MARANA, Ariz. – For the first time in 20 years, the Stanford men’s golf team hoisted the Pac-12 Conference Championship trophy.
Taking a 21-stroke lead into the final round of the 72-hole event at The Gallery Golf Club, the third-ranked Cardinal put it in cruise control with a 2-under 1,438 (362-354-367-355) for the eighth title in program history and first since 1994. In fact, the 1994 title was won 20 years ago just 13 miles south at Tucson National Golf Course.
The win Sunday was the third straight for Stanford and the latest in a season that has featured five team victories, the most since the 2007 national championship squad won seven.
Stanford’s showing was 15 strokes better than second-place Washington. It was the largest margin of victory at the Pac-12 Championships since 2009 when Washington won by 18 strokes.
Stanford became the seventh different Pac-12 school to win the conference title since 2004.
“This is a special group and they’ve had an unbelievable run this spring,” said Conrad Ray, Stanford’s Knowles Family Director of Men’s Golf. “Patrick has been an incredible leader, and having both Patrick and Cameron finish in the top-5 together consistently is hard to beat. The freshmen have stepped up and contributed, which has helped carry us.
“I’m happy for these guys and happy for the program. This means a lot to all of us.”
Patrick Rodgers accounted for the program’s 21st individual league medalist honor, the most of any team in the Pac-12. Rodgers finished at 7-under to win by two strokes over Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan and has won 10 times in his career, including four this spring. He still trails the school record of 11 victories by Tiger Woods.
“I couldn’t be happier for our team,” said Rodgers. “We’ve worked hard all year for this, and it goes back much further than the start of this season. All the guys who have put so much blood, sweat and tears into this program for the last 20 years dating back to our last conference title deserve a piece of this win. So many guys have worked their tails off and have put so much work into this program. Everybody is a huge part of this, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Stanford program.”
Andrew Luck sent a text to Patrick Rodgers to wish him luck at the Pac-12 Championships ... Rodgers went on to win the individual title— Alan George (@treeSIDjorge) April 27, 2014
Rodgers carded an even-par 72 in his final round and held off a charging Pan, whose 4-under helped Washington to a 14-under final round. Rodgers collected four birdies during a five-hole span in the middle of his round to help secure the win.
The difference for Rodgers (71-65-73-72) was his second round of 7-under, aided by three eagles in a seven-hole stretch to widen his lead over the field.
Cameron Wilson (72-71-73-68) was third after a spectacular 4-under with five birdies to close the senior’s final conference tournament.
Maverick McNealy (75-75-72-70) stepped up with a 2-under to and tied for ninth, the third Stanford player in the top-10.
Tying for 16th were Viraat Badhwar (72-70-78-74) and David Boote (72-75-74-73) at 6-over.
Jim Liu (DQ-73-75-72) shot even-par Sunday.
Stanford now looks forward to the NCAA Regionals, which will be held May 15-17 at one of six predetermined host sites around the nation. The NCAA Men’s Golf Committee will select 81 teams and 45 individuals for regional competition including automatic qualifiers (28) and at-large teams (53).
Pac-12 Networks will air coverage of the Pac-12 Men’s Golf Championship on a taped-delay basis at 11 a.m. (PT) on May 11.
|Finish||Team • Player||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4
|1||Stanford||362 (+2)||354 (-6)||367 (+7)||355 (-5)||1,438 (-2)|
|1||Patrick Rodgers||71 (-1)||65 (-7)||73 (+1)||72 (E)||281 (-7)|
|3||Cameron Wilson||72 (E)||71 (-1)||73 (+1)||68 (-4)||284 (-4)|
|T9||Maverick McNealy||75 (+3)||75 (+3)||72 (E)||70 (-2)||292 (+4)|
|T16||David Boote||72 (E)||75 (+3)||74 (+2)||73 (+1)||294 (+6)|
|T16||Viraat Badhwar||72 (E)||70 (-2)||78 (+6)||74 (+2)||294 (+6)|
|T71||Jim Liu||DQ||73 (+1)||75 (+3)||72 (E)||220 (--)|