Coming off a two-day event at the renowned Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, California, last Monday and Tuesday, No. 6 Stanford men’s golf is off to an up-and-down start through three of four events in the fall season.
The team so far has finished tied for sixth of 15 at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, tied for third of 17 at the United States Collegiate Championship in Alpharetta, Georgia, and fourth of eight at the Cypress Point Classic, which it hosted.
The Cardinal have had a couple of stellar individual performances but have yet to have multiple strong showings in the same tournament. Senior Maverick McNealy, a standout and popular choice as the top-ranked men’s amateur player in the world, won the individual title at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational by two shots with a three-round score of 202 (8-under) in a field where only six of 75 contestants went under par.
In the United States Collegiate Championship, sophomore Brandon Wu shot 210 (6-under) over three rounds to tie for fourth, three shots back of winners Jimmy Stanger of Virginia and Max McGreevy of Oklahoma.
The tournament at Cypress Point Club, consistently ranked as one of the best five golf courses in the world, included seven other top golf programs with USC, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Cal, UCLA, Wake Forest and Georgia all attending. The Cypress Point Classic was last played four years ago.
“It was a huge honor for our program to be part of such a prestigious event,” head coach Conrad Ray said. “It is also commendable to see the Cypress Point Club giving back to the amateur and collegiate game. The course was an amazing backdrop for some of the top collegiate teams to compete.”
The tournament was not medal play but consisted of multiple team formats, including foursome best-ball in round one, alternate shot in round two and singles match play in round three. USC beat out Georgia Tech in the finals, while Stanford lost to UCLA in the consolation finals to claim fourth place.
Though not a disastrous result, the Cardinal, the top-ranked team of those in the field entering the Cypress Point Classic, would have liked to place better than than fourth.
Ray was positive about it being a learning experience: “We could have played better as a team, but the experience in match play for our guys on a challenging course is very valuable. It will be useful for us as we move towards the NCAA Championships in the spring.”
The team has one more opportunity to make a strong statement before having nearly a three-month break from competition ahead of the spring season and run-up to the NCAA championships in late May. Stanford competes in the Gifford Collegiate in Napa Valley this Monday through Wednesday.
Contact Jamie MacFarlane at jamiemac ‘at’ stanford.edu.