Friday, May 24, 2019

Stanford competes in the NCAA Championship in Arkansas

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MATCH PLAY RESULTS: Stanford wins it's 9th national championship!
For match play details with videos, quotes and tweets go to

"I'm just so proud of these guys," said Ray. "We battled all week. It is the longest week in golf and to play that fine Texas team and do what we did today, I can't say enough about my guys."

First-year assistant coach Matt Bortis competed for Arkansas for three years and the Blessings Golf Club was his home course. He transferred – wait for it – to Texas and played for the Longhorns his senior season.

"Pretty special," he said.

The Cardinal utilized his home course knowledge to full advantage.

"I give a ton of credit to Coach Bortis," said Shimp, who clinched the title on 17 with a 2 and 1 victory against Spencer Soosman in the leadoff spot. "He does a great job of keeping me calm out there. I just stayed confident and tried to hit good shots."

The win was especially satisfying for seniors Salinda and Wu, who competed for Stanford for the last time. Both went 3-0 in match play.

"I couldn't think of a better way to end," said Salinda.

Added Wu, "It's crazy. You can't script a better ending to your career. This whole week we knew that every round could be our last so to end up on a high note is great."

"It is unbelievable," said Shimp, who rebounded from a 2-down deficit. "To win with this group of guys is so cool. Two of my teammates who weren't even on the trip (Chris Meyersand Ethan Ng) flew in last night and bought their own tickets. It's amazing to do it with your teammates like this."

The team relished its underdog role and it provided added incentive.

"Once you get here, you have to think you have a chance," Salinda said. "Once we made match play, I thought we could win. It was pretty cool."

Ray thinks this team has worked harder than any team he has coached, on and off the course. The effort paid off big, along with the steady play of Salinda and Wu.

"They were rock solid all year, so we lean on them a lot," he said. "They left a strong legacy of leadership. I'm happy they could end their career like this because they are a huge part of our success."

Stanford has won six NCAA championships in 2018-19, also claiming titles in women's volleyball, women's swimming, men's gymnastics, women's water polo and women's tennis. The six NCAA titles matches the most for an academic year, with the Cardinal also winning six in 1996-97.

Men's golf becomes only the fourth men's program in the last 15 years to win an NCAA title, joining men's gymnastics (2009, 2011, 2019), men's volleyball (2010) and men's soccer (2015, 2016, 2017).
Final match play win over Texas 3 & 2 - click to enlarge
Semifinal match play win over Vanderbilt 3 & 2 - click to enlarge
Quarterfinal win over Wake Forest  3 & 2 - click to enlarge

ROUND FOUR RESULTS: Stanford advances to match play as the 6th seed
For full round details go to

For the third time in 11 years, the Stanford men's golf team has advanced to match play in the NCAA Championships.
Weathering a shaky front nine on Monday at demanding Blessings Golf Club, the No. 12 Cardinal steadied on the final nine and finished sixth in the 30-team field.
Sixth-seeded Stanford will face No. 3 seed Wake Forest in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 5 a.m. PT.
"Really proud of the guys," said Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf Conrad Ray. "Any time you get a chance to play match play at the national championship, you're happy. Our guys ground it out."

Final stroke play round standings - click to enlarge
Cardinal 4 round scoring - click to enlarge
4th round Stanford scorecards - click to enlarge

ROUND THREE RESULTS: Cardinal are tied for 2nd headed into final round
For full round details go to

"It was tough out there early," Said Conrad Ray, The Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf. "We had a short night with the tornado drill, and it took the guys a little while to get their bearings and lock and load. We could have played better. My experience is there's always going to be one day you have to weather the storm and I think we just had that day."

After avoiding a big mistakes the first two days, Salinda made two double bogeys on the back nine and finished with a 74. He is tied for fifth at 2-under.
"I made a few bad swings, but that's going to happen on this golf course," he said.

"Henry is hitting it great and really manages himself well," said Ray. "He could have made a few more putts. Give coach (Matt) Bortis credit for walking with him today."

"One step at a time," Ray said. "Tomorrow is a new day and I think our guys will be ready for it."
Ray will confer with Bortis to determine his lineup.
"We've hung our hat all year on depth, so we decided to stick Nate in there and see if that would add a little bit of spark and if he could manage the course," said Ray. "What we preach all year is that this is a team game and when your sixth man can beat the other team's sixth man, you've got something good. We'll figure it out, but it was nice to see Nate answer the call."

