I guess if your entire five-woman team breaks par for a round even though the No. 4 player in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking is sidelined with an injury, then it looks like you’re ready for the postseason to begin.
Stanford, No. 3 in the latest Golfstat rankings, put together a remarkable 12-under 276 in the middle round on its way to a nine-shot victory over No. 6 UCLA in the Silverado Showdown, which concluded Tuesday at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.
Albane Valenzuela, a freshman from Switzerland and the aforementioned No. 4 amateur in the world, was invited to play in the ANA Inspiration, the LPGA’s first major of the year, but was forced to withdraw due to injury. Not sure what the injury was and what her status is for the postseason, but the Cardinal didn’t miss a beat at the Silverado.
Shannon Aubert, a junior from Stuart, Fla., shot a 1-under 71 over the 6,171-yard, par-72 Silverado Resort layout in Monday’s second round and the Cardinal was able to toss it.
Andrea Lee, a freshman from Hermosa Beach, Calif. and No. 7 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, had a 4-under 68, Casey Danielson, the veteran senior from Osceola, Wis., and Madeline Chou, a freshman from Santa Ana, Calif., each carded a 3-under 69, and Sierra Kersten, a sophomore from Spokane, Wash., had a 2-under 70.
Combined with an opening-round 283 and a positively pedestrian 1-over 289 in the final round, the 276 in the middle gave Stanford a 16-under 848 total. UCLA, led by individual co-champion Lilia Vu, a sophomore from Fountain Valley, Calif., was the runnerup at 7-under 857.
No. 33 Colorado was third at 4-under 860 with a final round of 5-under 283. No. 13 Northwestern, led by co-champion Hannah Kim, a junior from Chula Vista, Calif., and No. 28 California shared fourth place in the 18-team field at 5-over 869. The Wildcats had a final round of even-par 288 while the Golden Bears posted a 2-under 286 in a strong finish.
While No. 2 Southern California headed east for a match-play showdown with No. 1 Alabama – the Trojans lost a close match and finished sixth – in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, the No. 3 Cardinal made a statement heading into the Pac-12 Championship, which will be held April 24 to 26 at the Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz.
Lee, a finalist in the U.S. Girls’ Junior among a fistful of accomplishments in 2016, finished third in the individual chase, cooling off with a final-round 73 after a pair of 68s for a 7-under 209 total. Danielson finished in a tie for fourth at 5-under 211, finishing up with a 73 after a pair of 69s.
Aubert and Kersten were among the group tied for 13th at even-par 216. Aubert’s final round of 2-under 70 was actually the Cardinal’s low score. Kersten finished up with a 75. Chou finished tied for 21st at 2-over 218 after a final-round 73. Jisoo Keel, a senior from Canada competing as an individual, finished tied for 41st at 6-over 222 with three straight rounds of 2-over 74.
While Stanford was going a little crazy in Monday’s middle round, UCLA’s Vu was busy dismantling the Silverado Resort layout to the tune of a 9-under 63. Combined with her opening-round 74 and a final-round 71, it gave Vu an 8-under 208 total and her third straight victory in stroke-play tournaments.
Northwestern’s Kim wasn’t too shabby in the second round either, firing a 6-under 66. She sandwiched that round with a pair of 1-under 71s to get a share of the individual title with Vu.
Colorado’s Brittany Fan, a junior from Pearl City, Hawaii, and Kirsty Hodgkins, a freshman from Australia, and Oregon senior Cathleen Santoso, like Hodgkins an Aussie, joined Stanford’s Danielson in the group that finished tied for fourth at 5-under 211.
Santoso climbed the leaderboard with a final round of 6-under 66. Fan had a final-round 68 and Hodgkins finished up with a 2-under 70.