Sports

Stanford golf: Men win Pac-12 title, women in NCAA regional

 
Stanford came from behind to win the Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship on Wednesday in Eugene. Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

For the fourth time in six years, Stanford captured the Pac-12 Men's Golf Championships, coming from behind on Wednesday at cold and breezy Eugene Country Club. It marks the 11th conference title for the program.

Trailing Cal by four strokes starting the fourth and final round, the Cardinal surged in front early on the front nine and never relinquished the lead. Stanford closed with a 4-over-par 359 in tough conditions to conclude at 7-under 1,413. UCLA earned second at 1,420 and Cal was third at 1,421.

"I think the wind surprised everyone today, but we did a good job all week keeping the big numbers off the card," said Conrad Ray, the Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf. "We had a couple but dodged the bullet and made the birdie putts when it mattered."

Wednesday's win was the third-straight by the No. 15 Cardinal, following triumphs at The Goodwin and Western Intercollegiate. The last time Stanford won three-consecutive tournaments was in 2013-14, when it claimed The Goodwin, Western Intercollegiate, Pac-12 Championships and NCAA Regional.

Once again, Stanford received contributions from throughout the lineup, with four-of-six players earning top-10 finishes. Senior Isaiah Salinda closed with an even-par 71 and placed fifth at 3-under 281, while senior Brandon Wu (73) and freshman Daulet Tulebayev (72) tied for seventh at 1-under 283. Junior David Snyder (71) finished at even-par 284 to secure a share of 10th. Sophomore Nate Menon (73) tied for 23rd at 6-over 290 and junior Henry Shimp (75) tied for 37th at 10-over 294.

Wednesday's five counting players recorded 10 birdies during the last seven holes. Tuleubayev reeled off three in a row and Snyder finished birdie-birdie. Salinda and Wu birdied No. 17 and Menon birdied two of his last six.

"All week we kind of made our birdies on the back nine and did that again today," Ray said. "Everyone contributed in a good way and I was happy for the guys to pull it out."

Salinda (51) and Snyder (50) finished first and second in the field in pars made, while Tuleubayev ranked first in par-5 scoring (4.33) and led the Cardinal with 16 birdies.

Collin Morikawa of Cal won the individual title at 12-under 272.

Stanford is now a combined 25-under par during its current three-tournament win streak and 35-under in its last four starts. In the last three events, the team has posted the top final-round score.

"Momentum is a real thing in team golf and I think our guys are feeling that," said Ray. "Our guys are motivated to see where we can ride this thing. We have great young team and they are hungry to go win."

The Cardinal will host an NCAA Regional at Stanford Golf Course, May 13-15. Participants for all regional sites will be announced next Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the Golf Channel.

Women's golf

After posting two wins and five top-three finishes so far this season, No. 4 Stanford has been selected as the No. 1 seed in the East Lansing Regional.

The three-day, 54-hole Regional will take place from Monday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 8 and will be played at Forest Akers West Golf Club.

“We are definitely thrilled to earn a No. 1 seed,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “It’s a reflection of the team’s play up until this point. They have earned that merit with their hard work and performance."

Stanford is making its 27th straight appearance in an NCAA Regional. The Cardinal has won its Regional three straight times and has advanced to the NCAA Championships in each of the last nine seasons.

“It’s a new season and it becomes a one tournament challenge," Walker said. "We are excited about that challenge. We will do our best to prepare for the travel, weather, golf course and time change. From there, we will have fun and enjoy the postseason stage.”

Last season, Ziyi Wang paced the Card with a second-place finish at the Regional while Albane Valenzuela was the Regional champion in 2017.

The Cardinal is led by juniors Andrea Lee and Valenzuela, who were both named to the April ANNIKA Award Watch List on Wednesday morning. The ANNIKA Award goes to the top player in college women’s golf, as selected by college golfers, coaches and members of the golf media.

Lee has posted two wins this year and is tied with Mihairi McKay (1994-97) for the most career wins in program history with eight. In 31 career starts, Lee has the eight victories, 26 top-10s and 20 top-5 finishes. Valenzuela, coming off a tie for first at the Pac-12 Championship, has posted two wins and three top-three finishes this season.

— Mark Soltau

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