Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stanford wins the Western Intercollegiate at famed Pasatiempo and Cameron Wilson is individual champion

Stanford competitors
Team and Cameron's individual win photo - click to enlarge

Final Results
Stanford continued its strong late season run with another big win, its fourth of the season and second in a row, by 16 strokes over Bay Area rival Cal and by 18 over Washington.  In the last 17 seasons, only one team surpassed 4 season wins and that was the national champion 2006-07 team which had 7 season victories.  The Cardinal blitzed the field with a tourney low 6-under par 344 displaying strong depth by getting solid contributions from all 6 players.
Top 3 team and individual scores - click to enlarge

And once again as in so many tournaments the past two years Cameron Wilson (67-67-69 203 1st) and Patrick Rodgers (65-69-71 205 2nd) competed for an individual title, and this time Cameron birdied the final two holes to take the title by two shots over Patrick, giving Cameron his second win of the season. reported on the two man competition:

“It was kind of bizarre battling for the title with one of my teammates,” Wilson said. “Usually, I’m rooting for Patrick so hard and I still found myself rooting for him all day. It was an unusual situation with Patrick being one of my good friends and someone who I have so much respect for. He told me after the round how happy he was for me and how proud he was of my round today.”

Wilson ended his final regular season as a Cardinal with birdies on the final two holes for a come-from-behind win over Rogers, who was riding a three-tournament winning streak heading into the finale at Pasatiempo Golf Club.

“It was a really up and down round, and I made some fortunate pars on the first couple of holes,” said Wilson, who hooked his first two tee shots to opposite fairways. “I played steady for the next 10 or 11 holes and missed a few birdie looks inside 10 feet.”

Wilson dropped a couple iron shots on 14 and 15, three-putting each of those holes. A 10-foot downhill putt on the three-tiered 16th green saved par from the back rough, but his next two holes would seal the deal.

A chip-in on 17 for birdie came before draining a 14-footer to birdie the par-3 18th.

“The 17th was the turning point. I knew I had to chip that in to have a chance to win,” Wilson said.

Rodgers nearly sank his birdie putt on 17 to even things heading into the final hole. Rodgers bogeyed three of his last four holes.

Cameron Wilson's winning scorecards - click to enlarge

Freshman Maverick McNealy (71-69-67 207 T6) had another impressive result highlighted by a final round 67 as he tied for 6th to follow up his tie for 4th at the recent Stanford hosted Goodwin event.  David Boote (70-71-70 211 T15) was solid once again while Jim Liu (82-73-67 222 T60) finished strongly with a final round 67 which included a sparkling 31 on his front nine.  Viraat Badhwar had rounds of 74-75-73 222 to tie for 60th as well.

Playing as individuals, Dominic Francks had a fine tournament with rounds of 70-71-74 215 to tie for  33rd and Patrick Grimes improved after his first round 79 with rounds of 72-72 to total 223 and tie for 68th.
Final round scorecards - click to enlarge

Next up in two weeks is the Pac-12 championship played at the Gallery GC in Arizona where the Cardinal will look to continue it's winning ways when the format will once again including 6 players with 5 scores counting each round.   

First and Second Round Results
The Cardinal took over first place by 6 strokes over Washington and 8 over California after the first 36-hole day of play in this event which includes 6 players from each team competing with 5 scores counting.  Team scoring is shown below.
Team scoring - first two rounds (click to enlarge)
Once again All-Americans Patrick Rodgers (65-69 134 T1) and Cameron Wilson (67-67 134 T1) led the way as they are in a 3-way tie for first place at 6-under par 134.  Maverick McNealy (71-69 140 T14) is at even par 140, David Boote (70-71 141 T18) one-over at 141, Viraat Badhwar (74-75 149 T66) is tied for 66th and Jim Liu (82-73 155 86th) sits in 86th place.

Patrick is looking for his 4th straight individual title and 5th on the season while Cameron is looking for his 2nd win of the year.  Their scoring averages on the season are nearly identical at 69.58 and 69.88 with Patrick having a slight edge.

Playing as individuals Dominic Francks (70-71 141 T18) had an excellent first two rounds to tie for 18th and Patrick Grimes is tied for 79th after his rounds of 79-72 151.

“The guys played well today, and it’s nice to have a lead going into the final round in this very competitive field,” said Conrad Ray, the Knowles Family Director of Men’s Golf. “I was proud of the way that we hung in there and eliminated big mistakes today. We dropped a few shots on the last hole, but nonetheless are happy with how the day turned out. There is a lot of golf left.

“We had solid contributions from everyone on the team, and it will be neat to see Cameron and Patrick fight it out for the individual title.”

Round two scorecards are shown below.
Round Two Scorecards - click to enlarge

The Tournament
• Hosted by San Jose State, the Western Intercollegiate is the longest running college golf tournament west of the Mississippi River. Returning to the famed Alister MacKenzie-designed Pasatiempo Golf Club for the 68th year, this season’s edition boasts a field with five of the nation’s top-20 teams, including No. 6 Stanford and No. 3 Cal.

• The 88 players representing 14 schools will play 36 holes Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday. Team scores on the 6,615-yard, par-70 course will be calculated by a play-six, score-five format. 

• Stanford has won eight team titles, third behind San Jose State (12) and Fresno State (9).

• Cal won the 2013 Western Intercollegiate for its first title since 1950.

• Patrick Rodgers, who won the event in 2012, has a chance to join Joel Kribel (1997, 1999) as the only Cardinal to win multiple crowns.

• The Western Intercollegiate was originally conceived by the Northern California Golf Association as a means to give college players around the Bay Area an opportunity to play and gain tournament experience during Spring Break.

The Field
• The 14-team field includes No. 6 Stanford, No. 3 Cal, No. 17 Washington, No. 19 Texas, No. 20 USC, San Jose State, SMU, Arizona State, Memphis, Oregon, San Diego State, UC Irvine, UTEP, and Hawaii.

The Course
• Located in Santa Cruz, Calif., Pasatiempo Golf Club is regarded for its breathtaking scenery and deep-rooted golf history. Bobby Jones was one of the first players to hit from the first tee when the course opened in 1929.

• The course was designed by the famous English architect Alister MacKenzie, who claimed Pasatiempo was his best layout, ahead of even Cypress Point and Augusta National.

The Quote
• Knowles Family Director of Men’s Golf Conrad Ray previews the weekend …
“The team is eager to participate in the Western Intercollegiate this weekend. We are all appreciative of the rich history of the event and the amazing test of golf that Pasatiempo Golf Course provides. The event also features a 6-count-5 format and hopefully the depth of our team will shine though and speak for itself with the extra score each round. The team has been focusing on the important shots in practice that they will see in competition as well as tuning up their speed control on the greens which is always very important at Pasatiempo. We look to keep the momentum rolling from a rewarding week at The Goodwin and would love to win two events in a row for the first time this season.”

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