To close its spring break, Stanford men’s golf played host to 28 collegiate teams in the 51st edition of The Goodwin at the Stanford Golf Course. The Cardinal posted consistently low scores throughout the three-day event, beating all teams but one: Arizona State.
In early season events, the Cardinal struggled in opening rounds. The team’s first round scoring average was over 11 shots worse than its average for the next two days. However, in the opening round of The Goodwin, Stanford reversed this trend.
On Friday, the Cardinal came out firing on its home course. Freshman Michael Thorbjornsen led the way for Stanford with a three-under-par 67. Thorbjornsen’s bogey-free back nine was punctuated by an eagle on the par five 16th hole. Junior Ethan Ng cruised to a two-under-par 68, while fifth year David Snyder and freshman Karl Vilips added rounds of 70. At the conclusion of day one, the Cardinal led the 28-team field with a score of five-under-par 275.
On Saturday, the Cardinal posted the third-best score in the field, but fell behind Arizona State by five shots. Sophomore Barclay Brown fired a two-under-par 68. Vilips made a remarkable seven birdies in his second round 69. Thorbjornsen shot 71, and Ng shot 73 to round out the Cardinal’s scoring.
In the final round of The Goodwin, the Cardinal made a run for the team title, but Arizona State ran away from the field on the back nine.
Brown continued his impressive play with his second consecutive round of 68. Ng birdied four of the last eight holes to also shoot 68. Thorbjornsen and Vilips posted rounds of 70 and 71, respectively, as the Cardinal shot a three-under-par 277 in the final round.
Consistency was key for the Cardinal this week. Brown finished at two-under-par for the tournament to grab a share of 11th place. Ng, Thorbjornsen and Vilips all shot one-under-par to tie for 14th. With four of five golfers in the starting lineup in the top 15, Stanford was nearly impossible to defeat. Indeed, with the exception of Arizona State, Stanford beat every team in the field by at least nine shots.
The Cardinal also sent out six golfers — fifth years Henry Shimp and David Leede, seniors Nate Menon and Ashwin Arasu, junior Daulet Tuleubayev and freshman Jake Beber-Frankel — to compete in the tournament as individuals.
Menon improved his score each round to grab the best finish out of the Cardinal individuals. His rounds of 69 and 67 on the weekend put him in a tie for 21st place overall. Shimp and Tuleubayev both finished at three-over-par to tie for 33rd, and Beber-Frankel placed in a tie for 43rd.
Overall, this was a very strong week for Stanford men’s golf. The Cardinal beat several top programs in the country — No. 12 Pepperdine and No. 19 SMU — as well as many in-conference rivals, including Cal, Colorado, Oregon, USC, UCLA, Washington and Washington State. Stanford will look to carry its momentum from The Goodwin to the Cowboy Classic, which begins April 5 in Mesa, Ariz.