Kim made it a day for birdie watching at NCAA finals


Sophomore Lauren Kim shelved bookend scores of 67 at the NCAA Women's Golf Championships, the latter of which came Friday at Tulsa Country Club to put the final touches on the season for the Stanford women's golf team.

Kim (67-71-72-67) finished third and goes down as the first Stanford player to finish in the top 10 since Sally Watson tied for ninth in 2007. Her finish is the highest since Audrey Wooding took third in 1992.

Kim used seven birdies -- and four straight midway through her round -- to help give the Cardinal (300-286-294-289) a tie for 18th with Florida at 49-over on the par-70 course.

"That was really exciting for me," Kim said. "I was dropping putts and giving myself good opportunities and good looks at birdie. I was just in the zone and in my rhythm. Everything was working really well, so it was a good stretch of holes and got me going for the rest of the round."

It was the second straight top-20 finish for the Cardinal, which penned the closing pages of a season that featured the program's first Pac-12 Conference title since 1999. The Cardinal also had 12 top-10 finishes in 13 events this season.

The NCAA trip was the 22nd consecutive postseason appearance for the Cardinal, a streak that began in 1993.

After seeing a number of potential birdie putts slip by the hole in her previous two rounds, Kim drained three birdies on the first six holes of her final round. She later birdied nine, 10, 11 and 12 to go to 6-under. A bogey on 14 and double-bogey on the par-5 16th put her at 3-under for the day and the tournament.

"Overall, I was really calm out there," Kim said. "I do not feel like I was being too emotional and I stayed even keel."

With Stanford teeing off in the morning wave of teams, Kim and the Cardinal had to wait until the afternoon groupings wrapped up their round to see what the final standings would reflect.

In the end, Duke (+10) won the team title by two strokes over USC. The Trojans were 10-under in their final round.

Celine Boutier led Duke with her second-place individual finish.

Mariah Stackhouse (75-69-74-71) was up and down with four birdies but one more bogey. At 9-over, the sophomore placed in a tie for 33rd.

Marissa Mar ended her Stanford career with a 76 and was 2-over on the back nine with a birdie on 16. Casey Danielson also had a 76 in her NCAA Championships debut, with Mariko Tumangan coming in at one stroke better for a 75.

Danielson (+21) finished in a tie for 94th, Tumangan (+27) tied for 116th and Mar (+29) shared 118th.

Men's golf

Stanford was one of 15 teams that never got outside the clubhouse as the first round of the NCAA Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club were suspended following delays of eight hours and 10 minutes.

In other news, Stanford's Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson are among the five finalists for the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award.

Rodgers has six collegiate victories this season to tie Tiger Woods' all-time Stanford record for career wins (11). In his last six events, Rodgers has five wins and a runner-up finish.

Wilson corralled his first two collegiate wins this season, opening the campaign with a victory at the Olympia Fields Fighting Illini Invitational and then taking medalist honors at the Western Intercollegiate this spring.

Stanford grad Andrew Yun has broken through on golf's next level up the proverbial ladder, closing with a 3-under 69 at the eGolf Tour's Willow Creek Open on Friday to post 14-under par, good for his first professional win and the event's $15,000 first-place prize.

Men's basketball

Stanford's 6-foot-10 freshman Schuyler Rimmer will be among the 13 men's basketball players who will represent the Pac-12 on a four-game all-star tour of China this summer as part of its Globalization Initiative, the conference announced Friday.

The aim of the initiative is to help support Pac-12 member universities' international outreach efforts, build their brands in an important market, and provide quality educational and cultural exchange experiences for student-athletes.

Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak will guide a roster of players representing 10 of the Conference's 12 members.

"It's an honor to have the chance to represent the University of Utah and the Pac-12 in China this summer," said Krystkowiak. "This is a great educational experience for everyone involved and I can't wait to work with this select group of outstanding student-athletes."

Women's tennis

Senior Kristie Ahn and freshman Carol Zhao concluded play in both singles and doubles at the NCAA Championships on Friday in Athens, GA.

Both players received All-America accolades by reaching the round of 16 in singles. Ahn and Zhao also have an opportunity to be recognized in doubles but would have to finish among the top-10 of the ITA rankings.

After falling behind 6-3 to Georgia State's Abigail Tere-Apisah in the first set, Ahn was forced to retire down 1-0 in the second set due to injury.

It was an unfortunate ending for Ahn, who in addition to clinching Stanford's victory against Texas A&M in the 2013 NCAA championship, will be remembered for her competitive attitude and perseverance through injuries early in her career.

A three-time All-American, Ahn was also named ITA National Senior Player of the Year after compiling a 29-5 overall record and finishing 15-3 in duals, playing all of her matches at the No. 1 spot.

Ranked No. 3 in the country, Ahn was 20-4 against nationally-ranked opponents and captured singles titles at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships and NCTC Classic.

Ahn finished her career with a 97-17 overall record and never lost back-to-back matches during her time on The Farm.

Zhao dropped a 7-5, 6-2 decision to UCLA's Chanelle Van Nguyen, putting the finishing touches on her rookie campaign.

Tabbed the ITA Northwest Region Player to Watch, Zhao finished 30-7 overall and 19-2 in duals, playing all but three matches at the No. 3 spot.

Ranked No. 21 nationally, Zhao notched 27 of her 30 wins in straight sets and enjoyed a 17-match winning streak that spanned from Jan. 19-April 12.

In addition to reaching the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Championships and ITA Northwest Regional Championships, Zhao provided the clinching point in four matches.

Ahn and Zhao then teamed up in doubles but suffered a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Miami's Monique Albuquerque and Clementina Riobueno in the round of 16. Ahn and Zhao posted a 29-6 overall record and was 15-2 in duals.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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