Stanford defends Pac-12 men's golf title, Maverick McNealy earns medalist honor
PULLMAN, Wash. – STANFORD successfully defended its Pac-12 title with a blistering final round of 10-under in windy conditions to post a 4-under team score for the Championships and a 14-stroke win over second-place OREGON at the Pac-12 Men’s Golf Championships at Washington State University’s Palouse Ridge Golf Course in Pullman.
“It was a team effort today,” said Stanford coach Conrad Ray. “It took six guys today and all of our guys contributed throughout the week, so really proud of the results and happy for them.”
“It was exciting,” added Ray, as the Cardinal overcame a 16-stroke deficit to pass third round leader ARIZONA STATE. “I knew we had our hands full with ASU. They’ve got a really good team and they’ve won a lot this year and they’ve got some really good players. And to be able to track them down and be able to actually have a little bit of a lead coming down the stretch at 18 was a relief.”
“Our guys got off to a really good start today. That’s something we talked about last night. We knew that the wind was probably going to be in the opposition direction, which was a unique situation. We had that wind in the practice round and I think it really changes some golf holes, so we talked a lot about our strategy and where we wanted to leave our misses and it paid off.”
Stanford sophomore Maverick McNealy became the third Stanford golfer in the last four years to capture Pac-12 medalist honors, joining former Cardinal Andrew Yun (2012) and Patrick Rodgers (2014). McNealy posted a course-record 9-under 61 to finish the Championships at 18-under 262 (65-68-68-61) to earn his fifth victory this season.
“The game plan for the start of the day was to be patient and to press my advantage when I got it,” said McNealy. “It felt great from the get go. I was thinking pedal to the metal, because obviously our team was in it and I didn’t really matter how the individual thing was shaking out anymore, but I wanted to get more birdies to help the team.”
McNealy’s total score of 262 was a Pac-12 Championship four round low score record, while his 61 tied for second lowest score in a single round at the Pac-12 Championships.
“It’s awesome when a guy of his caliber goes out and gets a hot round going like that, on a day like today too, the conditions were really, really tough,” said Ray. “He was playing aggressively all week, and just because you have a lead it shouldn’t change your game plan. I think it’s sometimes easy, when you do have a little bit of a lead you get a glance of the leaderboard, to protect. He was in a spot where he put the gas down. He did that and it was pretty neat to see. Credit to him, he doesn’t play with much fear.”
In all, just five golfers finished the Championships under par – In addition to McNealy, OREGON freshman Aaron Wise finished second at 8-under 272 (65-70-70-67), UCLA senior Jonathan Garrick fired a 5-under 65 to finish in a tie for third as he carded a 4-under 276 (69-72-70-65), ARIZONA freshman George Cunningham, who shot a 3-under 67 for the day and also finished 4-under 276 (71-70-68-67), while ARIZONA STATE senior Broc Johnson finished fifth with a 1-under 279 (69-72-65-73).
Pac-12 teams will now await the NCAA Men’s Golf Regional selections on Monday, May 4. Regional competition will be held May 14-16.
Final Team Results (Par 70, 7,257 yards)
1. Stanford 362-348-346-340—1396 (-4)
2. Oregon 357-360-349-344—1410 (+10)
3. Arizona State 354-351-342-364—1411 (+11)
3. USC 355-344-361-357—1417 (+17)
5. Washington 363-353-357-362—1435 (+35)
6. Oregon State 361-357-357-363—1438 (+38)
7. California 369-361-356-364—1440 (+40)
8. UCLA 364-358-358-362—1442 (+42)
9. Arizona 372-364-359-351—1446 (+46)
10. Washington State 363-347-366-377—1453 (+53)
11. Colorado 374-365-361-359—1459 (+59)
12. Utah 382-376-382-375—1515 (+115)
Final Individual Top 10 (Par 70, 7,257 yards)
1. Maverick McNealy, STAN 65-68-68-61—262 (-18)
2. Aaron Wise, ORE 65-70-70-67—272 (-8)
T3. Jonathan Garrick, UCLA 69-72-70-65—276 (-4)
T3. George Cunningham, ARIZ 71-70-68-67—276 (-4)
5. Broc Johnson, ASU 69-72-65-72—278 (-2)
T6. Zach Foushee, ORE 70-74-68-68—280 (E)
T6. Cheng-Tsung Pan, WASH 70-70-70-70—280 (E)
T6. K.K. Limbhasut, CAL 70-69-66-75—280 (E)
T6. Jon Rahm, ASU 70-68-74-68—280 (E)
T6. Sean Crocker, USC 72-68-72-68—280 (E)