Sports

Stanford men earn trip to NCAA golf championships

 

Second-seeded Stanford finished second at the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional Championships at North Carolina's Finley Golf Course on Saturday, and in doing so punched its ticket to the NCAA Men's Golf Championships.

Maverick McNealy went from 13th after the opening round to his sixth medalist honor on the season, tying Patrick Rodgers for the second-best total in program history. Tiger Woods holds the school record at eight wins. The win was the sixth of his career, give him sole possession of fourth in the Cardinal record book.

McNealy (70-67-70) was 9-under overall and 2-under in his final round, which included five birdies. He held off Lipscomb's Dawson Armstrong (-7) and Western Carolina's J.T. Potson (-7) for the top billing.

The win was the latest item on the resume of McNealy, a Ben Hogan Award finalist and national player of the year candidate. The Pac-12 Player of the Year also is the nation's top-ranked collegiate player in the Golfstat and Golfweek rankings.

Stanford received top-20 finishes from Viraat Badhwar (-1) and Franklin Huang (-1), who tied for 18th. Badhwar (73-71-71) recorded Stanford's lone eagle at the event, which came on the par-5, 564-yard 13th hole during his 1-under finale. Huang (74-69-72) was even-par to finish the freshman's NCAA Regional debut.

Jeffrey Swegle's debut yielded a 24th-place finish after rounds of 73-72-72 for a 1-over. David Boote (75-68-75) was 32nd at 2-over.

The Cardinal had an uphill climb to survive the regional showdown, traveling across the country and standing in seventh place through 18 holes. The Cardinal rallied to the top of the leaderboard after the second round and signed off on a collective 14-under 850.

All said and done, Stanford (290-275-285) was five shots behind first-place UNC Charlotte. Florida State (-11), Florida (-9), and Clemson (-4) also advanced out of the regional and into the NCAA finale.

The NCAA Championships (May 29-June 3) will be played at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida. Stanford finished first through the stroke-play portion of the 2014 NCAA Championships and took third in match play.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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