This past weekend, the Cardinal’s fall season title defense and championship continued with a ninth-place finish at The Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational. The three-day tournament provided its fair share of highs and lows as Stanford relied on its senior David Snyder to get an early jump ahead of the competition. Steady performances from sophomore Ethan Ng and junior Nate Menon helped guide the club to a top-ten finish in what some would consider to be some of the toughest golfing conditions to play under.
Following this weekend’s play in Georgia, the Cardinal has moved up eight places in the national rankings, improving to No. 27 in the country. With a three-round total score of (+9, 283-303-287=873), the Cardinal was able to outperform three teams in the top fifteen, including the host of the tournament, #1 Georgia Tech.
As Stanford looks towards the remainder of the season, one thing remains absolutely critical for the Knowles Family Director of Men’s Golf Conrad Ray. “Our consistency needs to be improved during the off-season,” Ray said. “We need to work on production throughout the lineup.”
The performances at the Georgia Invitational speak to Coach Ray’s point, but are also promising. For instance, the strong start to the tournament bodes well for Stanford’s repeat title efforts. The favorable positioning the Cardinal enjoyed early in the tournament against the likes of Duke and Georgia Tech was due to the incredible play of Snyder, who shot a five-under 67 in the first round. After the first day, Stanford was in second place overall behind Snyder’s golfing which tied for first place. That advantage slightly slipped away as the play continued into the weekend.
Day two saw solid individual play by junior Ashwin Arasu. To be honest, solid play may be a bit of an understatement. If defending the title against the top teams in the country wasn’t enough, the Cardinal had to face driving rains and Georgia’s surprisingly cold temperatures on Saturday.
“Saturday was was one of the toughest college golf days I’ve had in my career, weather-wise,” Ray said. “So I was proud of our guys and the fact that we had a chance to contend.” And contend they did, led by Arasu shooting the Cardinal’s best round in spite of the tough weather conditions.
Nevertheless, the true breakout of The Georgia Collegiate Invitational for the Cardinal was the dynamic play of Ng and Menon. Both players cracked the top-25, shooting identical numbers in all three rounds: (+3, 73-76-70 = 219). In a noteworthy showing, Ng was tied for best in the field with a 2.92 scoring average on par-3’s during the weekend.
In addition to helping the Cardinal hold on to their sixth-place finish and move up in the national rankings, there was something special in seeing Ng and Menon earn top-25 finishes. “We definitely have some work to do,” Ray said. “But I like what I’m seeing from a very balanced group. It was great to see Nate Menon and Ethan Ng collect top-25 finishes this weekend.”
We can only expect that this momentum carries into Stanford’s next all-day match at The Cypress Point Classic in Cypress Point Golf Club in Pebble Beach, Calif. on Monday, Oct. 28.
Contact Joseph Anderson at jodieous ‘at’ stanford.edu.