Friday, September 12, 2014

Cardinal finishes 4th and McNealy 1st again at famed Olympia Fields in Chicago against a strong field

The Illini Invitational welcomed Stanford and a top field to famed Olympia Fields in Chicago, site of several major championships.

Stanford comes into the Illini Invitational off a 15-stroke win at the SW Intercollegiate hosted by USC.  The same 5 players, Maverick McNealy, Jim Liu, Viraat Badhwar, Patrick Grimes and Dominic Francks who competed recently are representing the Cardinal.

The field is strong with 8 of the top 20 teams entered including #1 Alabama, #3 Stanford, #7 Illinois, #13 Texas, #18 Texas A & M and #19 Arkansas.

Final Results (provided by
Maverick McNealy picked up his second win in as many outings Sunday by claiming top honors at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational.

McNealy, who collected the first win of his collegiate career earlier this week at the Southwestern Intercollegiate, fired three consecutive rounds of 71 to finish 3-over at the par-70 Olympia Fields Country Club. He shared the top billing with host Illinois’ Dylan Meyer.

Stanford’s Cameron Wilson also shared medalist honors at the same tournament in 2013 with Robby Shelton of Alabama.

Stanford (294-299-289) was fourth overall among the 15-team field at 42-over. Illinois (+21), Florida State (+32) and Baylor (+36) claimed the top three spots.

Final Team scores - click to enlarge
Maverick's 3 winning rounds - click to enlarge

“I’m happy with how the guys hung in there, but we’ve got much to work on,” said Conrad Ray, Stanford’s Knowles Family Director of Men’s Golf. “It’s early in the year, so it was good for us to play a challenging course to see what we have team-wise.

“Maverick has been very solid these last two weeks, and two medals in a few strong fields is a great start to his year with added confidence. Jim Liu has had two great weeks, too. It’s good to see him playing better and on the right track.”

Liu’s even-par third round was the best score of any Cardinal during the 56-hole event. He was 4-under on the front but had four bogeys on the back, eventually finishing 12th overall at 8-over.

Patrick Grimes (+11) squeezed into the top-20, taking 19th with rounds of 74-73-74.

Viraat Badhwar (+20) tied for 54th and Dominick Francks (+31) tied for 71st.

Round 3 scorecards - click to enlarge
The Cardinal has a few weeks off until traveling to Forth Worth, Texas, for the Swoosh Invitational (Oct. 6-7).

Round 2 Results:
On another cool, windy but sunny day when scoring improved, the Cardinal failed to keep up with the leaders and fell 17 strokes behind Baylor and 9 behind host Illinois.  Stanford's 2nd round total of 299, or 19 over par, only beat 3 other teams in the field.  Team standings are included below:
Round 2 team scoring - click to enlarge

Stanford was once again led by Maverick McNealy who shot another 71 and is tied for 1st overall.  Patrick Grimes posted a 73, Jim Lie a 76, Viraat Badhwar a 79 and Dominic Francks an 80.  Round 2 scorecards are shown below:
Round 2 scorecards - click to enlarge

Round 1 Results:
In cool, rainy conditions at this demanding venue, Stanford completed round 1 at 14 over par  and is tied for 3rd, 3 behind Virginia Tech and 1 behind Florida State.  Team standings are shown below:

Round 1 Team totals - click to enlarge

“It was a really hard day to play,” CU head coach Roy Edwards said.  “The golf course is really long and tough to begin with, and they're using the same hole locations they used for the U.S. Open, and those are never easy.  Plus it played longer because it was cold (low 50s) with constant rainfall.  It made it tough for everyone to play; there wasn’t a single hole out here today where par wasn’t a good score.”

Coming off an individual win last week, Maverick McNealy led the way with a 1 over 71, Jim Liu finished with a very steady 72, Patrick Grimes shot 74, Viraat Badhwar shot a 77 (despite two triple bogies) and Dominick Francks an 84.  Scorecards for each player are shown below:
Round 2 scorecards - click to enlarge

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