Stanford's Valenzuela finishes in top half of Olympic golf


Stanford incoming freshman Albane Valenzuela finished her first Olympics experience tied for 21st place with a four-round score of 2-under 282 Saturday on the Olympic Golf Course in Rio.

One of three amateurs in the field of 60, Valenzuela played consistently well, shooting rounds of 71, 68, 72, and 71. She matched Ireland's Leona Maguire for top amateur.

Korea's Inbee Park won the gold medal with a four-day total of 268. New Zealand's Lydia Ko, the world's No. 1 player, earned the silver medal with a 273. China's Shanshan Feng shot 274 for the bronze.

"Well it definitely feels unreal. This is something I've been really dreaming of doing this week and to get to represent your country in the Olympic games and be able to get a gold medal is such a special feeling," Park told Golf Channel. "I putted well all four rounds. I've gone through some tough times, but this is definitely a big relief."

Stacey Lewis placed fourth with a 275 as the top American.

Valenzuela's final round 71 included an eagle and a pair of birdies.

She will compete in the Evain Championship in France in three weeks before arriving at Stanford for the fall quarter.

Valenzuela tied for 67th the U.S. Women's Open earlier in the year. She was one of three amateurs to make the cut.

Her best finish was a fourth-place tie at the Tipsport Golf Masters in Czech Republic, part of the Ladies European Tour.

Valenzuela placed second at the Portuguese International Ladies Amateur in January.

Stanford's first competition is scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4 at the Windy City Challenge in Chicago.

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