Third round standings - click to enlarge

Stanford scoring - click to enlarge
Stanford round 3 scorecards - click to enlarge
ROUND TWO RESULTS:  Solid 2nd round keeps Stanford in 2nd place
For full round details go to

"Any time you can get around this course in under par as a team, you've done well," said Conrad Ray, the Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf. "The guys got off to a solid start and we just kind of hung in there. Great contribution by Henry Shimp going under par and Daulet Tuleubayev was great from the get-go."

"We've kind of told the guys all year that we're trying to have five No. 1's," Ray said. "All of those guys can step up at any time and play well and you saw that today. Everyone is in a good spot; now the goal is to get some rest. That's a heckuva hike."

"Playing yesterday helped me understand the course," Salinda said. "I think the more you play this course, the more you get comfortable with it. There's a lot of shots where, if you don't have that much experience with the course, you'll be uncomfortable. So yesterday helped for sure."

"We know it's a long week," said Ray. "But if you can improve your position every day – and hats off to Oklahoma State, that's a great round. We're excited to see what happens tomorrow."
Round two standings - click to enlarge
Stanford scoring - click to enlarge
Stanford 2nd round scorecards - click to enlarge

ROUND ONE RESULTS: Strong Start led by Isaiah Salinda has Cardinal tied for 2nd
For full round one details including videos and quotes go to

"The guys did a nice job and really hung in there," said Conrad Ray, the Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf. "We knew it would be a challenge and it was."

Round one standings - click on image to enlarge
Round one Stanford scorecards - click to enlarge view

BACKGROUND: Cardinal is hot heading into the National Championship
The Stanford men's golf team returns to the NCAA Championships for the sixth-straight season and 12th time in 15 years, May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Cardinal owns eight national titles, capturing the last in 2007.

Ranked No. 12 and seeded 10th, Stanford enters as one of the hottest squads in the country. The Cardinal has won four consecutive tournaments and posted an 11-stroke victory last week at the NCAA Stanford Regional. During that span, the Cardinal is an accumulative 48-under par.

"There's a reason we picked hard courses to play on this season," said Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf Conrad Ray. "By all accounts, this will be the hardest we've seen. I think our team manages themselves well on hard courses. We have to keep hitting our drivers in the fairway. I'm confident the guys will be ready for the challenge."

The championships begin Friday with the first of four stroke-play rounds. The top eight teams advance to match play next Tuesday, with quarterfinal matches in the morning and semifinal matches in the afternoon. The winners play for the national title on Wednesday.

NCAA Men's Golf Championships
May 24-29
Blessings Golf Club • Fayetteville, Arkansas
7,550 yards • Par-72 (36-36)

The Coverage
• Live results will be available throughout the event at and, with updates available on Twitter (@StanfordMgolf), Facebook (StanfordMgolf) and Instagram (@StanfordMgolf).

• The Golf Channel will provide live coverage on Monday, March 27, from 4-8 p.m. CT, March 28 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 and 4-8  p.m. CT, and March 29 from 4-8 p.m. CT.
 The Field

• 30 teams and six individuals.
• Teams by seed: Oklahoma State (1), Arizona State (2), Wake Forest (3), Vanderbilt (4), Texas (5), Oklahoma (6), Georgia Tech (7), Duke (8), USC (9), Stanford (10), Auburn (11), Cal (12), Clemson (13), Georgia (14), BYU (15), South Carolina (16), LSU (17), Texas A&M (18), North Florida (19), Pepperdine (20), Louisville (21), Liberty (22), Baylor (23), Illinois (24), North Carolina (25), TCU (26), UNLV (27), Ohio State (28), Georgia Southern (29) and SMU (30).
 The Format
• Four rounds of stroke play, with top eight teams advancing to match play. Following the third round of stroke play, the top 15 teams and nine individuals not members of an advancing team qualify for the final round and the overall stroke play championship. Quarterfinal and semifinal matches are on May 28 and the final is on May 29.

In stroke play, each team will count best four-of-five scores. A substitute can be inserted each day.

