After two weeks off from competitive play, Stanford men’s golf will return to action Thursday, hosting The Goodwin at the par-70 Stanford Golf Course. With a stacked field of 28 teams including several Pac-12 rivals, The Goodwin will be a great test for this talented Cardinal team.
The Stanford starting lineup will include fifth-year David Snyder, junior Ethan Ng, sophomore Barclay Brown and freshmen Karl Vilips and Michael Thorbjornsen. Additionally, the Cardinal will send out a group of six individuals — fifth years Henry Shimp and David Leede, seniors Nate Menon and Ashwin Arasu, junior Daulet Tuleubayev and freshman Jake Beber-Frankel — to compete in the tournament.
The Cardinal will look to draw on its success from the last playing of The Goodwin in 2019. In that tournament, Stanford pulled away from the field in the final round, shooting a six-under-par 274 to win by 18 strokes.
Snyder had his career best finish at the last Goodwin. Needing a birdie on the final hole of the tournament, Snyder drilled a 40-foot putt to force a sudden death playoff for the individual title. Although Snyder eventually lost the playoff to teammate Brandon Wu ’19, his four-under-par 206 propelled Stanford to a big team victory.
Brown enters this week with the lowest scoring average on the team (71.83). Brown is fresh off a top-five finish at his most recent tournament, the Bandon Dunes Championship. On the Bandon Trails course, Brown shot rounds of 69, 71 and 69 to post the lowest Cardinal score.
Stanford’s freshman trio of Vilips, Thorbjornsen and Beber-Frankel will also look to go low in their first career home event. Vilips is the only Cardinal golfer to play in every tournament so far this season. His consistent play was highlighted by a 12th place finish at The Prestige. Thorbjornsen sat out the Bandon Dunes Championship, but had strong performances in both The Prestige and the early season match against Santa Clara. Beber-Frankel made his collegiate debut at the Bandon Dunes Championship, improving his score each round to finish in 55th place.
In the early season, the Cardinal has struggled in opening rounds. The team’s scoring average in first rounds of tournaments is just above 16-over-par. While the Cardinal has battled back in the second and final rounds, poor first round performances have kept it from competing for team titles early this season. A key for the Cardinal this week will be to get off to a hot start on its home course.
The Cardinal is set to tee off in the three-day tournament Thursday morning.