It was business as usual on Friday for the top-ranked Stanford women’s team, as the Cardinal shot an 8-under 276 to take the first-round lead of the Stanford Intercollegiate.
Sophomore Rose Zhang leads the individual field after firing a bogey-free, 5-under 66 while junior Sadie Englemann also turned in a clean card with a 4-under 67. Freshman Megha Ganne was also in red numbers, finishing with a 1-under 70 in her first tournament at Stanford Golf Course.
At 5 under, Zhang is nursing a one-stroke lead over Englemann, Taglao Jeeravivitaporn of Iowa State, Anna Zanusso of Denver and Lucia Lopez-Ortega of San Jose State. 21 players managed to break par at the venerable Stanford Golf Course, which is playing at 6,269 yards this week.
With her opening round 66, Zhang is 21 under in her last four rounds at the Stanford Intercollegiate after winning last year’s tournament with a 16-under score of 197.
Stanford’s 8-under 276 on Friday gave the Cardinal a three-stroke lead over San Jose State, a team that defeated its neighbor to the north twice last season at the Lampkin Invitational and Juli Inkster Intercollegiate.
The Spartan’s 5-under 279 was led by Lopez-Ortega’s 4-under 67 and a 3-under 68 by Antonia Malate, who was tied with Zhang for the individual lead until she made bogeys on her final two holes and had to settle for a 68. The Spartans also benefitted from an even par 71 by senior Kajsa Arwefjall.
Denver (-3), Northwestern (-2) and Virginia (-1) round out the top-five.
Zanusso (-4) and Clara Gestsdottir (-2) did the heavy lifting for Denver, as Martha Richards’ team more than held their own against some of the top programs in the nation on Friday.
Neither seventh-ranked Texas, No. 11 USC or Georgia could find a hot hand on Friday and are tied for sixth at even par.
The Stanford Intercollegiate continues with second-round action on Saturday with the final 18 holes slated for Sunday.
For the full leaderboard from the Stanford Intercollegiate, click here to see the post from our partners at AmateurGolf.com.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek