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Zhang, women’s golf sweep Windy City Collegiate Classic

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In its second event of the fall season, Stanford women’s golf competed in the Windy City Collegiate Classic at Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette, Ill. The Cardinal posted consistently low scores throughout the tournament to cruise to an eight-stroke victory. On the individual side, freshman Rose Zhang won her second consecutive event to open her collegiate career.

In the morning round on Monday, the Cardinal got off to a quick start and ascended to the top of the leaderboard. Zhang collected three birdies en route to an even par 72. In her season debut, sophomore Rachel Heck made four birdies in a stretch of six holes as she matched Zhang’s low round. Senior Aline Krauter and junior Angelina Ye completed the Cardinal’s scoring with rounds of 74 and 75, respectively.

On Westmoreland’s difficult 6,432-yard layout, no team was able to shoot par or better for a single round. As it turned out, Stanford’s first round total of three-over-par 291 was the lowest of the week. In the afternoon round on Monday, the Cardinal nearly equaled this feat, shooting a four-over-par 292. 

Once again, Zhang led the way for the Cardinal in the second round. She made birdies on the second, sixth, 10th and 12th holes before making her first bogey of the day on the 14th. Ultimately, Zhang finished with a two-under-par 70, which brought her into a tie for first place individually.

Krauter and freshman Caroline Sturdza both shot even par rounds of 72, as Stanford extended its lead to nine shots over second place Texas. 

In the final round on Tuesday, the Cardinal recorded its worst score of the week, a seven-over-par 295. The overnight lead proved to be insurmountable, however — only Virginia finished within 10 shots of Stanford.

Krauter put the finishing touches on a strong tournament, shooting a two-over-par 74. She closed in a tie for seventh place overall. Ye carded a 75, while Heck ended with a 76. 

Chasing her second victory in as many tournaments, Zhang got off to a mercurial start in the final round. She birdied her opening hole before promptly bogeying the second. On the third hole, Zhang made her first double bogey of the week and her college career. Suddenly, she was back to even par for the week and out of the lead.

But Zhang fought back. The No. 1 amateur in the world played clinical golf from the fourth hole onward, making a trio of birdies on the sixth, seventh and ninth holes. A final birdie on the 16th hole allowed her to overtake Florida junior Jackie Lucena for the outright lead.

Zhang needed pars on 17 and 18 for the win, and she accomplished just that. In the end, her final round 70 led to a one-stroke victory over Lucena.

Dating back to last season, the Cardinal have won four consecutive stroke-play events. In each of these events, a Stanford golfer has also brought home medalist honors.

Stanford will look to continue its dominance next week as it returns home to host the Stanford Intercollegiate. The Cardinal will tee off at the Stanford Golf Course on Oct. 15.

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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.