Date: March 16, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Zhou toast of Arizona

Victoria's Wanasa Zhou has posted a series of career-bests to power to her first collegiate victory in the United States.

The Chinese-born Zhou, formerly a member at Melbourne's Riversdale Golf Club, blew away the field at the 54-hole MountainView Collegiate tournament at the MountainView Golf Club near Tucson, Arizona.

Her opening seven-under-par 65 was her career-best, but it didn't take long for her to match it with a second course-record 65 on day two to put her University of Arizona team into an unassailable position.

Her final-round 73 momentarily brought Houston's Leonie Harm back into contention for the overall title, but as she had throughout the event, Zhou went low on the back nine to pull away for a four-stroke victory at 13 under par.

Zhou's 203 total was a tournament record, leading her Wildcats team to a record 14-under total and a record 21-shot win over New Mexico State.

"I felt I played extremely well the first two rounds, posting my career best," Zhou told the website.

"Nerves kind of got in the way during the third round, however I fought really hard on the back nine and maintained a good lead going into the last hole.

"My driver and putter were really good this week, which gave me the chance to make many birdies out there and the course just fits my eye really well and boosted my confidence quite a bit.

"It feels great to win my first tournament as an individual and even better winning as a team.

"This win means a lot to me especially as a senior and hopefully I can keep the good work up for the rest of the season."

Zhou, who reached the round of 32 at the 2015 US Women's Amateur and made the final stage of LPGA Tour's Q-school in December, earnt the praise of her college coach, Laura Ianello.

"It was a great day for Wanasa and our team to be able to pull out the victory," Ianello said.

"She was able to make great birdies down the stretch to clinch the victory. It's awesome."

Zhou's victory enabled her to climb 79 places to be ranked No.157 in the women's world amateur rankings.