – No. 1 Stanford women’s golf extended its lead to nine strokes at the 2022 NCAA Championships with a 5-under 283 on Sunday morning at Grayhawk Golf Club. The Cardinal’s round was the first round – and one of two – under par by any team in the entire field all week. Individually, freshman Rose Zhang shot a 3-under 69 to extend her lead to seven shots. Zhang is 9-under for the tournament with just one round of stroke play remaining to determine the NCAA Individual Champion. Zhang leads a group of only four golfers at even-par or better.

“She is so unbelievably patient,” Walker said of Zhang. “That’s what has gotten her through these rounds: having the patience and the belief that if I stay the course, something will happen for me. She’s not getting ahead of herself or stuck in the past. She just continues to believe that if she just weathers a storm, something good will happen, and that’s what I’ve seen from her. “

Zhang’s four-stroke lead to start the round was down to three after an opening-hole bogey, a hole she has bogeyed in all three rounds thus far. Zhang would recover, though, with eight straight pars to close the front nine before a birdie at No. 10. She then made five straight pars before closing with three straight birdies to finish her round at 3-under 69. She enters Monday’s final round with a seven-stroke lead over two golfers tied at 2-under.

“Being able to go out there and hold on to whatever I had, I tried to play the best I could the first couple of holes,” Zhang said of her round. “It was obviously a very big grind out there. I feel like, just being able to come in and stay committed to my game plan, and stay committed to myself, I hit shot after shot and executed the way I wanted to. It turned out great. I’m very proud of how I finished and I’m very proud of how I was able to put the ball in the hole. “

On the week, Zhang has played the par 5s at 9-under, the par 3s at 1-under and the par 4s at 1-over, but that mark of 1-over is tied for second-best in the entire field. Her 13 birdies leads the entire field.

Sadie Englemann spirit Rachel Heck fired identical 2-under 70s on Sunday to help the Cardinal to their tournament-best team round. Englemann, who sits tied for fifth at 1-over, opened with a birdie then a bogey before closing with 14 pars and two birdies, those coming on holes No. 7 and 18. Heck started hot on Sunday with three birdies over the first five holes, finishing with four total birdies for her best round of the week.

“I do not consider any of them fifth-spot players, quite frankly,” Walker said after the round. “We do not look at any of them from a fifth spot, third spot, first spot situation. We just look at everyone like everyone’s going out there with the same golf course. These are all super experienced players, so it does not surprise me that when I see a Sadie Engelmann pop up with a 2 under… she just walked around like a total boss lady and handled herself. That’s the thing that’s been missing from Sadie’s game is the ability to go out there and believe that she has it within her and today from the moment she stepped on the first tee she knew she had it in her. “

One thing that has allowed Stanford to score well all week through three rounds is its ability to avoid the big number. Through 15 individual rounds, the Cardinal have only carded seven double bogeys and no score worse than that. No Stanford golfer has scored worse than 76 in any one round this week, a credit to the team’s ability to hang in there. Stanford leads the field in par 4 scoring and is second in par 3 and par 5 scoring. The Cardinal leads the field with the most pars and birdies.

“It’s really easy to let it get away from you, but we have not had anyone shoot more than 4-over all week and that just shows you the heart,” Walker said. “They (Brooke Seay spirit Aline Krauter) are not going to let it get away from them. They’re going to keep persevering until the very end. “

After the round, Seay was presented with the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at each of the NCAA Championship finals sites. Seay owns a 4.0 in human biology.

After Sunday’s round, the field was cut to 15 teams and following Monday’s round, which tees off at 11:50 am for Stanford, the top eight teams will advance to match play. GOLF Channel coverage starts at 2 pm PT on Monday.

NCAA Championships (Grayhawk Golf Club, par 72)

Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Total

1. Stanford

289 (+1)

292 (+4)

283 (-5)

864 (E)

1. Rose Zhang 68 (-4) 70 (-2) 69 (-3) 207 (-9)
T5. Sadie Englemann 71 (-1) 76 (+4) 70 (-2) 217 (+1)
T11. Rachel Heck 76 (+4) 72 (E) 70 (-2) 218 (+2)
T34. Aline Krauter 75 (+3) 74 (+2) 74 (+2) 223 (+7)
T52. Brooke Seay 75 (+3) 76 (+4) 74 (+2) 225 (+9)

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