Stanford women’s golf returns to action Monday for its final regular-season event of the year: the Fresno State Classic at Copper River Country Club. With one tournament victory already and a couple of close calls to boot, the Cardinal are the favorite to take home the title this week in Fresno.
Stanford’s starting lineup will include junior Aline Krauter, sophomores Angelina Ye and Brooke Seay and freshmen duo Rachel Heck and Sadie Englemann. Fifth-year Ziyi Wang, junior Calista Reyes and freshman Rebecca Becht will compete for the individual side.
Heck has had an exceptional freshman campaign thus far. The five-time American Junior Golf Association All-American lived up to high expectations in her collegiate debut, running away from the field for an 11-under-par victory. She backed up her emphatic win in Sacramento with strong performances at the Juli Inkster Invitational and the Ping ASU Invitational, where she finished runner-up.
Most recently, Heck was one of three Cardinal golfers to play in the second annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Heck posted back-to-back rounds of 73 to make the cut and advance to the final round at Augusta National. She got off to a slow start in the last round, but made clutch birdies at the 12th, 14th and 15th holes to get within striking distance of the lead. On the 18th hole, she faced a right-to-left par putt that would earn her a spot in a playoff. Unfortunately, the putt just slipped past the hole on the glassy Augusta greens.
In the end, she finished in a tie for third behind Japan’s Tsubasa Kajitani and Wake Forest senior Emilia Migliaccio.
Also in the field at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur were Ye and Englemann. Ye posted solid rounds of 76, 74 and 73 to finish in 15th place. Englemann struggled to rounds of 84 and 80 and missed the cut. However, her recent performance in collegiate events (eighth at the Juli Inskter Invitational and 10th at the Gunrock Invitational) suggests that she is ready to contend at the Fresno State Classic.
Krauter received an invitation to play at Augusta, but she chose to play in a professional major championship, the ANA Inspiration, instead.
Walking the fairways with the best golfers in the world, Krauter grinded to make the cut. She was within the cut line heading into the back nine on Friday, but bogeys on the 10th and 14th holes prevented her from playing the weekend. Still, it was a successful outing for Krauter, playing in her first professional major. It certainly will not be her last.
The Stanford women’s golf team has not played a tournament in the past two weeks. However, the Cardinal golfers have been active as individuals, competing in some of the most important amateur and professional tournaments in the world. This week’s event will be a good team tune-up for the Cardinal before the Pac-12 Championships.
Stanford will face off against 14 teams in the Fresno State Classic, including Cal Poly, Nevada, Santa Clara, UC Davis and tournament host Fresno State. The Cardinal will play 36 holes Monday and 18 Tuesday in this 54-hole stroke play event.