Stanford captures third consecutive Pac-12 men's golf title
SALT LAKE CITY – The No. 4 ranked STANFORD Cardinal won its third consecutive Pac-12 Men’s Golf Championship, and 10th overall, with a final score of 18-under (1,402) to win the title by 29 strokes over runner-up CALIFORNIA at The Country Club (Par 71, 7,209 yards) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Stanford held a 12-stroke lead over the Golden Bears heading into the final round. Despite strong winds that managed to push scores higher, the Cardinal lead was never threatened.
“It was the toughest day we’ve had so far,” said Stanford coach Conrad Ray. “I was proud of our guys and they really hung in there. We actually had a slow start, the wind was blowing and it was chilly. We weathered the storm, so to speak. They hit solid shots and tried to mitigate big numbers.”
“It was a good battle with Cal and USC they’re awesome teams. This league is as strong as you will find in college golf, so to come out on top this week is a really big deal for us.”
The Cardinal had three players finish among the top 10, led by David Boote (TNo. 3, 7-under), Franklin Huang (No. 5, 5-under) and Maverick McNealy (No. 6, 3-under).
In crediting his team’s performance, Ray added, “You could go down the list. Franklin Huang just put in his second top 10 in a row, third top 15. He played great. David Boote, our senior captain, led us all week. Maverick McNealy made a few birdies there at the end to finish top 10. He’s been our horse all year and one of the top players in college golf, if not, the top player. All around, a huge team effort and really happy the way it came together.”
With the final team results pretty much being a formality, all eyes focused on the individual race where California sophomore KK Limbhasut (Loma Linda, Calif.) entered the day with a six-stroke lead over Arizona State’s Jon Rahm, UCLA’s Jonathan Garrick and Stanford’s David Boote
Rahm managed to post four birdies in the first eight holes, while Limbhasut bogeyed twice in the first four holes to fall into a temporary tie with Rahm atop the leaderboard at 13-under. That was short-llved as Rahm bogeyed No. 9 and Limbhasut birdied No. 5 to push Limbhasut back to a two-stroke lead. That lead increased to four strokes when Rahm double-bogeyed No. 10.
Rahm settled down, managed to shoot 2-under the last eight holes and was the clubhouse leader at 12-under. Meanwhile, Limbhasut bogeyed No 10, No. 14 and No. 15 to fall two strokes back of Rahm. An errant tee shot on No. 16 that went out-of-bounds led to a triple-bogey and hindered any chance for comeback by Limbhasut.
“My key was patience,” acknowledged Rahm. “I knew I had to get off to a good start, make some birdies, so I wouldn’t have to make birdies towards the end because I knew the back nine was going to be tough. I tried to be a little more strategic in my play. Think about it a little more, hit more fairways and that’s what I did today.”
“It was something special, honestly. I’ve put a lot of hard work in this year to not only to graduate and get my degree, but to play the best golf I could. I felt like this year I wasn’t getting into my A game, but this week I brought it on and I was extremely proud of myself.”
Rahm is the first Arizona State golfer to earn medalist honors since Paul Casey won his record three-straight Conference individual titles in 2000 (runner-up to Casey that year was current Arizona State coach Tim Mickelson). He’s the 11th individual champion from Arizona State.
On his victory that placed him among other notable Arizona State players such as Casey and Phil Mickelson, Rahm admitted, “I am honored and humbled and really proud to be a part of that list of great players.”
The winds wrecked havoc on scores today as only five individuals shot under par. ARIZONA’s Jordan Gumberg, who finished second, joined Rahm with the low round of the day with a 3-under 68. COLORADO’s Wilson Belk and Ethan Freeman, and OREGON’s Aaron Wise each posted 1-under 70 for the day.
|Final Team Results (Par 71, 7,209 yards)|
|1. Stanford||352-336-348-366 — 1402 (-18)|
|2. California||350-343-355-383 — 1431 (+11)|
|3. Arizona State||359-352-364-364 — 1439 (+19)|
|4. Washington||360-355-360-368 — 1443 (+23)|
|5. USC||356-348-363-381 — 1448 (+28)|
|T6. Oregon||370-356-366-367 — 1459 (+39)|
|T6. Colorado||360-363-371-365 — 1459 (+39)|
|8. UCLA||358-365-360-382 — 1465 (+45)|
|9. Washington State||380-365-357-374 — 1476 (+56)|
|10. Arizona||361-367-374-380 — 1482 (+62)|
|11. Utah||378-363-364-377 — 1485 (+65)|
|12. Oregon State||371-365-372-391 — 1496 (+76)|
|Final Individual Results (Par 71, 7,209 yards)|
|1. Jon Rahm, ASU||70-66-68-68—272 (-12)|
|2. Jordan Gumberg, ARIZ||68-71-69-68—276 (-8)|
|T3. David Boote, STAN||68-66-70-73—277 (-7)|
|T3. KK Limbhasut, CAL||66-66-66-79—277 (-7)|
|5. Franklin Huang, STAN||66-72-68-73—279 (-5)|
|6. Maverick McNealy, STAN||69-71-69-72—281 (-3)|
|T7. Jonathan Garrick, UCLA||67-68-69-78—282 (-2)|
|T7. Jeremy Paul, COLO||67-68-74-73—282 (-2)|
|T10. Aaron Wise, ORE||73-69-71-70—283 (-1)|
|T10. Corey Pereira, WASH||72-69-69-73—283 (-1)|