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Women’s golf preps for Windy City Collegiate Classic

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Stanford women’s golf will continue its fall season on Monday, teeing it up at the Windy City Collegiate Classic in Wilmette, Ill. After winning last week’s Molly Collegiate Invitational, the Cardinal will arrive at Westmoreland Country Club as the team to beat.

Stanford’s starting lineup will consist of freshmen Rose Zhang and Caroline Sturdza, sophomore Rachel Heck, junior Angelina Ye and senior Aline Krauter.

As the No. 1 golfer in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Zhang came into last week’s tournament with high expectations. She did not disappoint in her debut, firing rounds of 73, 72 and 68 to claim medalist honors. By winning, Zhang joined an esteemed list of Stanford golfers who captured a victory in their first event, including Heck in 2021 and Andrea Lee in 2016.

Narrowly missing out on the same distinction was fellow freshman Sturdza, who finished in a tie for second place at the Molly. On Tuesday, Sturdza posted the lowest score of the tournament, a five-under-par 67. Her final round performance earned her a spot in this week’s competitive starting lineup.

After missing the Molly due to a non-COVID-19-related illness, Heck will make her season debut on Monday. Last season, Heck won six times and broke nearly every freshman and program record. Her season scoring average of 69.72 shattered the NCAA record, and she was the obvious choice for the Annika Award, which is presented annually to the top female collegiate golfer in the country.

Also making her debut this week is Ye. If not for Heck’s record-breaking performance, Ye’s play would have been the story of last season. Ye finished in the top-11 of every event, and her season scoring average of 71.36 was the third-best in school history.

As the only senior, Krauter brings valuable experience to this week’s lineup. The former All-American collected three top-10 finishes in her junior campaign, including a third place finish at the US Open Collegiate Invitational. Most recently, she finished in a tie for eighth place at the Molly.

The Windy City Collegiate Classic’s field is strong and features top programs such as Duke, South Carolina and Florida. Stanford will need to be firing on all cylinders if it wants to continue its stroke play winning streak, which dates back to the NCAA Regional last season.

The Cardinal are set to tee off on the par-72 Westmoreland Country Club early Monday morning.

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Gavin McDonell is a desk editor in the sports section. He is a sophomore from San Francisco, California who is studying Mathematical and Computational Science and Economics. 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.