No. 1 Stanford, Heck Sweep Gunrock in a Record-Breaking Performance

Rachel Heck of top-ranked Stanford, the defending NCAA Women’s individual champion, and teammate Rose Zhang, the top-ranked women’s amateur in the world, finished 1-2 and led the Cardinal to a record-setting 35-stroke victory over Washington in the Gunrock Invitational at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento. 

Stanford recorded a score of 265-277-272—814, 50-under-par to break the NCAA record of 46-under held by LSU. 

“I don’t even have words for this,” Stanford Coach Anne Walker said. “It’s so exciting and this team deserves it. We have so many great players top to bottom so to come here and set this record, I’m excited for them, excited for Del Paso the course. I don’t have great words for it but I’m really proud of them. 

“It feels great to bounce back after (the Cardinal finished second to) San Diego State (in the Lamkin Invitational). It felt like we were a little rusty coming out of the break. I believe in the system that we have in place. These kids are really strong. Not only are they talented, they’re fighters. Sometimes you’re fighting for a 65 and sometimes you’re fighting for a 75, but when you have a lot of fight in you good things are going to happen.” 

Washington was second at 284-276-289—849, followed by Iowa State at 284-286-281—851, Brigham Young at 286-290-282—858, and San Francisco at 291-283-291—865. 

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo totaled 290-294-282—866 to tie for sixth with Sacramento State, which wound up at 286-292-288—866, while California was eighth at 292-281-296—869, followed by Nevada at 293-283-300—876, UC Davis at 299-292-291—882 and UC Irvine at 294-293-296—883. 

Heck, a sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., claimed her second straight victory and the eighth of her Stanford career with a score of 63-68-67—198, 18-under, while Zhang, a freshman from Irvine who won her first three events for Stanford and has been fourth and second in the last two, wound up at 66-68-68—202, followed by Riana Mission of San Francisco at 70-68-67—205 and Sadie Englemann of Stanford, who finished at 70-69-68—207. 

“It’s great to see the Rachel Heck who we had here last spring,” said Walker after Heck got off to a slow start this season. ‘She’s so happy. She’s hitting every shot very loose and confident and relaxed. She’s having a great time with the game. To see her get her eighth win today, and I know there’s plenty more ahead, I’m excited to be part of this. 

“ … What more can be said about Rose? She’s so steady and I know she’s disappointed this week. And that says it all, the fact that Rose is disappointed in the way she played and she has the fourth-best score in school history. It speaks volumes about who she is as a player that she can come out here with her B game and still be right on Rachel’s heels until the end. She’s got great things ahead of her.” 

Brooke Seay of Stanford carded a score of 72-67-69—208 to tie for fifth with Abigail Leighton of UC Davis, who finished at 70-70-68—208, while Mika Jin of California shot 71-67-73—211 to tie for seventh with Stefanie Deng of Washington, who wound up at 68-69-74—211. 

Warda Rawof of Iowa State shot 75-69-68–212 to tie for ninth with Camille Boyd of Washington, who totaled 73-68-71–212 and Taglao Jeeravivitaporn of Iowa State, who came in at 68-71-73—212. 

Rounding out the scoring for team champion Stanford were Aline Krauter, who finished at 70-72-72—214 to finish in a tie for 16th that included teammate Caroline Sturdza, who shot 66-79-69—214, Angelina Ye, who tied for 35th at 71-73-76—220, and Calista Reyes, who tied for 42nd at 71-72-79—222. 

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