HUTCHINSON, Kansas – Cameron Wilson won the 2014 NCAA men’s golf individual title Monday, prevailing by sinking a decisive birdie putt on the third playoff hole. Wilson edged Georgia Tech’s Ollie Schniederjans to win the championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club.
Wilson joined Sandy Tatum (1942) and Tiger Woods (1996) as individual champions from Stanford. It was Stanford's 504th all-time individual NCAA title.
Earlier in the team tournament, Wilson fired a 63 during the second round on Saturday. The 63 was the second-best NCAA score ever by a Cardinal golfer, trailing only Notah Begay’s 62 in the 1994 finale.
He had rounds of 71-70 in the first and third rounds for a three-round total of 204 on the par-70 course.
“I really didn’t stray from my plan that much, and I didn’t beat myself up,” Wilson said. “Then when we got to the playoff, I was just thinking how cool it was. The sun was setting and the fescue was everywhere. We had the American flags out, and I’ve known Ollie for a while. He’s a friend … It was a really cool scene.”
The title gives Wilson bookend wins for his senior season on The Farm, as he was victorious at the season-opening Fighting Illini Invitational in September. Wilson added a third win at the Western Intercollegiate in April, and the NCAA title gave Stanford an individual medalist in each of the last seven events.
Wilson birdied the par-5 17th and bogeyed 18 to put himself in the playoff. He and Schniederjans matched shots over the first two holes – 18 and 10 – of sudden death.
On the third extra hole, Wilson knocked his third shot to within 10 feet on the 17th and sank the birdie putt to claim the national championship.
“It’s incredible, so glad I made that putt, this is surreal,” Wilson told the Golf Channel moments after clinching the win. “I’ve got to mention my team first. I’ve got to say how proud I am of my guys so far. There is a lot of golf left, but I am really happy for all of the guys.”
Wilson, the fifth-ranked amateur golfer in the world, will now turn his attention along with the Cardinal contingent on another trophy. Stanford will be matched up against Illinois in the quarterfinals of the match play portion of the tournament to determine the team champion. The Cardinal is the top seed in the eight-team match play field. The teams tee off Tuesday morning at 7:50 a.m. (CT).
Golf Channel will begin its coverage of match play with Golf Central pregame coverage from 2 to 4 p.m. (CT), with Golf Channel coverage of semifinal match play from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday’s coverage will re-air on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
What an honor to win the 2014 Indy title. But still lots of golf left! Proud of how my team has played but this is far from over!— Cameron Wilson (@CAWilsonGolf) May 27, 2014
“I think we’re really fired up,” said Conrad Ray, Stanford’s Knowles Family Director of Men’s Golf. “I think to see the contributions across the board from all of our guys today in some really tough conditions, and the wind came up, we felt fortunate to have a good draw.
“We know that this is just the start of a lot more golf. It’s neat to see them all fired up and ready to go for the matches tomorrow.”
At 13-under through 36 holes, Stanford (281-267-279) was 1-under on the day and nine shots clear of second-place Alabama and LSU.
David Boote (73-67-65) was in the zone throughout the final round with a 5-under 65. Boote tied for third at 5-under overall and ripped off three straight birdies before making the turn to go to 3-under. He nailed a 16-foot birdie putt on 16 and followed with a winding birdie conversion on 17.
"I was just trying to go out there and shoot a decent score and not really have any expectations," Boote said. "As soon as I started to play well, I knew I was playing well so I just carried on and I was pleased with how I finished."
Patrick Rodgers (67-68-73) entered the day in second at 5-under. He found himself at 1-under in his third round with back-to-back birdies on seven and eight. The back nine did not treat him as well and was plagued by four bogeys.
Rodgers, who ends his Stanford career knotted with Tiger Woods with 11 victories, placed in a tie for 15th. Rodgers had six wins on the season and tallied victories in five of six tournaments entering the NCAA Championships.
With the efforts of Wilson, Boote and Rodgers, Stanford had three players in top-20 for first time since 2007. That squad would go on to win the national title at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va.
Maverick McNealy (73-69-72) was 1-under on the back and carded a 2-over 72 to tie for 55th. Fellow freshman Viraat Badhwar (70-76-72) was 10-over for the tournament and notched three birdies in his final round.