Stanford Golf is Heading into a New Era
The Stanford men's golf team is coming off an outstanding 1995-96 campaign in which they captured four team tournament titles and nine individual tournament titles. Coach Wally Goodwin and his 1996-97 squad are looking to continue the success the Cardinal has enjoyed in the past. Stanford has become one of the nation's top men's golf programs, continuing to compete in the highly regarded Pacific-10 Conference and be a contender at the NCAA tournament.
Last season, Tiger Woods captured the NCAA individual crown, winning five regular season tournaments and shattering Pac-10 records along the way. Woods led the Cardinal to an impressive first place finish in the West Regional Tournament and a fourth place finish at the NCAA's. Woods, a three-time U.S. Amateur champion, turned pro last August.
"Tiger's list of accomplishments while at Stanford is long and distinguished," said Goodwin. "He did a lot for the university and the golf program in his two years here. He made the Stanford golf hat and Stanford uniform known all over the world. He has established a tradition of excellence at Stanford. It is one I hope will continue for years to come."
Goodwin will look to sophomore Joel Kribel to lead the Cardinal. Kribel had an outstanding freshman season, notching six top five finishes and sporting an impressive 73.43 stroke average. He won his first collegiate tournament last April, shooting a two-under par 211 at the U.S. Intercollegiate. He shot a career low 209 at the U.S. Collegiate, good enough for a second place finish. With one year of experience under his belt, Kribel should be ready to compete with the nation's best golfers.
"I expect wonderful things out of Joel," said Goodwin. "He had a very successful summer which should carry over into the season. Joel is one of the top collegiate golfers and I look to him to do great things for us this season."
Kribel had an outstanding summer of golf, winning the Pacific Northwest Amateur and the Western Amateur. Kribel was a semifinalist in the 1996 U.S. Amateur, finishing second to Tiger Woods. He enters the season as the sixth ranked collegiate golfer in the nation.
Nine golfers will compete for the other four spots in the lineup. The roster includes six returning players and three incoming freshmen who will all contend for playing time. The six veterans have turned in impressive performances in the past and look to be a factor this season. The three freshmen are eager and ready to compete at the collegiate level. They have the potential and ability to see playing time early in the season.
Conrad Ray brings three years of intercollegiate experience to the team as its long senior. He has seen a drop in his stroke average each season and looks to make an impact this year. Ray had an outstanding showing at the 1996 Stanford Fall Invitational, finishing fifth at 216, including a five-under par 66 in the first round.
"Conrad is a big, strong, powerful player," Goodwin said. "He had a big summer of golf and did a great job everywhere he played."
Returning for his third season on The Farm is junior Eri Crum. Crum had a solid year for the Cardinal in 1995-96, finishing the season with a 75.85 stroke average. He had his best finish at the BYU Classic, tying for second at 220. His spectacular second-round score of 68 helped the Cardinal win the Classic for the first time in school history.
"Eri has shown steady improvement over the past two seasons. He started to come into his own last year as a sophomore and played some great golf for us," said Goodwin. "He had a fine summer and I really look forward to his production as a college golfer."
Jake Poe saw a significant drop in his stroke average over the course of last season. Poe has shown a great deal of improvement and determination, knocking two strokes off his average. Goodwin looks to Poe to contend for a starting position
"Jake worked hard over the summer and is ready to compete. He has really come along as a player the past few years and has shown he has what it takes to compete," said Goodwin. "He is a wonderful player and I look to him to be a major contributor to the team this year."
Sophomores Scott Wang and Tyler Dennis look to get more playing time this season. They worked hard over the summer to improve their game and hope to show it this season.
"Tyler and Scott are solid competitors and are working to break into the starting lineup," Goodwin said. "I expect good things from them this season and in years to come."
A strong freshman class adds depth to the team. The class of 2000 includes Dustin Brett, Andy Hasting, Tylar Lunke and Michael Weimer. All four are seasoned junior golfers and are capable of making the transition to collegiate golf.
"I am excited about the recruiting class and look forward to having them at Stanford," said Goodwin They all have the potential to have successful careers here. I am looking forward to coaching these young men over the next four years."
Goodwin is looking to Kribel to turn in an outstanding season and lead the Cardinal to their fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships. The group of returning golfers and incoming freshmen will add experience and depth in the two through five slots of the starting lineup.
"With the group we presently have," Goodwin said, "I believe will be in the NCAA Championship hunt for the next several years.