Men's Golf: Philip Rowe
May 7, 2002
Things are coming together at the right time for the Stanford men's golf team and senior Philip Rowe. The team is coming off two second place finishes and Rowe has one title and a second place finish in the last two events. The Cardinal placed second at their U.S. Intercollegiate and followed up with an impressive performance at the Pacific-10 Championships, taking second.
'We had a lot of frustrations in the earlier tournaments,' said Rowe. 'Some of us would play well, yet we weren't finishing as a team.'
Rowe noted the turning point for the team's performance was in Arizona at the ASU Thunderbird/Savane Invitational. The team struggled through the first 36-holes, but came out the next day and shot good scores in the final round.
'We didn't move up in the team standings, but it got our confidence back. We suddenly believed we could shoot good scores, and we did. We are doing much better now and it is really exciting.'
While the team has struggled earlier in the season, Rowe has been Stanford's most consistent athlete this year. 'My results have been pretty consistent, but I was still frustrated in my play.'
The Cornwall, United Kingdom, native has seven individual top-10 places in the Cardinal's 11 events. In Rowe's final home meet at Stanford, he came away with the U.S. Intercollegiate individual crown. 'I was thinking about that tournament for a long while and spent a lot of time on the range hitting different shots. I know the course well, having been here for three years, and knew the shots I needed to practice. It really paid off and it was fantastic to win my final tournament at Stanford.'
Not only did the practice pay off, but Rowe was one stroke from tying a Stanford Golf Course record. Rowe shot a career-low 64 in the first round of the Intercollegiate to finish the tournament with a 205 (64-72-69). He then followed up his winning performance by tying for second at the Pac-10 Championships. Rowe carded scores of 72-71-69 (212) to tie Oregon State's Michael Jurgensen and earn First Team All-Pac-10 accolades.
Unlike most Stanford athletes, Rowe did not grow up wanting to come to The Farm. 'I have a friend who is now on the tour, and he came over from England to attend school at Northwestern,' explained Rowe. 'He talked to his coach about recruiting me at Northwestern, but things didn't work out. Stanford contacted me and I decided to come here. Unlike others, it was not my dream to attend Stanford but since I have been here, it is like a dream. I have really enjoyed my time as a Cardinal.'
Rowe has had an exciting career in England before venturing out to California. Before Stanford, Rowe attended Exeter University in the UK and represented England in numerous competitions around the world. He was a member of the 1999 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup versus America at Nairn, Scotland. At the Walker Cup, Rowe won all three matches he played in.
'My most memorable moment was for sure the Walker Cup in 1999, right before I arrived at Stanford. I will never forget playing the last nine holes with bag pipes playing in the background and a crowd of 10,000 watching. I also played at the British Open, another memory I will never forget.'
Golf also allowed Rowe to travel all around the world, playing all over Europe and in tournaments in Japan and Australia. Now competing for Stanford, Rowe has gotten the opportunity to see a lot of America. 'My parents did not travel all that much, so golf to me is a way of traveling.'
After playing at all levels in England, Rowe decided it was time to come over to the United States. 'I achieved a lot of what I wanted to in England and just felt like it was time to come to America,' commented Rowe. 'I just felt that I was ready to take my golf to the next level, and that meant coming to the United States. It was a struggle when I first came and felt my golf was going backwards, but I have learned so much in this time that I have improved tremendously.'
Up next for Rowe and the Cardinal is a trip to the NCAA West Regional on May 16-18 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 'I think our team can do really well. We have placed second in the last two events and we feel like we are where we should have been all year.'
Hopefully Stanford and Philip Rowe will continue their surge all the way to the NCAA Championships.