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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stanford advances to NCAA Finals with 4th place finish in West Regional

Stanford Golf Course | Live scoring |  Patrick Rodgers Article | Andrew Yun Article | Pre-tourney Stanford Daily |Rnd 1 Photo | Rnd 2 Photos | Rnd 3 Photos

Final Results - Mission Accomplished for Stanford as it advances to the NCAA Finals at Riviera CC after a 4th place finish in the West Regional - five team qualified.  Leading team and player results are shown below - click to enlarge:

After two rounds there were 8 teams still within 10 shots of the lead so the final round was pressurized throughout.  With three teams jumping out ahead early (Cal, San Diego State and UAB), Stanford was one of 5 teams battling for the final 2 spots to move on.  Several late birdies by Patrick Rodgers on 15 & 16, Andrew Yun on 15 & 18, Cameron Wilson on 16 secured a comfortable margin as Stanford ended up 5 shots ahead of 6th place finisher Tennessee.

Stanford's consistent top 3 players played well again in the final round as Andrew Yun's 66 lead the way, followed by Cameron Wilson's 69 and Patrick Rodgers' 70.  Patrick Grimes battled his way around to a final round 75 while David Chung struggled to an 80.

Overall finishes were Patrick Rodgers tied for 10th at 4-under 206 (70-66-70), Andrew Yun tied for 15th at 207 (72-69-66), Cameron Wilson tied for 22nd at 209 (70-70-69), Patrick Grimes tied for 39th at 213 (68-70-75) and David Chung tied for 66th at 222 (69-73-80).

Andrew's final round 66 included 4 birdies and no bogies so he was a model of consistency.  Cameron's 69 included a 33 on the front nine, plus two more birdies on the back nine marred by his double bogey on the par 4 15th after driving it out of bounds.  Patrick Rodgers struggled to a frustrating bogie on the par 5 first and despite only hitting 2 fairways and lacking his typical sharpness in his short game posted his even par 70.

So now it's on to famed Riviera CC for a chance at a 9th national championship.  You really couldn't ask for anything more.  Final round scorecards are show below:
click to enlarge Rnd 3 scorecards

Round 2 Recap - Stanford is tied for 3rd, 6 strokes behind the leading Cal team.
click to enlarge

As the scoring summary on the left shows, Stanford sits tied for 3rd 6 strokes behind the leading Cal team.  With five teams advancing, there are at least 8 teams with a very good chance to advance as they are only 10 shots behind the leading team.

Scoring conditions were excellent and the scores were very low as the field found many shooting in the 60s including a low round of 63.  A total of 29 players in round 2 shot round in the 60s out of the field of 75 players.  Two teams had the 4 posting scores all in the 60s, while three others posted 3 rounds in the 60s.  No doubt low scoring will come on day 3 as well as conditions are forecast to be ideal and the course setup has lighter rough than has been offered in the past.  All but two teams in round 2 had even par 280 scores or better, with two below 10-under 270.

Stanford had a solid day led by Patrick Rodgers' 66 that included 7 birdies, 5 on the back side where he shot a 32 despite a bogey on 18 - Patrick is tied for 8th overall at 4-under 136, 5 strokes behind Michael Kim of Cal.

Patrick Grimes (68-70 T17) found him out in 33 with an eagle and two birdies and with a back nine 37 including 3 bogies and 1 birdie.  Cameron Wilson (70-70 T30) again was even par offsetting a front nine 37 with a back nine 33 that included 3 birdies and 1 bogey on 18.

Andrew Yun (72-69 T33) was steady in round 2 with 4 birdies and 3 bogies while David Chung (69-73 T41) couldn't make enough birdies to offset 4 bogies on the day.

Below are the scorecards for each of Stanford's players in round 2.  Click to enlarge.

Round 1 Recap - by Stanford in 3rd place - see scorecards below:

STANFORD, Calif. -- - Stanford's men's golf team shot an opening round 277 (-3) and is in third place after the first day of the Stanford Regional on its home course.
The Cardinal is four shots behind first round leader San Francisco, which shot a seven-under 273 today, and one shot back of California, which opened with a 276 (-4).
Seven teams and 39 golfers managed to post scores of even par or better in favorable scoring conditions on the par-70 Stanford Golf Course.
UAB, Central Florida and Wichita State are tied for fourth at 278 (-2) while Tennessee is at even par 280.
The top five teams from the Stanford Regional advance to the NCAA Championships to be held later this month at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

Freshman Patrick Grimes
Freshman Patrick Grimes paced the Cardinal on day one, shooting a two-under 68. He is part of a large pack of golfers who are tied for seventh, two strokes behind co-leaders Sang Yi of LSU and Zachary Blair of BYU, who is playing as an individual.
Grimes, a Palo Alto native who attended The Menlo School, got off to a fast start this morning, collecting birdies on three of his first four holes. After making bogeys on holes 5 and 6, Grimes came back with a birdie on No. 9 to make the turn at 34.
After four straight pars and a bogey on the par-3 14th, Grimes birdied holes 15 and 16 to close with a 68.
Senior David Chung is tied for 17th after shooting a one-under 69. He was three-under on his round after making birdies on 1, 5 and 16 but closed with bogeys on 17 and 18 for an opening round 69.
Freshman Patrick Rodgers overcame two double bogeys on his card to shoot an opening round 70 and is tied for 27th place. He played the first nine holes at one-over but got back to even with a birdie on the par-4 11th. After making a double bogey on the par-3 14th, Rodgers answered with birdies on 15 and 16 and made a clutch par save from behind the green on 18 for his round of 70.
Cameron Wilson is also part of the large group who sit at even par. Wilson was one-over after his first 14 holes before going to one-under after making birdies on 15 and 16. He bogeyed the par-3 17th for an opening round score of 70.
Andrew Yun made a double bogey on his final hole and finished with a two-over score of 72. Yun made the turn at two-under, only to double the par-4 12th hole and bogey the par-4 13th. He got one stroke back with a birdie on the par-3 14th, only to finish with a double bogey.
Rnd 1 scorecards - click to enlarge

Stanford will be grouped with San Francisco and California in the second round and will tee off from the first hole beginning at 9:15 a.m.

