Monday, May 28, 2012

Stanford competes in the NCAA Championship at Riviera CC

Final Stroke Play Results by
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- - Stanford's men's golf season came to an end today at the NCAA Championships after the Cardinal tied for 19th place with Central Florida, failing to crack the top eight to advance to the match play portion of event.
The Cardinal posted its best team score of the tournament today, shooting a six-over 290 at Riviera Country Club. However, Stanford finished at 885 (+33) for the 54-hole stroke play competition, which was 26 strokes behind first place Alabama (859; +7) and 10 strokes out of the eighth spot.
The Crimson Tide, along with UCLA, Texas, San Diego State, California, Washington, Oregon and either Kent State or Florida State advance to match play to decide the NCAA champion.
The Golden Flashes and Seminoles tied for eighth at 875 (+23) and will play-off for the eighth and final spot in the match play field tomorrow morning.
Freshman Patrick Rodgers capped off a sensational season with a ninth place showing in his first NCAA Championship event. Rodgers shot a 73 today and finished at 214 (+1) for the tournament, marking his 10th top-10 finish in 12 events this season.
Rodgers finished six strokes behind medalist Thomas Pieters of Illinois, who closed with a even-par round of 71 on Thursday to earn a three stroke victory over Julien Brun of TCU and Tyler McCumber of Florida, who both finished at 211 (-2).
Rodgers was even par through 14 holes on his round today but bogeys on 15 and 18 left him at two-over for the day.
Stanford's low round of the day was turned in by junior Andrew Yun, who shot a one-under round of 70. Starting on No. 10, Yun was five-under on his round through 11 holes after birdies on 10, 12, 16, 17 and 1. He then made three straight bogeys to move back to minus-two on the day.
Yun birdied the par-4 fifth hole, his 14th of the day, but bogeyed his 16 and 18 for a 70 and a 54-hole score of 223 (+10) to tie for 69th place.
Steven Kearney tied for 77th place at 224 (+11) after closing with a 73. The junior was two-under through 11 holes but made four straight bogeys on his second nine en route to a 73.
Patrick Grimes shot a 77 today to tie for 120th at 229 (+16) while Cameron Wilson tied for 123rd at 230 after a final round 74.  Final round scorecards can be found below.
Cardinal Chips: Patrick Rodgers, David Chung and Cameron Wilson will attempt to earn a spot in the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club on Monday through sectional qualifying...Rodgers and Chung will take part in the 36-hole sectional qualifier at TPC Harding Park and Lake Merced Country Club, while Wilson will travel east to the Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey to try to earn a trip to Olympic...Rodgers will tee off at 7:36 a.m. at Lake Merced and at 1:06 at Harding Park...Chung will play his first 18 holes at TPC Harding Park beginning at 7:45 a.m. followed by a 1:15 starting time at Lake Merced...Stanford alums Joel Kribel (8:03 Harding/1:33 Lake Merced) and Dodge Kemmer (8:12 Lake Merced/1:42 Harding Park) are also in the Daly City qualifier, while Casey Martin will go through sectional qualifying at the Emerald Valley Golf Course in Creswell, Ore. 
Final round scorecards - click to enlarge

