Stanford’s Zhang Wins NCAA Individual Title, Leads Cardinal Into Match Play

Freshman Rose Zhang of Stanford captured the individual NCAA Championship and led the Cardinal to victory in the stroke-play portion of the team national event at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The top eight teams in stroke play advance to the match-play portion of the tournament that will determine the national team champion.

Zhang, the top-ranked women’s amateur in the word, posted a score of 68-70-69-75—282, 6-under-par, and Natasha Andrea Oon of San Jose State was second at 77-68-70-70—215, while Jennie Park of Texas A&M shot 73-72-72-70—287 to tie for third with Ingrid Lindblad of LSU, who finished at 74-70-73-70—287.

“I didn’t play very well today and saw virtually every inch of the golf course, so it was very interesting,” said Zhang, who claimed her fourth victory of the season and finished in the top 10 in all 10 tournaments she played. “It was a little frustrating, but I stayed cool, calm and collected.

“I can’t even explain how happy I am to be at Stanford with so many wonderful people, and to win the national championship is the dream of a lifetime. I’m so thankful and truly blessed. It feels so good and I’m just happy to be here.”

Zhang also won the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and the 2021 U.S. Girls Junior Championship.

Tze-Han Lin of Oregon was fifth at 72-71-71-74—288, while Candice Mahe totaled 75-69-77-68—289 to tie for sixth with her Georgia teammate Jenny Bae, who wound up at 76-71-67-75—289, while Chiara Tamburlini of Mississippi was eighth at 74-70-76-70—290.

Emma Spitz of UCLA, who won the 2019 U.S. Girls Amateur and nine titles at home in Austria, shot 74-72-75-70—291 to tie for ninth with Inez Wanamarta of Purdue, who finished at 74-74-70-73—291, Anna Morgan of Furman, who wound up at 72-71-74-74—291, and Beth Lillie of Virginia, who came in wound up at 73-69-75-74—291.

Brianna Navarossa led USC in a tie for 21st at 72-73-75-74—294.

Rounding out the scoring for stroke-play Stanford were Aline Krauter, who totaled 75-74-74-72—295 and finished in a tie for 27th that included Cardinal teammate Sadie Englemann at 71-76-70-78—295, while 2021 NCAA individual champion Rachel Heck tied for 31st at 76-72-70-78—296, and Brooke Seay in a tie for 40th at 75-76-74-72—297,  

Seay made a hole in one on the 16th hole and a birdie on the 17th that helped lift Stanford to victory.

The Cardinal, which claimed its sixth victory of the season, finished at 289-292-283-297—1161, 9-over, while Oregon was second at 297-288-288-291—1164, followed by Texas A&M at 292-297-288-289—1166 and UCLA at 295-291-292-291—1169.

“This is great for our to win the match play and have Rose as the individual national champion,” said Stanford Coach Anne Walker, who led the Cardinal to the NCAA Championship in 2015. “It’s just unbelievable for me as the coach and I just want to soak this in.

“We saw Georgia earlier this season and the girls got a chance to see how they shape up. We’ll try to get some good matchups.”

Auburn was fifth at 296-290-299-290—1175, followed by Florida State at 296-295-296-292—1179, San Jose State at 307-296-285-293—1181, and Georgia at 303-291-298-290—1182.

Finishing out of the top eight and failing to advance were Arizona State in ninth at 302-290-302-290—1184, followed by USC at 298-294-300-293—1185, LSU at 296-291-301-299—1187, Purdue at 301-299-293-296—1189, Texas at 305-295-301-289—1190, South Carolina at 306-300-297-288—1191 and Virginia at 304-299-298-300—1201.

In the first round of match play, Stanford faces Georgia, Oregon meets San Jose State, Texas A&M battles Florida State and UCLA goes against Auburn.

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