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Stanford's McNealy records third victory of fall golf season

 

Stanford junior All-American Maverick McNealy capped a sensational fall season by earning medalist honors for the third time in four events on Wednesday at the Gifford Collegiate Championship at windy La Costa Resort.

The Portola Valley resident, consensus player of the year in 2015, fired a final-round 4-under-par 67, the low score on the day, to share first place with Chris Babcock and Corey Pereira of Washington at 4-under 209.

"Neat for Mav," said Cardinal Director of Men's Golf Conrad Ray, "He played great today."

Atherton resident Jonathan Garrick, golfing for UCLA, finished fourth, a stroke behind the co-leaders.

The fifth-ranked Cardinal recorded a 54-hole score of 3-over 855 (285-277-293) to finish second behind Washington (285-275-286--846).

Stanford, the two-time defending Pac-12 Conference champion, previously placed fourth in the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational and Nike Collegiate Invitational, and sixth at the United States Collegiate Championship.

McNealy, who started the day in 11th, carded five birdies and one bogey. He saved his best for last, sinking a 40-foot par-saving putt at the par-5 17th hole after hitting a ball in the water, then converted a 30-foot birdie putt from the front fringe at the challenging par-4 18th.

After capturing an NCAA-best six medalist titles last season, he now has nine career wins, trailing only Tiger Woods (11) and Patrick Rodgers (11) on Stanford's all-time list.

McNealy's other fall victories came at Olympia Fields and the Nike Collegiate Championship.

"He's gotten to the point now where he knows how to manage his game on a tough day like that," said Ray. "He even talked to the team last night in our meeting about how you have to stay patient and trust that you're going to make a couple putts. Just hang in there."

Senior David Boote (71-68-73) tied for fifth at 1-under 212. He rebounded from a double-bogey on the par-4 second hole to play even-par the rest of the way.

Sophomore Jeffrey Swegle (70-68-78) posted a career-best tie for 12th at 3-over 216. He parred the last eight holes in the tough conditions.

Freshman Brandon Wu (72-71-77) tied for 31st at 7-over 220, while freshman Isaiah Salinda (73-75-76) tied for 45th at 11-over 224.

Junior Viraat Badhwar (75-71-76), playing as an individual, tied for 39th at 9-over 222.

"If you look at all three days, we had really solid team contributions," Ray said. "Jeff really had two great rounds and has a lot to be excited about. Everyone kicked in this week, which is the key for us as we move forward, looking for the success we want."

Stanford returns to competition in the Amer Ari Invitational (Feb. 4-6) in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Field hockey

Maddie Secco earned Offensive Player of the Year honors and Dulcie Davies was named Goalkeeper of the Year at the America East Conference awards banquet Wednesday. Four others were named to the all-conference teams.

Secco and Davies were joined by Sarah Helgeson on the first team, with Caroline Beaudoin and Jessica Chisholm earning second-team honors. Jordan Barry was selected to the all-rookie team.

Davies was Stanford's lone representative on the conference all-academic team, with a cumulative 3.61 grade-point average.

A senior from London, Davies has started every game in goal for the Cardinal. She currently ranks third in the NCAA with a .824 save percentage and eighth with a 1.11 goals-against-average.

Secco earned her fourth career all-conference pick, following NorPac All-West honors her freshman year and first team All-NorPac in 2013 and 2014. This year, she leads the Cardinal in goals (6), assists (11) and points (23).

Helgeson earns her first all-conference nod after an impressive sophomore season. The Lancaster, PA native ranks second on the Cardinal in points (14) and assists (8) while serving as the primary inserter of penalty corners.

Chisholm started all 17 games. The senior from Tauranga, New Zealand, is tied for the team lead in goals (6) and is third in points (13). She is also tied for the team lead in game-winning goals with two.

Beaudoin also started all 17 games. She has been a steady contributor on both ends of the field, playing stellar defense while pitching in three goals and an assist for seven points.

Barry appeared in all 17 games, making two starts. Her tenacity and defensive cover made her a valuable asset off the bench for the Cardinal.

Stanford (12-5, 4-2 America East) aims for a strong start to America East postseason play when it takes on Vermont (4-15, 2-6) Thursday at 1:30 p.m. PT in Albany, N.Y.

— Stanford Athletics

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