Stanford’s Heck Earns AGC Player of Year Award After Five Wins in 2021

Rachel Heck of Stanford, who claimed five invitational championships in the last year, has earned the 2021 Women’s Player of the Year award.

The AGC Women’s Player of the Year is awarded based on a point system earned through performance in major women’s amateur events throughout the course of the year, and Heck finished with 8,400 points to runner-up Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden at 6,500.

Maja Stark of Sweden was third with 5,900, followed Rose Zhang of Irvine and Stanford, the top-ranked women’s golfer in the world with 5,800 points and Emma Spitz of Austria and UCLA with 5,650 points.

The 20-year-old Heck, a sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., who is ranked third in the world became the first Cardinal woman to capture the NCAA Women’s Individual Championship, and also won the NCAA Women’s West Regional, the Pacific 12 Women’s Championship, the Fresno State Classic and the Gunrock Invitational in 2021.

Heck also tied for second in the Ping-ASU Invitational, tied for third in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Canadian Women’s Amateur, tied for fifth in the Spirit International Amateur, tied for 10th in the Stanford Intercollegiate and tied for 11th in the Meadow Club Intercollegiate during her banner year.

Not only that, Heck reached the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur before losing on the 19th hole, and later helped the United States retain the Curtis Cup with a 12.5-7.5 victory over Great Britain and Ireland at Conwy Golf Club in Conwy, Wales, compiling a 2-2-1 record, including a 2-up victory over Louise Duncan in singles.

In addition, Heck became the third player in NCAA history to sweep conference, regional and national titles in one season and set a NCAA record with a 69.72 season scoring average. At one stage during the post-season, Heck recorded her 12th straight round in the 60s.

Heck also was selected winner of the PING/WGCA Player of the Year award, the Annika Award and was named to every All-Pac-12 Conference and All-American team.

All of this was nothing new for Heck, who was a five-time Rolex All-American as a junior golfer and as a 15-year-old made the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open, and was low amateur in the Evian Championship at the age of 16.

Previous winners of the AGC Women’s Player of the Year Award include Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Amanda Blumenhurst, Danielle Kang of Westlake Village and Pepperdine, Lydia Ko of New Zealand, Brooke Henderson of Canada, Leona McGuire of Ireland,  Bronte Law of England and UCLA, Jennifer Chang of USC and Gabriela Ruffels of Australia and USC last year.

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