The ninth-ranked Stanford women's golf team maintained its lead Monday at the Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by Condoleezza Rice.
The defending national champion Cardinal improved six strokes at Stanford Golf Course, combining for a four-player total of 3-under-par 281 and will take a three-shot advantage over 11th-ranked UCLA and a nine-stroke cushion over top-ranked USC into Tuesday's final round of the 54-hole tournament.
Stanford has a 36-hole score of even-par 568 (287-281), while UCLA is at 3-over 571 (289-282) and USC lurks at 9-over 577 (293-284). Stanford and USC were co-champions in 2014.
"Really pleased with this spot through two rounds," said Anne Walker, Stanford's Director of Women's Golf. "Now we just have to look at it as a one-round match. UCLA brought it on the back nine today and we really felt their energy. I could see them huddling after the round and they're going to be ready to play. And USC has shown that they can go low at any moment."
Marissa Chow of Pepperdine continues to lead in the medalist competition. After opening with a 5-under-par 66, she shot 70 on Tuesday and is at 6-under 136.
Bronte Law of UCLA, the 2014 winner, is at 137 (67-70), while Stanford sophomore Shannon Aubert is third at 139 after posting a team-best 67 on Monday.
Playing in overcast conditions in the morning and warm sunshine in the afternoon, Aubert carded five birdies and one bogey.
She made back-to-back birdies at the par-3 third and fourth holes, and added another at the par-3 eighth to make the turn in 2-under 33.
Aubert also birdied the par-4 11th and par-4 15th, and played the five par-3s in a combined 3-under.
"It was just a combination of things," Aubert said. "When I was in trouble, I was able to get myself out of it. Most of the time when I gave myself an opportunity, I was able to capitalize on it."
Aubert managed key par saves on the par-3 14th and par-5 16th holes to maintain her momentum.
"No room for complaints," she said.
Walker said Aubert's hard work is paying off.
"That's been coming for a while," said Walker. "She wants it and is really focused on the long-term goals. The big thing about Shannon is she's coachable and wants to get better."
Junior Casey Danielson and senior Lauren Kim also broke par with 1-under 70s. Danielson is tied for sixth at 1-under 141 (71-70), while Kim is tied for 15th at 2-over 144 (74-70).
Danielson collected four birdies and was 2-under for the last eight holes, while Kim fashioned five birdies and shot 1-under on the back nine.
Senior Mariah Stackhouse (73-74) and junior Quirine Eijkenboom (71-76) are tied for 26th at 5-over 147. Cardinal freshman Sierra Kersten (74-76), competing as an individual, is tied for 51st at 8-over 150.
The Cardinal will be looking for its second victory of the season, previously winning at the season-opening Branch Law Firm Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"If you're in that last group, then the energy is just different than any other group on the course," said Walker. "And so you get to experience that intensity, that moment of the battle and competition. And that only makes you better."