The Schedule

• Stanford begins first-round play on Friday at 1:27 p.m. CT (11:27 a.m. PT) on the first tee with Auburn and Cal. The Cardinal is scheduled to start its second round on Saturday at 8:07 a.m. CT on the 10th tee with Auburn and Cal. Third-round pairings will determined after the second round.

The Forecast

• Partly cloudy all week with high's in the low-to-mid 80's. Humidity will be in high 60's and there is a  chance of rain and thunderstorms.
Cardinal Contingent
• Stanford will be represented by senior Isaiah Salinda, senior Brandon Wu, junior David Snyder, junior Henry Shimp and freshman Daulet Tuleubayev. Sophomore Nate Menon is the substitute.

Last year

• The Cardinal qualified for the NCAA Championships at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Oklahoma but failed to reach match play. Salinda sparked Stanford by tying for 15th, while Wu and Snyder also competed. 

Coming in Hot

• The four-consecutive wins are the most by Stanford since 2013-14, when it claimed six overall victories behind the play of NCAA individual champion Cameron Wilson and current PGA Tour veteran Patrick Rodgers.

This season's win total is the highest since 1995-96, when sophomore Tiger Woods and Joel Kribel sparked the squad to five triumphs. Since then, the most team titles recorded in a season was seven in 2006-07. Woods won the NCAA individual title.

Dynamic Duo

• Wu and Salinda have enjoyed stellar seasons and earned All-Pac-12 first team honors. They are No. 11 and No. 29, respectively, in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Both have competed in 10 stroke-play tournaments and rank 1-2 in scoring average at 69.97 and 70.68, respectively.

• Wu has six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts. He scored his first collegiate victory at The Goodwin on March 30 at Stanford Golf Course and has a second and third. During that span, Wu is a combined 36-under par and has posted seven rounds in the 60's, including a pair of 65's. He has broken par in nine of his last 13 rounds – six in the 60's – and has finished outside the top-23 once all season.
• After registering his first collegiate victory last month at the Western Intercollegiate, Salinda has been on a tear. He earned his second triumph last week at the NCAA Stanford Regional and has finished 14th or better in his last five starts, tallying sixth or higher in four, and is a combined 24-under. Salinda fired a career-best 6-under-par 64 in the first round of the Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif. and led wire-to-wire for his first collegiate crown on April 1. He has recorded a team-best 11 rounds in the 60's this season.
• Snyder has contributed top-20 finishes in four of his last five starts. He's broken 70 in five of his last 10 rounds, topped by a final-round 4-under-par 66 at The Goodwin and is averaging 70.20 in his last 10 rounds and ranks third on the team in scoring with an average of 71.00 in seven events.
• In his last four tournaments, Shimp has fired four 68's. His best finish is a tie for ninth at the Southern Highlands Intercollegiate and he earned a share of 11th at the Western Intercollegiate. Shimp has played in seven tournaments and averages 71.77.
• Tuleubayev posted a career-best tie for seventh at the Pac-12 Championships and was selected All-Pac-12 second team. He has shot 72 or lower in six of his last 10 rounds. Tuleubayev has participated in seven events and averages 73.14.
Trending Up
• Playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, Stanford has finished outside the top-10 only once this season. Stanford has come on strong this spring, placing sixth, third, first, first, first and first in its last six starts. The team is a combined 58-under-par during in its last six tournaments.

Local Knowledge

• Cardinal first-year assistant coach Matt Bortis is very familiar with Blessings Golf Club. He was a standout on the Arkansas team from 2004-06 and was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection.

The Course

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. in 2004 and renovated by Kyle Phillips in 2017, Blessings Golf Club is the home course of the Arkansas Razorbacks and will provide a stern test for the top college players in the nation. From the back tees, it carries a 79.1 rating and 153 slope rating, making it one of the toughest courses in the country.

Funded by John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, the rolling layout is characterized by dramatic elevation changes and forced carries over ravines, valleys and wetlands, sidehill lies, and large, undulating greens. The speedy putting surfaces are turtle-backed and require proper spin and trajectory.The fairways are tight and place a premium on accuracy off the tee, especially with the strategically-located bunkers. Patience and good course management are a must. 


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