Sports

Cardinal men maintain golf lead without playing a hole

 

The Stanford men's golf team received an unscheduled day off from the NCAA championship tournament on Sunday.

It's a good thing the Cardinal got in two rounds on Saturday at the Prairie Dunes Country Club in Kansas.

More than half the field needed to finish the second round on Sunday and that proved difficult as thunder and lightning forced a mid-morning delay, and then shut down the event in early evening.

The second round was completed, but the third round became a victim of the severe weather, prompting a change for the rest of the tournament, beginning Monday.

Round 4 of competition (low 40 individuals and ties) was canceled.

Round 3 will be repaired to include only teams 1-15 and the six low individuals not on those teams (based on non-sudden death tie-breaking procedures) to determine the eight teams for match play and the individual champion.

No. 5 California, which shot its way back into contention through seven holes of the third round, became a victim of the change in format. The Golden Bears are in 16th place after two rounds.

None of the 15 teams, which started the third round, completed nine holes.

Third-seeded Stanford shot a 1-over (281) through its first 18 and 13-under (267) in its second time around the par-70 course to command first place and a four-stroke lead over top-ranked Alabama.

The break paid dividends for clubhouse leader Cameron Wilson, who shot a bogey-free 7-under second round 63, eight shots better than his opening 18 holes.

Patrick Rodgers (67-68) is second at 5-under.

Wilson's 63 is the second-best NCAA score ever by a Cardinal golfer, trailing only Notah Begay's 62 in the 1994 finale.

"I had some good looks at the beginning of the round that I didn't make, but I felt good about my game and knew that I would have a chance to shoot a low score," Wilson said. "The soft greens today really helped out everyone."

They certainly helped Wilson and Rodgers, who combined for 15 birdies and one eagle.

Wilson pulled off the shot of the day on his second time playing the lengthy 534-yard par-4 11th.

After his drive found a left-side fairway bunker, he cracked a blind 8-iron from 192 yards away that landed three inches past the hole and pulled back into the cup for an eagle.

"I think it went it in," he said as he made his way out of the bunker and around the corner to view the green. The cheering gallery confirmed in glee.

Wilson later chipped in for birdie on 15 and buried a round-ending birdie on 18.

David Boote added a splendid 67 in the second round. He was 3-under in the front half thanks largely to a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 seventh.

Rodgers was his steady self and his only bogeys came one round apart on the 13th and 14th holes.

Maverick McNealy's closing 69 was four shots better than his morning round. Fellow freshman Viraat Badhwar went 70-76.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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