Four years removed from a national championship, and three years after finishing as the nation’s runner-up, the Cardinal finished sixth in the NCAA Central Regionals last year… But if the fall season is any indication, the Cardinal will not falter again this spring.
The men and women’s golf teams both finished up their fall seasons this week, with the women placing third at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational on Wednesday while the men came home in sixth place at the Gifford Collegiate Golf Championship earlier in the day.
After two straight days of team scores below 300, the No. 2 men’s golf team found itself in great position at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational in Windermere, Fla. The Card was in fourth place just behind LSU and North Florida and within shouting distance of No. 1 Texas.
La Quinta, Calif. was buzzing Tuesday as The Prestige at PGA West went down to the wire, and the anticipated showdown between No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon heated up in the final round. After trailing by ten strokes going into the final round, the men’s golf team found itself just three strokes back of the Ducks for the team title on the back nine.
It didn’t take long for Patrick Rodgers to make an impact with the men’s golf team, as the freshman from Avon, Ill., won the individual title at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational before classes had even started. On Wednesday, his efforts were rewarded once again, as commissioner Larry Scott announced Rodgers was named the Pac-12 Men’s Golfer of the Month for September.
With three of its top four scoring leaders back from last season, the men’s golf team felt confident it could improve on its loss in the NCAA Central Regional last year. Coach Conrad Ray’s recruiting class was one of the best in the country, and the Cardinal was content to fly under the radar until it counted.
Men’s golf came close but failed to advance to the NCAA Championships after the Central Regional Saturday.