By Andrew Tan
Senior Brandon Wu shot seven-under-par with a total score of 206 at The Prestige at PGA West in La Quinta, CA, to place second overall individually and to lead Stanford men’s golf to a tie for sixth place after three rounds from Monday to Wednesday. Wu matched his career-best finish in the tournament, just a stroke off the winner, No. 2 collegiate golfer Viktor Hovland from No. 1 Oklahoma State.
Wu’s best performance of the competition came in the opening round, in which he shot a six-under-par 65, tied for the best round over three days of play. During his strong Monday showing, Wu tallied five birdies and an eagle, shooting five-under on the back nine and taking a three-shot lead into the second round. Throughout the first day, all of Wu’s strokes were determined to find the hole, as if the ball was Inigo Montoya and dropping into the cup was avenging his father.
The Cardinal ended the first round with a score of seven-over 291 tied for sixth. Senior Isaiah Salinda, sophomore Nate Menon and freshman Freddie Lee put in solid rounds with two-over 73s, but overall Stanford’s players were not able to replicate Wu’s stellar performance. Wu was Freddie Mercury, and the rest of the team was all the other band members of Queen.
The next day, Wu followed up his best impression of Justin Rose with another quality round, shooting one-under 70. He finished the day seven-under 135 tied with UC Davis’ Thomas Hutchinson for the lead. Salinda and junior David Snyder took 17th after two rounds, with the former shooting an even-par 71 and the latter one-under 70. Stanford took seventh by the end of Tuesday shooting 17-over 585 while Wu looked to emerge victorious on the final day of play.
Though Wu still recorded a solid even-par 71 in the final round, Hovland was on fire in closing play, adding a five-under 66 to his final score to steal a top finish right from underneath the nose of Wu. Snyder also took home a top-20 finish at five-over 215, and Stanford shared sixth in the field of 16 by tournament’s end.
Stanford now gets an extended break before resuming play in the Southern Highlands Intercollegiate March 3-5 in Las Vegas.
Contact Andrew Tan at tandrew ‘at’ stanford.edu.