May 15, 2012 - Background Info by
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford opens its drive for a ninth national championship at the NCAA Regionals, which will be held at Stanford Golf Course beginning on Thursday.
The field will tee off at 8 a.m. from holes No. 1 and 10 on Thursday and Friday and at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Admission is free.
The low five teams from this 13-team Stanford Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, to be held at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, May 29-June 3.
California, which won its first-ever Pac-12 championship earlier this month, is seeded first in the regional, followed by Stanford, San Diego State, Central Florida and LSU. Rounding out the field are (in order of seeding) UAB, Wichita State, Tennessee, Oregon State, Southeastern Louisiana, San Francisco, San Jose State and UC Davis.
Cal (No. 2), Stanford (No. 8), San Diego State (No. 14), Central Florida (No. 22), LSU (No. 25), UAB (No. 37) and Wichita State (No. 38) are ranked among the top-40 nationally in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings.
In addition to Cal, San Diego State (Mountain West), Wichita State (Missouri Valley), San Jose State (Western Athletic) and UC Davis (Big West) won its respective conference championships this spring.
Ten individual competitors -- Zac Blair and Justin Keiley of BYU, Justin Shinn and Zachary Fullerton of New Mexico State, Josh Anderson and Johnny MacArthur of Pepperdine, Alex Edfort of Pacific, Allan Jun of UC Irvine, Mason Carper of Utah Valley State and Jarred Bossio of Idaho -- are also included in the field, with the low individual earning a spot in the NCAA Championship field.
Stanford will look to regain some momentum following a sixth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships, which were held earlier this month in Corvallis, Ore.
Knowles Family Director of Golf Conrad Ray is not taking anything for granted this week, even though Stanford Golf Course provides a certain degree of comfort for his team.

"Playing on your home course is both good and bad," said Ray. "It's good in the sense that the guys are very familiar with the course and can manage expectations. But you don't want to fall into the trap of thinking you have to shoot a certain score rather than taking each hole one at a time."
Stanford is expected to start a lineup consisting of (in order) freshman Patrick Rodgers, junior Andrew Yun, sophomore Cameron Wilson, freshman Patrick Grimes and senior David Chung.
Rodgers and Yun are at the top of their games, as both have notched top-10 finishes in each of their last three outings.
Yun is coming off a win at the Pac-12 Championships, where he posted scores of 68-70-69-68 at the Trysting Tree Golf Club to become Stanford's first conference individual champion since Jim Seki in 2002.
The two-time first-team All-Pac-12 performer also tied for fourth at the Western Intercollegiate and tied for 10th at the U.S. Intercollegiate event held at Stanford in late March.
A model of consistency, Yun has six top-10 finishes in 10 events this season and 13 top-10's in his last 21 starts dating back to last season. He is currently ranked 10th in the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings and 12th in Golfweek's/Sagarin ratings.
Rodgers, one of three finalists for the Hogan Award given annually to the nation's top collegiate golfer, has recorded top-10's in all but two of his 10 starts this season, including a pair of wins at the Fighting Illini Invitational and the Western Intercollegiate.
He is ranked third in both the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings and Golfweek/Sagarin ratings and has shot par or better in 22 of his 31 rounds this year.
While Rodgers and Yun have been rocks at the top of the lineup, the Cardinal hopes its depth will pass the test this week.
Wilson, a sophomore, has three top-10's this season, highlighted by a fourth-place finish at the Fighting Illini Invitational in September, when he strung together rounds of 69, 67 and 76 on a very challenging course at Olympia Fields.
He also turned in a solid performance at the Western Intercollegiate, where he fired rounds of 69-72-70 to tie for 10th. Wilson followed an opening round 76 at the Pac-12 Championships with a six-under 66 in round two, only to be disqualified in round three for signing an incorrect scorecard. He managed to shoot an even par 72 in the final round.
Grimes, a product of The Menlo School, will get his first taste of NCAA tournament competition, while Chung's playing pedigree make him a threat in every tournament.

Cardinal Chips
This year marks the third time Stanford Golf Course has hosted an NCAA men's golf regional (1997 and 2005) 2005, the 16th-seeded Cardinal shot a final round 283 to finish eighth in the field, earning a spot in the NCAA Championships...freshman Rob Grube earned medalist honors, firing a final round 65...Stanford did not advance to the NCAA Championships last season, finishing sixth at the Central Regional in South Bend, Ind....Stanford has six top-five finishes this season but just one win at the Fighting Illini Cal has won a school-record five tournaments this season and has finished in the top five in all 12 of its tournaments...other regional sites are Athens, Ga., (University of Georgia Golf Course), Greensboro, N.C., (Grandover Resort-East Course), Ann Arbor, Mich., (University of Michigan Golf Course), Norman, Okla., (Jimmie Auston OU Golf Club) and Bowling Green, Ky. (The Club at Olde Stone).