Sports

Stanford women golfers tee it up at NCAAs

 

Stanford will begin play at the 2011 NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Wednesday at The Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas, where the Cardinal will be paired with Florida and Washington for the first 36 holes of the event.

The Cardinal, Gators and Huskies will be paired all three days of the tournament.

Also included in the field are Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Coastal Carolina, LSU, Minnesota, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, South Carolina, USC, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UC Davis, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Stanford, which qualified for the event by finishing seventh at the Central Regional in South Bend, Ind., is making its 26th overall appearance at the NCAA Championships. The Cardinal has enjoyed 16 top-10 finishes over the years, highlighted by a second place showing at the 2000 event in Sun River, Ore. Its last top-10 showing came in 2007, when it finished fifth.

Stanford placed 19th in last year's event held at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, NC, where Purdue won the team event with a one stroke victory over USC.

The Cardinal is expected to start a lineup consisting of sophomore Kristina Wong, sophomore Sally Watson, senior Rebecca Durham, freshman Marissa Mar and junior Lila Barton.

Wong has enjoyed five, top-10 finishes this season, including four in a row during one stretch. She continues to lead the team in stroke average at 73.4. Watson has been Stanford's top finisher in each of the last two events, carding a three-over 219 to finish 12th at the Pac-10 Championships before tying for 14th at the Central Regional.

Both Watson and Wong had strong showings in their inaugural NCAA Championships appearances last year as freshman. Watson closed with a final-round 66 and to secure a ninth-place finish at 286. Wong turned in a final-round 67 to tie for 27th at 293.

Stanford is not unfamiliar with The Traditions Club, designed by Jack Nicklaus. The Cardinal was joined by many of the other teams in this week's championship field at the Texas A&M Fall Preview, held in September at the same venue. The Cardinal finished 17th at 910, while Durham was the team's top finisher, tying for 46th at 224.

Baseball

After having Tuesday night's scheduled home game with USF rained out, nationally No. 25-ranked Stanford (28-18, 10-11 Pac-10) now moves on to host its final four regular-season games starting on Friday, when the Cardinal host Arizona (32-17, 11-10 Pac-10) starting on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Two weeks remain in the regular season with NCAA Regional selections set for Memorial Day.

Rowing

Stanford was one of 16 teams selected to participate in the NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships, scheduled May 27-29 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, on the waters of Lake Natoma.

The announcement marks the third straight year in which the Cardinal will participate in the event as a team. Stanford won the NCAA team title, as well as the I Eight title, the first NCAA rowing titles in program history, in 2009.

The team championship is composed of 16 teams, with each team required to field boats in the I Eight, II Eight and Four classes. Stanford is one of five Pac-10 schools to earn bids to the NCAA Championships, being joined by California, USC, Washington and Washington State.

Defending NCAA team champion Virginia, Brown, Clemson, Dartmouth, Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Wisconsin and Yale make up the rest of the championship field.

Stanford, ranked third in the most recent CRCA/USRowing Coaches' Poll, finished second in the team standings at the Pac-10 Championships at Lake Natoma this past Sunday. The II Eight won its second consecutive Pac-10 title while the I Eight earned the silver medal for the second straight year.

The Cardinal, in addition to winning the team national title in 2009, finished fourth last year. The I Eight has now reached the NCAA Championships five straight years, highlighted by a national title in 2009 and the national silver medal in 2008.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Sports Information

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