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Women’s golf to compete for national title

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No. 6 Stanford women’s golf will compete in its 11th consecutive NCAA Championship starting on Friday at Grayhawk Golf Club. After a dominant 30-stroke victory at the NCAA Regional tournament last week, the Cardinal are among the favorites to contend for the national title.

Coach Anne Walker will send out her regular starting lineup: junior Aline Krauter, sophomores Brooke Seay and Angelina Ye and freshmen Sadie Englemann and Rachel Heck.

On the individual side, all eyes will be on Heck this week. She is coming off four straight tournament victories and has been unbeatable in the month of May. She followed up her win at the Pac-12 Championship with an 11-under-par performance to win the NCAA Regional.

Heck’s play in the last month has captured national attention; she was recently named as a finalist for the Annika Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding women’s college golfer in the nation.

If not for Heck’s impressive play, Ye’s golf would likely be the story this season. She has finished in the top-11 in all eight events, and her scoring average of 71.52 is second-best in school history for a sophomore. At the NCAA Regional, she held the tournament lead over Heck for stretches of the back nine before finishing in second place behind her teammate.

Englemann and Seay have been rock solid for the Cardinal all season. Their scoring averages (72.71 and 73.14) rank third and fourth on the team, respectively. Englemann finished in second place at the Olympic Club collegiate before taking the first round lead at the NCAA Regional. Seay has also played well lately, recording four consecutive top-20 finishes. Both golfers have the ability to go low and have been integral to the Cardinal’s success this season.

Rounding out the Stanford lineup is Krauter. Since last year’s NCAA Championship was canceled due to COVID-19, Krauter is the only Cardinal golfer who has experience playing for a national title. In 2019, as a freshman, she shot rounds of 74, 76 and 73 to finish in a tie for 10th in stroke play. In her quarterfinals match, she bested Duke sophomore Miranda Wang. Krauter, who won the Women’s Amateur Championship last summer, has an excellent match play record. Should the Cardinal advance through stroke play qualifying, Kratuer will be a force to be reckoned with in match play.

Stanford women’s golf will tee off Friday morning in Scottsdale, Ariz. with Wake Forest and Ole Miss. The Cardinal will play three rounds of stroke play. They will need to be in the top 15 to make the preliminary cut.

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Gavin McDonell is a staff writer in the sports section. He is a freshman from San Francisco, California who is considering a major in Management Science and Engineering or Mathematics. His rooting interests include the San Francisco Giants, the Golden State Warriors, Max Homa and of course, the Stanford Cardinal. Contact him at gmcdonell 'at' stanforddaily.com.