Second Round Results by
Team leaderboard - Rnd 2
Stanford has its work cut out for itself tomorrow during the final round of the NCAA Championships being held at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.
The Cardinal currently sits in 22nd place at 595 (+27) after shooting a second round 302 (+18) on Wednesday, 11 strokes out of the coveted eighth position. The top eight teams advance to the match play portion of the event used to determine the NCAA champion.
At 572 (+4), Alabama continues to lead the stroke play portion of the tournament, four strokes clear of UCLA at 576 (+8). Florida is in third place at 580 (+12) followed by Oklahoma and North Florida at 581.
Washington and Liberty are tied for sixth at 582 (+14).
Five teams are tied for eighth place at +16, while nine teams are within 10 strokes of the final spot.
Riviera took a bite out of the Cardinal today, as no player managed to shoot par on the 7,292-yard layout known as Hogan's Alley.
Patrick Rodgers made a bogey on the challenging par-4 18th hole to finish with a one-over 72. At 141 for 36-holes, Rodgers is just four strokes off the lead held by Illinois' Thomas Pieters, who fired a three-under 68 to move to the top of the leader board.
A 137 (-5), Pieters enjoys a two stroke lead over Anton Arboleda of UCLA and Tyler McCumber of Florida.
Rodgers opened his second round with a birdie and then after nine straight pars, picked up his second birdie oorf the day on No. 11 to move to two-under on his round. However, a double bogey on the par-3 16th hole and a bogey on the last left him at 72 for his round.
Stanford's next best round of the day was turned in by freshman Patrick Grimes, who shot a 76. He was even at the turn but six bogeys and just one birdie on the backside resulted in a five-over 76. Grimes is currently tied for 104th place at 152 (+10) with one round remaining.
Steve Kearney, who is tied for 92nd at 151, got off to a fast start with birdies on his first two holes but gave the strokes back with a double bogey on the fifth. He made bogeys on each of his last three holes on the front side enroute to a 77.
Andrew Yun, who has hurt by three double bogeys, shot a second round 79 and is tied for 117th place at 153 (+11).
Cameron Wilson is tied for 138th after a second round 77 left him at 156 (+14) for 36 holes. 
Round 2 scorecards - click to enlarge

Round 1 Recap
Stanford ended the first day 3 strokes off the cut line with two rounds of medal play remaining to determine the 8 teams advancing to match play.  As expected, the famed Riviera course played tough with no teams breaking par as Alabama finished 1 over in first.  Stanford tied for 13th but is only 8 strokes out of the lead in a tightly bunched field.

The Cardinal was led by Patrick Rodgers' 2-under 69 (T4), two strokes off the individual lead, followed by Andrew Yun and Steven Kearney with 74s (T62), Patrick Grimes at 76 (T98) and Cameron Wilson at 79 (T137).

 Stanford scorecards are shown below:
Round 1 scorecards - click to enlarge
Background Info -, May 28, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -- - Stanford will continue its quest for its ninth NCAA Men's Golf Championship beginning on Tuesday at the venerable Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The 30-team field will play 54-holes of stroke play over three days, with the top eight teams advancing to the single-elimination, match play format that will be used to determine the national championship.
The Cardinal, which earned a spot in the field by virtue of its fourth place finish at the Stanford Regional, will be joined by Alabama, Alabama-Birmingham, Auburn, California, Central Florida, East Carolina, Georgia, Iowa, Lamar, Liberty, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Kent State, Memphis, North Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, San Diego State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Washington.
Alabama (Athens), Liberty (Greensboro), Washington (Norman), UT-Chattanooga (Bowling Green), USC (Ann Arbor) and California (Stanford) each finished first in their respective regionals to earn a trip to Pacific Palisades.
Stanford, seeded ninth in the field, will be paired with Oregon and Washington for the first 36 holes of the event. The Cardinal, Ducks and Huskies will tee off at 1:10 p.m. on Tuesday and 7:50 a.m. on Wednesday.
Teams will be repaired according to the standings for the final 18 holes on Thursday. Seedings for the match play portion of the event will be determined by order of finish in the stroke play competition.
Stanford has won eight NCAA team crowns, most recently in 2007, when the Cardinal posted an 11-stroke victory over Georgia at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va. The Cardinal narrowly missed out on repeating as national championships the following year, finishing one stroke behind UCLA in West Lafayette, Ind.
The Cardinal failed to qualify for the match play portion of the 2009 NCAA Championships held at the Inverness Country Club in Toledo, Ohio and were defeated by Oklahoma State, 4-1 in the first round of match play in 2010 at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. 

