After posting an impressive final round in the desert at The Prestige, Stanford men’s golf returned home to host Santa Clara in an all-day match play event at the Stanford Golf Course. The Cardinal capitalized on consistent play in both the morning and afternoon sessions to take down the Broncos by an overall score of 8-5.
The match, which was scheduled to get both teams some competitive reps following the COVID-19 delay, had an unusual format. In the morning, there were nine “medal matches,” designed as head-to-head matches decided by cumulative score instead of holes won, which were followed by four traditional fourball matches in the afternoon.
The unique format allowed five Cardinal golfers to make their season debut: fifth years David Snyder and David Leede, senior Nate Menon and juniors Daulet Tuleubayev and Ethan Ng.
Snyder posted the best Stanford round in the morning session. He made four birdies and just three bogeys in his one-under-par 69 and five stroke victory over his opponent. Freshman Michael Thorbjornsen, who tied for 21st at The Prestige, continued his strong play with a one-over-par 71 and a 10-stroke victory. Three more wins from Menon, Leede and senior Ashwin Arasu gave the Cardinal a 5-4 advantage after the conclusion of the morning matches.
The low round of the morning, though, belonged to Santa Clara senior Matt McCarty who shot a near-flawless 65 against freshman Karl Vilips.
The Cardinal played even better in the afternoon session, winning three of the four matches by significant margins. Vilips teamed up with Menon to shoot an exceptional seven-under-par best ball score through 13 holes. They did not get to put the finishing touches on their masterpiece of a round, however, because they won 6 and 5. Snyder built on his impressive play from the morning round, as he and Thorbjornsen shot a five-under-par 30 on the front nine en route to a 4 and 3 win. Sophomore Barclay Brown and Ng put the finishing touches on Stanford’s win over Santa Clara with a 3 and 2 triumph in the final afternoon match.
The season is still young for the men’s golf team, but strong performances in the final round of The Prestige and against Santa Clara might be a harbinger of big things to come. The Cardinal’s next stop is The Cabo Collegiate, a three-day tournament in San Antonio starting Mar. 1.