By Inyoung Choi
Stanford women’s golf celebrated a successful weekend at its home course finishing 5-under 847 for second place at the Stanford Intercollegiate. Stanford freshman Angelina Ye took home the honor of individual champion — her first title at her second collegiate tournament of the season — with a stunning 10-under performance.
No. 10 Stanford began the weekend following a win in its last tournament in Oregon and a bitter loss in a match against rival Cal.
The Cardinal began with a great start on Friday, ending the first round 4-under 280, putting them in a close second after No. 8 Arizona State, who finished the day 6-under 278. Ye showcased four birdies and an eagle to lead the tournament.
The second day proved to be a slight challenge for the Cardinal, as it settled for 2-over 286, putting Stanford six strokes behind Oregon’s lead at 8-under.
The Cardinal women successfully finished the final stretch on Sunday, placing second overall, five strokes behind Arizona State who ended the tournament 10-under 842. Ye shot 5-under 66 on Sunday to win her first collegiate career victory with a total of 10-under 203 for the entire weekend.
This successful weekend was a promising one for Stanford’s younger players. The Cardinal seemed to face a tough challenge given the absence of several key senior players. Seniors Andrea Lee and Albane Valenzuela did not play this weekend in order to head to the LPGA Qualifying Stage II in Florida. Lee was recently awarded the prestigious Mark H. McCormack Medal as the top women’s player in World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and has been named All-American and All-Pac-12 for three consecutive years. Valenzuela, also a decorated athlete, was the first Cardinal to be named Pac-12 Women’s Golfer of the Year in her junior season.
But the Cardinal took this big gap in the team as an opportunity for younger players to shine. The team’s five-person line up featured Ye, sophomore Aline Krauter, senior Ziyi Wang, sophomore Calista Reyes and freshman Brooke Seay. Junior Mika Liu and junior Kelsey Zeng competed as individuals as well.
“Obviously the leadership [the seniors bring], we love and that was the part we were wondering how we were going to bear, but I think we can all see that the young players are fearless and have great energy amongst them and I just really loved the way they played,” said head coach Anne Walker.
This tournament leaves much to look forward to for Stanford’s road ahead.
“It is such an honor to have my first win here at our home course — it’s a very spectacular feeling,” said Ye as she reflected on her victorious performance this weekend. “I played good out there this week, but there’s definitely also a couple of things I could still work on and improve.”
Apart from her strong start as a golfer, Ye, who started her first year three weeks ago, says she has loved the college experience so far.
“So far, juggling school work with golf has worked out okay,” she said with a chuckle. “I got lost a couple of times the first week but I think I’m getting able to get to places without Google maps.”
Ye and the rest of the women’s golf team will step away from competition for a few weeks. The program returns to the tee on Nov. 4 with the Pac-12 Preview in Hawaii.