Stanford did not qualify for the NCAA Championships last season after finishing sixth at the Central Regional.
Stanford's seven other NCAA crowns came in 1938, '39, '41, '42, '46, '53 and '94.
Knowles Family Director of Golf Conrad Ray is expected to enter a lineup consisting of (in order) Patrick Rodgers, Andrew Yun, Cameron Wilson, Patrick Grimes and Steven Kearney.
Rodgers who was one of three finalists for the Hogan Award won by Patrick Cantlay of UCLA, has nine top 10 finishes in his 11 events this season, including a pair of wins. His current stroke average of 70.6 is tied with Tiger Woods (1995-96) for second on Stanford's all-time single-season list, slightly behind Joel Kribel's school-record mark of 70.1 set in 1998-99.
The Pac-12's Freshman of the Year has shot par or better in 25 of his 34 competitive rounds this season.
Yun is coming off a tie for 15th at the Stanford Regional, where he shot rounds of 72-69-68 to finish at three-under 207. A two-time first team all-conference selection, Yun has six top-10's this season, including a win at the Pac-12 Championships.
Wilson has been steady at the No. 3 position and is coming off a 22nd place showing at the Stanford Regional after rounds of 70-70-69 on the Cardinal's home course.
Grimes, a freshman from Palo Alto, has been a fixture in the lineup for the last three tournaments while Kearney returns to the lineup for the first time since the Stanford Intercollegiate in late March.
"We made a little bit of a lineup change in the fifth spot, with Kearney joining us," said Ray. "It's tough not having David (Chung) there, but his game is in a bit of a funk right now and I felt we needed to shuffle the deck a little bit."
Ray feels the unique format of the NCAA Championships, where the eight low teams from the 54-hole stroke play competition advance to match play, can open the door for a lot of teams to claim the crown.
"The match play format certainly brings a lot of teams into the picture. You have to get there first, obviously. But match play will take a team with five guys who can really go low and turn them into just one point. It's a unique way to crown a champion and Riviera is a great match play course."
Ray says resiliency, a hot putter and a short-term memory are the keys to success in match play.
"All of our guys have played a lot of match play on different levels throughout their careers. At the end of the day, you still have to hit quality shots."
Riviera Country Club, with its tricky, bent grass greens and kikuya fairways, will present a formidable test for the field.
"It's a championship course, not doubt about it," said Ray. "Our guys are very excited about playing a course that has produced so many great champions over the years."
About the Riviera Country Club
Opened in 1927, the Riviera Country Club's George Thomas-designed golf course has, since its inception, served as the venue for championship golf in Southern California. From MacDonald Smith's second title in 1929 to Ernie Els' first title 70 years later, the PGA Tour's Los Angeles Open has been a regular event at the club. The classic Riviera layout has also produced many other champions, such as Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo, Fred Couples, Craig Stadler, Hale Irwin and, of course, Ben Hogan.
Indeed, Riviera has long been known within golfing circles as "Hogan's Alley", a nickname bestowed upon it by three-time Masters champion Jimmy Demaret after Hogan won the 1947 and 1948 Los Angeles Opens and the 1948 U.S. Open at the Club within a span of 18 months. That U.S. Open, the first event to be played West of the Mississippi, would be followed in turn by the 1983 PGA Championship (won by Hal Sutton by one shot over Jack Nicklaus), the 1995 PGA Championship (won by Steve Elkington over Colin Montgomerie in a playoff), and the 1998 U.S. Senior Open (won by Hale Irwin), providing Riviera with a championship legacy matched by few others.
Notable holes include number ten, a driveable par four that yields birdies and double bogeys with equal swiftness, and a massive par four at number fifteen that plays directly into the ocean breezes. The monumental par five 17th hole measures 578 yards, all uphill.
The finishing hole is a world-famous 454-yard par four that plays to an elevated fairway, then requires a long second shot to a narrow green. The green is surrounded by a natural amphitheater, providing a commanding view of the Clubhouse. Today, Riviera remains one of golf's few genuine classics, with a course layout that is virtually unaltered, yet every bit as great and testing as the day it was opened. Listed prominently in every recognized domestic and international course rating, its combination of layout, history and proven excellence as a major tournament venue makes Riviera one of the world's great tournament sites. (Courtesy of Riviera Country Club).
Photo at venue from the Stanford team - click to enlarge

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