Sports

McNealy advances into Match Play Championship quarters

 

Stanford junior Maverick McNealy won his first two rounds in the Match Play Championships on Wednesday at Spyglass Hill with a few holes to spare.

The top-seeded McNealy, representing Sharon Heights Golf Club, opened with a 4 and 3 victory over Menlo-Atherton High Derek Ackerman in the morning and came back in the afternoon to down the 17th-seeded Nick Moore, 6 and 5.

McNealy goes against ninth-seeded Matthew Ashley, a redshirt sophomore at San Jose State in Thursday morning' quarterfinal round.

The McNealy-Ashley winner meets the winner of a match between 13th-seeded Walker Huddy, a sophomore at California, and No. 28 seed Shintaro Ban, a sophomore at UNLV, in Thursday afternoon's semifinals.

McNealy, the highest world-ranked amateur to ever play in an NCGA championship, was again in top form.

In his win over Moore and a 4 and 3 victory over Derek Ackerman in the Round of 32, the Stanford junior went a combined 10-under over 28 holes without a single bogey.

Thus far, McNealy is 18-under through 64 holes on a Spyglass Hill course that is one of the toughest rated courses on the planet.

"There's a reason why he's No.2 in the world," Moore said.

For McNealy, meanwhile, it's all been business as usual.

"I felt like I played solid golf throughout both rounds," said McNealy. "In the afternoon I putted really well and in the morning I hit the ball really well. Derek and Nick were really fun to play with."

U.S. Women's Amateur

Stanford seniors Mariah Stackhouse and Lauren Kim each dropped tough first-round defeats on Wednesday at Portland Golf Club in Portland, Oregon.

The 21st-seeded Stackhouse fell to 44th-seed Elizabeth Wang of San Marino, 1-down. Stackhouse held a 1-up advantage after nine holes in the tightly-contested match. However, the 16-year-old Wang pulled out to a 1-up lead with a birdie on the par-4 14th hole.

Stackhouse, who helped lead the Cardinal to its first ever NCAA women's golf title in June, squared the match with a birdie at the par-5 15th, and then won the par-4 16th with a par to reclaim a 1-up cushion.

Wang evened the match with a birdie at the short par-3 17th, then prevailed with a scrambling par at the par-5 18th. Stackhouse lipped out a short but testy par putt that would have forced sudden death.

The 38th-seeded Kim lost to 27th-seed Mika Liu of Beverly Hills, California, on the 19th hole.

They halved the first four holes with pars. Liu took a 1-up advantage with a birdie at the par-5 fifth, but Kim won the par-4 sixth with a bogey, then claimed the par-3 eighth with a par to assume her first lead.

The next three holes were halved with pars. Kim increased her advantage to 2-up with a par at the par-3 12th.

Liu battled back to square the match with birdies at the par-4 14th and 16th holes. The last two holes were halved with pars. Liu capped her comeback by winning the first hole of sudden death with a par.

Last month, Kim received an exemption to compete in the LPGA's Marathon Classic. She shot 74-72 and missed the cut by three strokes.

Stanford teammates Casey Danielson and Shannon Aubert also qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur, but failed to reach match play.

— ncga.com/Palo Alto Online Sports

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