HUTCHINSON, Kansas – What a difference a half hour makes.
Third-seeded Stanford played two rounds Saturday at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships held at Prairie Dunes Country Club, separated by nearly 35 minutes. The Cardinal (281-267) logged a 1-under through its first 18 and 12-under in its second time around the par-70 track to command first place and a four-stroke lead over South Carolina. The Gamecocks were one of many teams who only played 18 holes on the tournament’s opening day.
The midday break paid dividends for clubhouse co-leader Cameron Wilson. Wilson fired off a bogey-free 7-under second round 63, eight shots better than his opening 18 holes. Wilson shares the lead with South Carolina’s Will Starke.
Patrick Rodgers (67-68) is tied for second at 5-under.
Wilson’s 63 is the second-best NCAA score ever by a Cardinal golfer, trailing only Notah Begay’s 62 in the 1994 finale.
“I had some good looks at the beginning of the round that I didn’t make, but I felt good about my game and knew that I would have a chance to shoot a low score,” Wilson said. “The soft greens today really helped out everyone.”
They certainly helped Wilson and Rodgers, who combined for 15 birdies and one eagle.
Wilson pulled off the shot of the day on his second time playing the lengthy 534-yard par-4 11th. After his drive found a left-side fairway bunker, he cracked a blind 8-iron from 192 yards away that landed three inches past the hole and pulled back into the cup for an eagle.
“I think it went it in,” he said as he made his way out of the bunker and around the corner to view the green. The cheering gallery confirmed in glee.
Wilson later chipped in for birdie on 15 and buried a round-ending birdie on 18.
David Boote added a splendid 67 in the second round. He was 3-under in the front half thanks largely to a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 seventh.
Rodgers was his steady self and his only bogeys came one round apart on the 13th and 14th holes.
Patrick Rodgers last player off the tee as Cardinal enters second round in 10th. pic.twitter.com/8AZIUsGpo1— Stanford Men's Golf (@StanfordMGolf) May 24, 2014
Maverick McNealy’s closing 69 was four shots better than his morning round. Fellow freshman Viraat Badhwar went 70-76.
Stanford was 14-under and led by six strokes at one point during its second round.
The tournament continues Sunday with live results available at GoStanford.com.