Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stanford finishes 3rd in the Prestige played at PGA West

Stanford finished 3rd in the Prestige played at PGA West on the Greg Norman course in a tourney it co-hosts with UC Davis. Leading the way was TCU winning by 10 over 2nd place UC Davis while the Cardinal was another 8 shots behind Davis.

Final results on the surface look good as Stanford had 4 individuals placing in the top 20, but what largely separated the top two teams from the field was the very strong play from the two players who tied for first individually at 6-under par. Stanford's best, Sihwan Kim, finished at two-over par in a tie for 8th place. TCU also had two other players finishing tied for 5th at 1-over par leading to their dominating win.

After Kim, Steve Ziegler's last two solid rounds included a 2-under 70 final round to move him into a tie for 11th with teammate Joseph Bramlett who finished with a final round 75. Freshman David Chung had a top-20 finish with his 3rd round 73 leading to his tie for 15th place overall. Daniel Lim finished with a 76 to tie for 63rd.

Playing as individuals Dodge Kemmer had a 75 last round to finish tied for 30th overall and Jordan Cox had a 73 on his third round and finished tied for 76th place overall.

Next up is a major test against the nation's elite teams in Windermere, Florida, home of Tiger Woods and the Isleworth Country Club, site of the upcoming tournament. Stanford will look to improve its play from all team members in order to compete for this top event.

Desert golf at La Quinta, California, is proving to be a challenge for the teams competing at the Prestige played on the Greg Norman course at PGA West. In the morning round of the 36-hole first day, unseasonably cool temperatures in the fifties to start the day combined with Santa Ana winds that gusted to 30 miles per hour led to very high scores.

Stanford was in 2nd by 3 strokes behind TCU after the morning round 9-over par 597 being led by Joseph Bramlett's 72, Sihwan Kim and David Chung's 74s and Steve Ziegler's 77. Daniel Lim's 78 was not counted as the low four scores are used each round. Dodge Kemmer and Jordan Cox played as individuals shooting 74 and 84 respectively.

The winds subsided a bit though still gusting and the desert heated up into the low eighties but the second round followed the same pattern as Stanford improved to 592 was again lost 3 shots to TCU falling 6-shots behind. Meanwhile UC Davis had a torrid 582 score led by a sparkling 63 from their top player. Stanford scores in the afternoon were Kim 72, Bramlett 73, Ziegler 73, Chung 74, Lim 78, Kemmer 78 and Cox 79 were disappointing with nobody going low.

The pattern of play in the first round for all but Kim and Bramlett was that doubles, triples and quads would mar otherwise decent golf on a day when pars were at a premium. Chung's 74 included a triple, for example. In the 2nd round, again Kim and Bramlett were the only players who managed to avoid a score worse than a bogey.

Individually the Cardinal has three players in the top ten led by Bramlett's tied for 4th.
It will take a solid last round to claim this title but Stanford is certainly very capable of pulling that off.

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