Sophomore Andrea Lee birdied the last two holes to share medalist honors and help Stanford's women's golf team finish second Wednesday in the 22nd Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by Dr. Condoleezza Rice at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.
UCLA blazed a 9-under 275 to overcome a seven-stroke deficit entering the last round and successfully defended its title with a 2-under score of 849 in the three-day tournament. Stanford made a late charge to close at 1-over 284 and placed three strokes back at 852.
"Would we have loved to win, yes," Stanford coach Anne Walker said. "But with all due respect, they outplayed us. They earned that victory. It was a great round."
Lee and Patty Tavatanakit of UCLA posted 4-under 67 rounds Wednesday and deadlocked at 6-under 207. Paired together, Lee stuffed her second shot at the par-4 17th hole to set up a short birdie, then made a clutch 10-foot birdie putt at the par-5 18th hole.
"I actually didn't know how we stood going to the last hole," Lee said. "I thought either she had a one-shot lead or we were tied."
The long-hitting Tavatanakit reached the green in two, while Lee played short and hit a wedge for her third shot. Tavatanakit's 35-foot eagle attempt rolled inside Lee and she narrowly missed her birdie try.
"I didn't know who had won, so it was a nice surprise," said Lee. "She played really well and kept the pressure on me."
Lee, the 2017 National Freshman of the Year, has two wins in three starts this season and five in her career. She also tied for first last month at the Dick McGuire/Branch Law Firm Invitational in New Mexico.
Lee now ranks third all-time in program history, trailing Mhairi McKay (8) and Kathleen McCarthy (6), and has 12 top 10 finishes in 14 career starts.
"She's just steady," said Walker. "And the crazy thing is, she's got more there. I think we're going to continue to see that as she continues to grow as a player and get confident."
After two warm days on the Monterrey Peninsula, conditions returned to semi-normal. The start of the final round was delayed two hours due to dense fog.
Stanford started with a seven-stroke cushion on UCLA, but quickly found itself playing catchup. The chilly 50-degree temperatures didn't bother the Bruins, who turned in 4-under to seize the lead.
The Cardinal fought back and closed within two shots with three holes remaining. But UCLA never faltered as four players broke par.
"We played really well and I'm proud of our team," said Lee. "This a tough golf course. Nine-under is pretty crazy in these conditions."
Cardinal sophomore Albane Valenzuela and freshman Mika Liu made big contributions by tying for fourth at 2-under 211. Valenzuela registered three sub-par rounds (70-70-71) and Lui (68-72-71) notched her third consecutive top 20 showing.
Playing for the Stanford B team, sophomore Ziyi Wang (74-71-74) tied for 17th at 4-over 219, while senior Shannon Aubert (73-74-76) tied for 28th at 10-over 223.
Freshman Kelsey Zeng (76-73-77) produced her best showing by tying for 39th at 13-over 226, followed by senior Calli Ringsby (76-79-76), who tied for 60th at 18-over 231. Fifth-year senior Jisoo Keel (76-77-81) and sophomore Madie Chou (77-78-79) earned a share of 65th at 21-over 234, and junior Sierra Kersten (77-75-85) was 68th.
Stanford returns to competition next Monday and Tuesday in the Pac-12 Preview at Nanea Golf Club in Kailua, Hawaii. Eleven conference teams and Hawaii will compete in the 54-hole event.