Portola Valley resident Maverick McNealy felt good about the way he was playing. He felt even better about the way his teammates were playing.
All that goodwill turned into one of Stanford's most impressive rounds of golf in program history.
McNealy used nine birdies to post a remarkable 8-under 64 Wednesday for his third medalist honor of the season. Only eight players in Stanford history have recorded a round lower than McNealy's 64.
Stanford finished second after opening The Prestige at PGA West in 10th place on Monday. Stanford was seventh through two rounds of the three-day, 54-hole showdown.
Stanford's 20-under tied the best single round in school annuals, matching a round at the CordeValle Classic in 2006.
In all, four Cardinal golfers finished the final round under par. Viraat Badhwar tied for 19th and had a brilliant 6-under 66. Badhwar went 5-under on the front and was 6-under through 11. He neutralized a bogey on 12 with a birdie on the par-4 13th.
David Boote, who tied for 27th, collected eight birdies with three bogeys for his 5-under performance. Franklin Huang tied for 21st following his 1-under finale and Jeffrey Swegle had an even-par kind of day.
"We fed off each others' momentum," McNealy said. "It got me going on eight to hear that Viraat was 5-under and Boote was 4-under. I'm really happy for the guys. We have been putting in great work and it's starting to pay off. We're going to take this momentum into our next event."
McNealy followed an opening-round birdie with a bogey on the second hole. He proceeded to birdie every other hole from four to 14, and then rattled off birdies on 15 and 16. McNealy (68-69-64) was 15-under overall.
"My game has felt really solid for a while, but I really started to light it up coming down the stretch of our events, especially the last six holes at our last tournament in Hawaii," McNealy said. "I tried to get in that mindset from the get-go today, and played possibly the best round of golf in my life. I had two bad tee balls, both of which I couldn't swing at because I was next to a tree. But I absolutely stuffed irons all day and even hit the pin from 157 yards out on the ninth. I was happy with how I kept the pedal down during the whole round."
While the Cardinal briefly held the lead with its tournament-best 20-under 268, Arizona State used a late surge to take the tournament title. The Sun Devils were 31-under while Stanford (288-281-268) finished at 27-under.
It was the third straight top-10 finish for the Cardinal, which won The Prestige last season. McNealy was the program's second straight medalist at the event, following the path blazed by Patrick Rodgers' 2014 victory.
McNealy was four shots better than second-place Xander Schauffele (San Diego State) and Jon Rahm (Arizona State), who both finished at 11-under.
Individuals Patrick Grimes (t-56th), Dominick Francks (t-63rd) and Bradley Knox (t-77th) each went 2-over to conclude the event.
The Cardinal will now dust off its passports and head to the Querencia Cabo Collegiate (March 1-3) in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Kayla Bonstrom and Cassandra Roulund hit back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the sixth lifted Stanford to a 4-3 victory over visiting UC Davis on Wednesday in a nonconference game.
The Aggies took the lead in the top of the sixth on a three-run home run, the lone blemish on Haley Snyder's pitching record. She pitched six innings, allowing six hits with three walks and a strikeout.
Madi Schreyer got the save, though she walked the bases loaded before getting the final out. She struck out two,
Arden Pettit added two hits and drove in a run. Betsy Noll added a home run for Stanford (8-4), which plays at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City beginning Friday with a game against South Carolina.
Sophomore Kelsey Murray scored five goals and added four assists to help No. 19 Stanford beat visiting Fresno State, 22-7, in a NorPac Conference match Wednesday.
Senior Kyle Fraser added four goals for the Cardinal (1-0, 1-0), which hosts No. 12 Notre Dame on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Juniors Alexandra Crerend and Lucy Dikeou each scored three times.