NCAA titles at stake for various Stanford teams, athletes


Call it championship weekend. As the Stanford men's golf team begins its quest for a national title, the women's team is looking to finish among the national leaders.

Several members of the Stanford women's tennis team remain in the hunt for an individual national title in the wake of the Cardinal's Final Four appearance this week.

Meanwhile, Stanford's baseball team is in the exact same position it was a year ago at this point in the season. A series sweep and the Cardinal will be sent somewhere for an NCAA regional appearance. Anything less and the chances become dicey.

Thus far, 22 Stanford teams have been represented in NCAA tournament play. One came home a national champion, three others were national runner-ups, a few more reached the Final Four and one played in the Rose Bowl.

Golf and baseball would like to add to that success on a campus where success is expected. Those 19 Director's Cups that take up space in the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame are the physical evidence.

Junior Patrick Rodgers and senior Cameron Wilson, perhaps the country's best collegiate golfing duo, hope to end their careers as NCAA champs. The Cardinal takes to the links at the Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., which features a different tournament format this year in that both a team and individual tournament will be held,

The first 54 holes will determine the two-day, 8-team match play tournament that will decide the title.

Rodgers, who tied Tiger Woods with his 11th career win at last week's regional tournament, declared this to be his final year before turning pro.

Freshmen Jim Liu, Maverick McNealy, Viraat Badhwar and/or sophomore David Boote hope to help send their leaders off with a title.

This week, Rodgers received an exemption to play in the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic, July 7-13 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. The world's No. 1-ranked amateur, Rodgers received his third consecutive sponsor exemption to the John Deere Classic.

Rodgers most recently won the prestigious Ben Hogan Award given to the "outstanding male amateur and collegiate golfer and of the year."

Rodgers and Wilson, meanwhile, were named to the PING All-West Region team, as announced Thursday. All-region honors went to 157 players across six regions – Northeast, East, Southeast, Midwest, Central and West – for the 2013-14 season.

The Cardinal baseball team has it postseason hopes riding on it three-game Pac-12 series against host Utah. The games are slated to start at 11 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the Utes share Smith's Ballpark with the Los Angeles Angels' Triple-A affiliate Salt Lake City Bees, who are hosting the San Francisco Giants' Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies this weekend.

A sweep would give Stanford (13-14, 27-23) the chance to finish fifth in the Pac-12. USC (14-13, 27-23) also has designs on the postseason but hosts conference leader Oregon State (22-5, 41-10) in a three-game set. The Beavers are ahead of second-place Washington by two games and a win would clinch the Pac-12 crown.

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