Led by a strong performance from junior Maverick McNealy, No. 7 Stanford men’s golf tied for fourth at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate last Sunday through Tuesday.
McNealy, the second-ranked individual in the nation, tied for eighth place overall in a competitive field that included participants from both No. 3 Florida State and No. 2 Wake Forest. The junior finished -3 overall, riding a match-best-tying score of 65 in his second round to break the top 10 for his second time during the spring season.
Senior David Boote and junior Viraat Badhwar followed closely behind McNealy, tying with two other golfers for 14th place at +1. Badhwar in particular looked strong at the beginning of the tournament and was just inside the top 10 at the end of the second day, but two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine of his final round dropped him just above par for the event.
Freshman Brandon Wu landed two strokes behind at +3, while freshman Isaiah Salinda rounded out the team’s performance at +9. Salinda dug himself into a hole early by recording a triple bogey, two double bogeys and three single bogeys in his first eight holes while simultaneously managing just one birdie, but he proved able to shake it off and stayed at par for the rest of the event as the team counted his score on the second and third days.
“There were a lot of positives to pull out of this week,” head coach Conrad Ray said after the event. “This golf course is very demanding and the guys hung in there all three days. We just didn’t play the par-5’s well enough and had a few balls in the desert that we would like to have back…it was a great team effort and a very solid result in a strong field.”
As a group, Stanford finished at -3 for the event, putting it level with No. 14 California and behind No. 11 Georgia (-18), No. 30 South Florida (-8) and No. 34 Baylor (-5). The team peaked at third place on the second day behind McNealy’s spectacular round, but fell back during the final round as only two of the players matched or improved upon their previous score.
Stanford will get an extended break from traveling after returning home from Mexico, with the team resting until it participates in The Goodwin at the Stanford Golf Course from March 24-26.
Contact Andrew Mather at amather ‘at’ stanford.edu.