The defending national champion Stanford women's golf team finds itself in third place after the opening day of the NCAA Stanford Regional on Thursday at Stanford Golf Course.
No. 12 Cardinal produced a five-over score of 289, trailing only leader and No. 2 USC (three-over 287) and No.15 Virginia (four-over 288).
Senior Mariah Stackhouse carded a two-over 69, matching her lowest round of the season to lead the Cardinal. She tallied six birdies, including two of her final three holes. Recently switching to a left-hand-low, crosshanded putting grip, Stackhouse birdied the par-3 fourth, eighth and 17thholes, nearly acing the latter. She rolled in a 48-foot putt from just off the green at No. 8.
"It's just worked wonders," she said. "I was really solid from 10 feet and in."
Junior Casey Danielson (one-over 72) and sophomore Shannon Aubert (two-over 73) are Stanford's other representatives among the top-30. Freshman Sierra Kersten shot 74 and senior Lauren Kim added a 75. The top four scores count each round.
Danielson posted two birdies, while Aubert poured in birdies at 12, 13 and 15.
Colorado State's Katrina Prendergast, one of six individuals in the field, topped the leaderboard with a three-under 68, carding seven birdies. UC Riverside's Jakeishya Le is tied for second with Stackhouse at two-under.
The rough is penal, as only six of the 96 players in the field broke par.
"It's playing tough," said Stackhouse. "You have to play smart."
Stanford begins second-round play at 9:20 a.m. PT on the first tee.
Stanford earned the top seed in the NCAA Tucson Regional Championships. The Cardinal earned an automatic bid into the event after winning the Pac-12 Conference title last week in Salt Lake City.
The NCAA Tucson Regional will be contested at the Gallery Golf Club, where Stanford won the 2014 Pac-12 Championships.
Six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 16-18. Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.
Stanford is one of four teams in its regional that made the NCAA Championships in 2015, along with Oregon, UAB and Georgia Tech. The Ducks will host this year's NCAA Championships (May 27-June 1) at Eugene Country Club.
Hayley Hodson was named to the Pac-12 All-Conference second team, as announced by the conference on Thursday.
Hodson played 13 of her 17 matches at the No. 1 spot, finishing with a 4-13 record. Her four wins came consecutively with partner Payton Chang, while 10 of Hodson's 17 matches went three sets.
Hodson was named AVCA Freshman of the Year and Volleyball Magazine Freshman of the Year following Stanford's indoor campaign in the Fall.