It could not have been a better week for Stanford men’s golf, as the team breezed to a first-place finish at the NCAA Tucson regional championships. The Cardinal’s top-five finish sent them to the NCAA championship at the end of the month, where they will be one of 30 teams to compete for the national title.
The Cardinal’s dominant performance — they finished 31 under par (274-284-275), with the next closest competitor finishing at -17 — was spearheaded by four players finishing in the top 10. In his first collegiate win, sophomore Franklin Huang beat out teammate Maverick McNealy, the No. 2 collegiate golfer in the nation, by two strokes with a 12-under-204.
“I had the putter going throughout the week, and it was nice to be able to go out and play knowing the rest of the guys would put up a good number,” Huang said.
Senior David Boote (-4) and sophomore Jeff Swegle (-3) came in at eighth and tied for ninth, respectively.
The only Stanford golfer to fall outside the top 10 was freshman Brandon Wu, who finished 6 over par and tied for 40th place.
The team’s win comes off its strong play over the past two months: After earning third place in the Goodwin at the end of March, Stanford swept the Western Intercollegiate in mid-April and a few weeks later came out on top in the Pac-12 championships, posting 29 strokes better than second-place Cal.
“I’m really excited that our team kept the momentum we have had over the past month,” head coach Conrad Ray said. “Franklin was stellar this week, along with many of his teammates who had chances to win today. The Gallery was very demanding, and doing well on a course like that creates confidence for what lies ahead at the NCAA championships.”
The Cardinal either won or came in second in each round, ensuring them a first-place lead over all three days. Stanford was able to jump out to a quick lead in the tournament, when it finished Monday with four golfers under par and besting second-place UAB by nine strokes. The team continued its success on Tuesday, going 4 under par to extend its lead, making Stanford one of two teams to finish under par on the day. On Wednesday, the Cardinal continued their momentum to complete their victory.
In addition to No. 1 Stanford, the other top four teams at the event — No. 24 Oregon (-17), No. 37 University of Alabama, Birmingham (-7), No. 13 California (-2) and No. 12 Wake Forest (-1) — advanced to the NCAA championships.
The Cardinal will have a little over a week to prepare for the NCAA championships, in which they will seek to bring home the program’s ninth national title and its first since 2007. Play will begin May 28 and wrap up Wednesday, June 1 and will take place in Eugene, Oregon.
Contact Alexa Philippou at aphil723 ‘at’ stanford.edu or Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.