Stanford Athletics has seen a lot of streaks snapped this year. The football team lost more than two games for the first time since 2009. Women’s basketball missed out on the championship game of the Pac-12 Tournament for the first time in the tourney’s 13-year history. Women’s soccer lost at home for the first time since 2007. After a 31-year streak of winning Pac-12 titles, men’s swimming and diving failed to win its conference for a second straight season.
As it has for the past three seasons, the Stanford men’s golf team will end its regular season on the picturesque fairways of the Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif. Pasatiempo, playing host to this weekend’s Western Intercollegiate, is the Cardinal’s final stop before embarking on what they hope is a long and successful postseason. On the individual side, junior Patrick Rodgers will look to win his fourth straight tournament as he tracks down Tiger Woods for the most event victories in program history.
Whether they like it or not, athletes are entertainers — not too different from musicians or actors. While many onlookers like to think that the sports world stands alone, its players are ultimately enveloped by the cavernous umbrella of the entertainment industry. Rabid fans, inquiring media and the relative fame that can be gained simply by being an athlete starkly demonstrate this reality.
In an unsurprising move, Stanford junior golfer Patrick Rodgers announced Monday on Twitter his decision to join the professional ranks after the conclusion of the spring season. The announcement ends brewing speculation over the Avon, Ind., native’s immediate future after he rose to the top spot in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Offseasons for athletes have their ups and downs. Sure, there’s the relaxation time, the opportunity to pursue other endeavors and improve on one’s game. On the other hand, extended time away from competition can be boring and tedious for an athlete. For the No. 9 Stanford men’s golf team, the long wait between the fall and spring seasons is finally over, as the Card is scheduled to compete at the Amer Ari Invitational in Kona, Hawaii starting Thursday.
The No. 11 Stanford men’s golf team experienced firsthand the wild nature of the Lone Star State as it pulled out a solid second place finish at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, which concluded yesterday in Dallas. Led by junior Patrick Rodgers, senior Cameron Wilson and sophomore David Boote, the Cardinal used a late third-round push to surge back into second place behind No. 6 Oklahoma State, the tournament champion.
Only one team event removed from a crushing, season-ending tournament at the NCAA regionals in May and the graduation of key players Andrew Yun and Steve Kearney, the Stanford men’s golf team is seemingly back on top again. The Cardinal thoroughly dominated the 14-team field at the inaugural Erin Hills Invitational in Erin, Wis., winning by eight strokes over conference foe UCLA. In doing so, junior Patrick Rodgers also collected the individual win, the sixth of his collegiate career.
Facing its first score-low-or-go-home test of the season, the No. 10 Stanford men’s golf team begins play at the NCAA Columbus Regional today looking to advance to the national championship tournament for the second straight year. The field, which Cardinal head coach Conrad Ray characterized as “very competitive,” includes No. 5 New Mexico, No. 19…