This year in Pac-12 men's golf

SAN FRANCISCO-- The Pac-12 continued to make a name for itself on the collegiate golf scene as the Conference advanced six teams to the NCAA Championship for the second straight year. The USC Trojans had their sights set on capturing the school’s first-ever men’s golf title as they advanced to the championship match, but fell to LSU. Six teams were ranked among the top 20 in the final GolfWeek rankings (No. 5 STANFORD, No. 10 ARIZONA STATE, No. 13 USC, No. 14 UCLA, No. 16 OREGON, and No. 17 WASHINGTON).  Additionally, three individuals found themselves ranked among the top four in Golfstat’s final individual rankings, led by Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan at No. 2, Stanford’s Maverick McNealy at No. 3 and Arizona State’s Jon Rahm at No. 4. USC’s Sean Crocker was the nation’s highest-ranked freshman coming in at No. 14 overall. Pan was the Pac-12’s top individual finisher at the NCAA Championship, finishing second (7-under, 281). 

Stanford successfully defended its Pac-12 title by posting a 14-stroke victory at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash. The Cardinal trailed by 14 strokes heading into the fourth round, but were led by McNealy’s course record-tying final round of 9-under 61 to cruise to victory.  McNealy posted a Pac-12 Championship record four round low score of 262 (18-under) to earn Pac-12 medalist honors with a 10-stroke victory over OREGON freshman Aaron Wise (8-under 272).

McNealy was named the Pac-12 Men’s Golfer of the Year, Crocker of USC was tabbed Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Arizona State coach Tim Mickelson picked up Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors for the first time in his career. McNealy also became Stanford’s third recipient of the Jack Nicklaus Award, which recognizes the top players at the Division I, II,III, NAIA and NJCAA levels, joining former Stanford golfer Tiger Woods, who earned the honor in 1996, and last year’s winner Patrick Rodgers. He also picked up the Fred Haskins Award as the College Golfer of the Year. Arizona State’s Rahm won the prestigious Ben Hogan Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate men’s golfer, taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during the past 12-month period. McNealy and Rahm were joined by Washington’s Pan and Arizona State’s Max Rottluff in being named Division I PING First Team All-Americans. Second Team honors went to UCLA’s Jonathan Garrick, while USC’s Crocker picked up Third Team honors.

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