Rose Zhang and Stanford just keep rolling along and hope to repeat in the NCAAs.
Zhang, a sophomore from Irvine who won the NCAA individual national title last year, and the top-ranked Cardinal both came up with record performances while claiming victories in the NCAA Pullman Regional at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash., to punch their ticket to the NCAA Championships.
Defending national champion Stanford, which claimed its seventh victory of the season, carded a score of 267-274-273—814, 50-under-par, to tie the school record for 54 holes, as Clemson finished second at 285-276-270—831.
Zhang, the top-ranked women’s golfer in the world, shot 64-68-65—197, 19-under-par, to claim the individual title by four strokes and break the Stanford individual tournament record for 54 holes by three strokes.
“We never take this week for granted, but to be able to advance to nationals in the fashion that we did is something quite spectacular,” Stanford Coach Walker said after leading the Cardinal to its sixth NCAA Regionals title.
“It was fun to watch our freshmen stick to the plan we had for the golf course and see that pay off in birdies all around. Kelly (Xu) was a huge contributor and really made it possible for us to match our program record of 50 (under par).
“We can’t wait to get back to Arizona and play Grayhawk again.”
Zhang also tied Tiger Woods, Maverick McNealy and Patrick Rodgers for the Stanford record with 11 individual golf victories.
Stanford teammate Sadie Englemann, a junior from Austin, Texas, was right on Zhang’s tail before she pulled away with birdies on the last four holes to cap her closing 65.
“There are no words left to describe what Rose Zhang has accomplished in college golf and specifically here at Stanford,” Walker said. “It’s mesmerizing to watch and learn from her. She has elevated our entire team and you can see that this week with the huge performances from her teammates.
“Sadie is one of the most dedicated players on our team. She practices with devotion each and every day. This week was a culmination of many hours of practice and preparation. She was flawless for 54 holes and it resulted in a very rare, bogey-free tournament. Her leadership this year is unmatched. She’s the ultimate teammate and ambassador for Stanford Golf.”
USC finished third at 272-291-275—838, followed by Baylor and 283-281-277—841, and Texas Tech at 277-282-286—845.
The top five teams advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Kentucky was sixth at 287-290-271—848, followed by Sacramento State at 283-285-287—855, Houston at 284-292-281—857, North Carolina at 291-298-276—865, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at 286-289-292—867, UNLV at 291-285-292—868 and Wisconsin Green Bay at 311-300-307—918.
Following Zhang and Englemann in the individual standings were Tiffany Le of UC Riverside in solo third at 65-71-66—202, while Camille Boyd of Washington shot 66-69-68—203 to tie for fourth with Shannon Tan of Texas Tech, who wound up at 66-67-70—203.
Savannah Grewal of Clemson totaled 73-68-63—204 to tie for sixth with Sera Hasegawa of Baylor, who finished at 68-68-68—204, while Laney Frye of Kentucky shot 71-72-63—206, to tie for eighth with Kelly Xu of Stanford, who came in at 68-69-69—206, and Melena Barrientos of Clemson 10th at 67-71-69—207.
Leading the scoring for USC in solo 11th was Malia Nam at 68-74-66—208, while Nicole Neale of Cal Poly SLO tied for 17th at 68-70-73—211, Tess Blair of Sacramento State tied for 26th at 74-68-72—214, and Harriet Lynch of Fresno State tied for 49th at 71-73-77—221.
Rounding out the scoring from team champion Stanford were Megha Ganne in a tie for 13th at 71-67-72—210, and Angelina Ye in a tie for 49th at 72-77-72—221.
The NCAA Women’s Championships will be played on May 19-24 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
For complete results, visit: https://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=participants&tid=28078