STANFORD, Calif. – Three members of the Stanford women’s golf team competed at the U.S. Women’s Amateur this past week at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y. Mariah Stackhouse, Lauren Kim and Casey Danielson each represented the Cardinal at the national event.
The Cardinal trio advanced to the match-play portion of the tournament following two rounds of stroke play. Danielson (71-70) and Stackhouse (71-70) tied for eighth at 1-over with Kim tying for 21st at 4-over.
Stackhouse survived a 20-hole scare courtesy of Thailand’s Chakansim Khamborn to advance to the round of 32 in match play. She was one of three Stanford players to win their first-round match, as Kim defeated Saki Iida, 4 & 2, while Casey Danielson ousted Seshia-Lei Telles, 6 & 4.
Things got interesting in the round of 32 when Stackhouse and Kim squared off in a battle of Stanford’s two All-Americans and rising juniors. In fact, it was the first time two Cardinal All-American golfers met at the U.S. Amateur since Tiger Woods and Joel Kribel dueled in the 1996 men’s event.
“She’s my best friend at school,” said Stackhouse after suffering a 4 & 3 defeat.
“It’s always tough playing a teammate and one of my best friends,” added Kim.
Manipulating the draw wasn’t an option, so the two Stanford juniors focused on the task at hand. Neither chatted much throughout the round. No talk of upcoming class schedules, home football games, team functions or social gatherings.
Kim immediately set the tone for the match by holing out for birdie from a greenside bunker at the first hole. Another winning birdie at the second put her 2-up. With her 20-foot birdie at the ninth, she owned a 5-up advantage at the turn.
Stackhouse trimmed the lead to three holes with winning pars at 10 and 11, the latter coming courtesy of a rules infraction. As Kim went to address her ball in the rough, it moved ever so slightly. She quickly called the penalty on herself.
But Kim kept the momentum from turning further. Up-and-down pars on 12 and 13 were crucial and she closed out the match by holing a three-foot birdie putt on the par-5 15th.
Three weeks ago, Kim was on the outside looking in for the U.S. Women’s Amateur. A first alternate from her sectional qualifier, she received a mulligan when Eun Jeong Seong became fully exempt by being a U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links finalist. Having already qualified for the Women’s Amateur at Palos Verdes Golf Club (Calif.), Seong’s qualifying spot was returned to her sectional, where Kim had lost a playoff with Kaley In for the last spot.
Kim was in Wisconsin visiting Danielson when the phone call came from the USGA.
“We were on the lake … and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I just got into the [Women’s] Am,’” said Kim. “That was exciting news to have the opportunity to play.”
Grace Na won 2-up on Kim in the round of 16, when Kristen Gillman also knocked out Danielson, 5 & 3. Danielson won her second-round bout with Angel Yin, 4 & 3.