Leading wire-to-wire, No. 12 Stanford made the most of its home course advantage to capture its fourth tournament in succession and qualifying for a berth in the NCAA Championships, May 24-29, at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It will be Stanford's 12th trip in the last 15 years.
The last time the Cardinal won four consecutive tournaments was in 2013-14. Coming into the regional, the Cardinal prevailed at The Goodwin, the Western Intercollegiate and Pac-12 Championships.
In its last four start, the Cardinal is an accumulative 48-under.
"We're happy that we picked up our fourth win a row and we just want to keep this momentum going," said Stanord coach Conrad Ray. "Now anything is possible when you get a ticket to the big show."
Salinda, competing on his home course for the last time, earned medalist honors for the second time in a month. He shot rounds of 67-68-68 to conclude at 10-under 200. Salinda scored his first victory collegiate triumph last month at the Western Intercollegiate.
"Perfect way to end it," Salinda said. "It was kind of tough day with the conditions and I knew it wouldn't be easy. To finish strong like that feels really good."
Salinda broke a three-way tie with back-to-back birdies at the par-4 15th and par-5 16th holes. He made an eight-footer at 15, then flushed a 221-yard 4-iron on the green with his second shot at 16 and nearly made the 12-foot eagle putt.
"I didn't do any one thing particularly great," said Salinda. "Everything was really solid. I drove it well and when I was out of position, I was able to save pars and keep the momentum going."
Stanford closed with a field-best 8-under-par 272 to finish the 54-hole, 13-team regional at 23-under 817. It was the sixth regional crown for the Cardinal, who previously won in 1996, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Arizona State and North Carolina tied for second at 11-under 829, while Georgia Southern claimed fourth and LSU placed fifth. All advance to the NCAA Championships.
In all, 30 teams and six individuals from six regional sites qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Cardinal junior David Snyder secured his third top-10 in his last four starts by tying for second, posting scores of 67-68-68 to finish at 7-under 203. He was runner-up at The Goodwin in late March.
Senior Brandon Wu continued his stellar play and tied for sixth. He shot rounds of 68-67-69 to wind up at 6-under 204 and has finished in the top-10 in five-of-his-last-six starts and hasn't finished lower than 11th.
Junior Henry Shimp recorded his best round of the week with a 68 and shared 43rd with freshman Daulet Tuleubayev (74) at 6-over 216.
No. 4 Stanford begins play in the NCAA Championships on Friday at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Cardinal advanced out of the East Lansing Regional by virtue of their fourth-place finish.
Stanford makes its 10th straight appearance at the NCAA Championships and the program's 28th all-time appearance. The Cardinal have made it to the semifinals in four straight years, winning Stanford's only national title in 2015.
"We're just excited to be going," Stanford coach Anne Walker said. "Once you get to the national championship, all 24 teams have a chance to get hot and we're preparing like it's going to be us. Hopefully it will be."
Stanford is looking for its second national championship in program history. The Cardinal has finished in the Top 5 10 times in program history at NCAA Championships and has 16 Top 10 finishes.
"We haven't seen the course, but I've heard many people say it's really challenging," Walker said. "We're prepared for that as the Stanford Golf Course is really challenging. It demands off the tee, it demands on the second shot. We're used to playing that type of course."
Cardinal golfers Andrea Lee and Albane Valenzuela are on the ANNIKA Award final watch list, which consists of the top 10 players in the country.
Lee and Valenzuela are also on the watch list for the PING WGCA Player of the Year Award. The Cardinal is one of just two schools with two golfers on the 10-person watch list. Only the top 60 players from the Golfstat and Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings are considered, and players must have played at least 15 competitive rounds to have been considered.
"It's a long week, but luckily we have some players with that experience," Walker continued. "Last week we struggled on the first day of Regionals, but that was a good reminder for us. If you have that same round at NCAAs, you can't come back from it. No matter what is happening on the course, we have to keep grinding through every shot."
Lee looks to become the program's leader in career wins. She has eight career wins in 32 starts, tied with Mhairi McKay (1994-97) for the most in school history.
In her 32 career starts, she has posted eight wins, 26 top-10 and 20 top-5 finishes. This season, Lee has two victories with six Top 10s. Eleven of her 22 rounds have been under par with 13 rounds at even or better. Her scoring average is 71.86 while playing the toughest schedule in college golf with a 461-52-15 record.
Valenzuela has continued her standout career, posting a win at the East Lake Cup in October and tied for first at the Pac-12 Championship. She has four Top 10 finished with eight rounds under par and 11 rounds out of 22 at even par or better. She has a scoring average of 72.23 this season.
Friday's first round weather forecast calls for a high of 83 degrees and partly cloudy skies.
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