Stanford, top-ranked in the Golfweek/Sagarin women’s rankings, has a challenger virtually in its own back yard.
Sixth-ranked San Jose State has won three tournaments and finished second once in its first four events of the Spring Season, most recently beating second-ranked Oregon by two strokes in the Silverado Showdown on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa.
Earlier, the Spartans won the Juli Inkster Meadow Club Collegiate by one shot over Stanford at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, and also bested the Cardinal again by three strokes to win the Lamkin San Diego Invitational at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe.
“Oregon is really tough, but down the stretch we made a couple of key birdies to hold on,” San Jose State Coach Dana Dormann said after the most recent victory. “We’ve been in this position so many times before, so I knew they had it in them and luckily, it came out our way again.
“This team is strong, free-wheeling and a lot of fun. It’s awesome to watch this happen. The magic continues. I’m super proud of this team.”
It’s been a total team effort as not one of the Spartans have won an individual title during the run.
Natasha Ondrea Oon, a senior from Malaysia who is ranked 10th in the nation, was solo third in the Lamkin, and tied for 10th in both the Inkster and at Silverado; No. 28 Antonia Malate, a senior from Seaside, was third at Silverado, tied for 16th in the Inkster and tied for 22nd in the Lamkin; No. 40 Kajsa Arwefjall, a junior from Sweden, tied for fifth in the Inkster and tied for sixth in both the Lampkin and at Silverado, and No. 113 Lucia Lopez-Ortega, a freshman from Spain, tied for fourth in the Inkster, tied for 22nd in the Lamkin and tied for 33rd at Silverado.When the Spartans finished second to Texas Tech in the Mountain View Collegiate, Oon wound up second, Lopez-Ortega tied for third, Louisa Carlbom, a sophomore from Sweden, tied for 18th, and Malate tied for 25th.
Stanford, which won all four of its tournaments in the Fall, also has played well in the Spring, capturing the Gunrock Invitational by 35 strokes over Washington at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, finishing second in the Juli Inkster and the Lamkin, and tying for third in Ping/ASU Invitational.
Top-ranked Rose Zhang, freshman from Irvine, won her first three events with the Cardinal during the Fall and finished second in the Gunrock and the Inkster, tied for fourth in the Lamkin, and tied for 10th in the Ping; 11th-ranked Brooke Seay, a senior from San Diego, tied for fifth in the Gunrock and the Inkster; 16th-ranked Aline Krauter, a senior from Germany, tied for fourth in the Ping, tied for 15th in the Inkster, and tied for 16th in the Gunrock; No. 26 Rachel Heck, a sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., who claimed the 2021 NCAA individual title, got off to a show start this season, but then won the Lamkin and Gunrock titles, and No. 93 Caroline Sturdza, a freshman from Switzerland, tied for 16th in the Gunrock and tied for 19th in the Inkster.
In addition, Seay tied for 65th to win low-amateur honors in the Chevron Championship, the first LPGA Tour major of the year on the Dinah Shore Stadium Course in Mission Hills.
Ninth-ranked USC is led by No. 2 Amari Avery, No. 33 Katherine Muzi, No. 60 Cindy Cou and No. 95 Brianna Navarossa, while No. 17 UCLA has No. 13 Emma Spitz, No. 74 Alessia Nobilio and No. 91 Ty Akabane.
Also in the top 100 are No. 51 California, No. 53 San Diego State, No. 66 Pepperdine, No. 68 San Francisco, No. 73 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, No. 75 Sacramento State and No. 93 Fresno State.