Sports

Stanford a winner at Western Intercollegiate

 
Stanford shot 10-under on the final day to claim a team victory at the Western Intercollegiate in Santa Cruz on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

Stanford swept both the team and individual titles Wednesday at the Western Intercollegiate presented by Topgolf, the second consecutive victory for the country’s 17th ranked program.

The Cardinal saved its best effort for the final day, shooting 10-under par as a team on Wednesday to capture the team championship by six shots at a combined 10-under par. California finished in second at a combined 4-under par, followed by third-round leaders San Jose State, who finished at a combined 1-over par.


Isaiah Salinda/Stanford Athletics

Albane Valenzuela /Stanford Athletics
“I can’t be more proud of my guys,” said Stanford coach Conrad Ray. “Isaiah has had some really close calls. He’s had a phenomenal run over the last couple of years. He’s deserving and has been working really hard."

Stanford's Isaiah Salinda outlasted San Jose State's Sean Yu (San Jose State) in the individual competition after making a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th – the fifth playoff hole and longest playoff in Western Intercollegiate history – to earn the coveted Blue Jacket.

Salinda, the first-wire-to-wire winner since Justin Suh (USC) in 2017, was tied with Yu at 8-under par after regulation of play. Salinda turned in an even-par 70, with Yu carding 3-under par 67 in Wednesday’s final round. The win was the first career collegiate victory for the Stanford senior.

“I was really proud of them on the back nine, especially today,” Ray continued. “We kept the bogeys off the card. If it wasn’t a par it was a birdie. That is what it takes to win.”

Stanford also won their previous event, The Goodwin, in late March.

As the individual medalist, Salinda received the coveted Blue Jacket, honoring legendary Pasatiempo Golf Club course designer Alister MacKenzie, also the designer of Augusta National Golf Club.

Brandon Wu erupted for eight, last-day birdies and fired a 65. He was one of three Stanford players to break par. Junior David Snyder also caught fire on the back side with five birdies and fashioned a 66, while junior Henry Shimp added a 68. Freshman Daulet Tulebayev contributed a 71 and sophomore Nate Menon shot 73.

Wu and Shimp concluded a 1-under 209 and tied for 11th, Snyder wound up at 2-over 212 and knotted for 17th, Tuleubayev wound up at 4-over 214 and tied for 24th, and Menon finished at 218 and tied for 47th.

"Our team definitely made their share of birdies the last two days," Ray said. "This team just keeps plodding along. Everybody stepped up and made some great shots when it mattered."

Playing as individuals, freshman Freddie Lee closed with a 69 and tied for 17th, and freshman Ethan Ng added a 70 to share 47th.

Stanford resumes competition next Monday through Wednesday at the Pac-12 Championships at Eugene Country Club in Oregon.

Women's golf

No. 4 Stanford finished fourth and junior Albane Valenzuela tied for first but was defeated on the first playoff hole as the Pac-12 Women's Golf Championship came to a close on Wednesday at Palos Verdes Golf Club. The Cardinal carded a 16-over 868 as a team as No. 1 USC came away with the team title on their home course.

"Everyone is disappointed with the way we played today," Stanford coach Anne Walker said. "It just wasn't our day. As always, though, there are a ton of positives to take away from this week. Finishing in the top four in the Pac-12 is always a success and Albane (Valenzuela) tying for first is a true highlight. Of course, we all wish she could have won the playoff, but I am so proud of her 54 holes of golf, she was amazing."

Valenzuela entered the day as the outright leader at 7-under, but Arizona State's Olivia Mehaffey forced a playoff as both golfers finished at 4-under through 18 holes. On the first playoff hole, No. 18, Valenzuela and Mehaffey both hit their tee shots onto the fairway.

Valenzuela's second shot would end up on the green, leaving her with a very lengthy birdie putt, while Mehaffey's approach was much closer to the pin, but just off the green. Valenzuela's third shot came up about 12 feet short of the hole, while Mehaffey's chip shot would land about six feet from the hole. Mehaffey would sink her putt after a Valenzuela miss to claim individual medalist honors.

Junior Andrea Lee and freshman Aline Krauter both led the Cardinal with 1-over 72s on Wednesday. Lee carded four birdies on the day, but had three bogeys and a double through very tough and windy conditions throughout the round. Krauter, after a 9-over 80 on Monday to open the tournament, carded her second-straight day of 1-over 72.

She had three birdies on the day to go along with two bogeys and a double. Ziyi Wang finished 3-over on the day while Mika Liu carded a 5-over 76.

The Cardinal now awaits its postseason regional destination. Regionals begin on Monday, May 5

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