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Rose Zhang’s 67 helps power Stanford into second at NCAAs, right on Wake’s heels


As expected, here comes Stanford.

The top-ranked Cardinal spun their wheels a bit to begin this NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship on Friday afternoon, but with a first-off tee time on Saturday at Grayhawk Golf Club, they played like the team we’ve seen all year.

Led by Rose Zhang’s flawless 5-under 67, Stanford shot 15 under, the round of the day by three shots, to move five spots on the leaderboard to second, just two shots back of Wake Forest, which leads at 17 under.

Zhang is T-6 individually at 5 under, five shots behind Wake Forest’s Lauren Walsh, while the Cardinal boast two players at T-9, Sadie Englemann and Megha Ganne, who shot 69 and 72, respectively. Ganne didn’t count as Kelly Xu rebounded from a first-round 77 to shoot 68 and Brooke Seay subbed in for Rachel Heck after Heck’s 85 and fired a 69 in her first college round since the fall.

“I have a lot of trust and faith in these players,” Stanford coach Anne Walker told Golfweek. “They’re all very experienced, so I don’t really know what clicked for them, but I think they just settled into their groove and when they settle in, they’re relaxed. They’re really good players. So, I think that’s what we’re seeing.”

The top 15 teams make the 54-hole cut after Sunday’s third round while the top eight teams after 72 holes advance to match play. Stanford, the reigning NCAA champion, has never not qualified for match play since the women’s game adopted the format at the NCAA Championship in 2015.

Wake Forest is looking to advance to match play for the first time in what is now three tries at Grayhawk. South Carolina, third at 14 under, has never made match play at the NCAA Championship.

The rest of the teams at T-8 or better are Texas (8 under), Oklahoma State (5 under), Texas A&M (5 under), USC (4 under), Florida State (2 under), Pepperdine (2 under) and New Mexico (2 under).

Third-ranked LSU climbed four spots on Saturday to solo 14th, eight shots back of T-8.