The fourth-ranked Stanford men's golf team trailed in the early stages of the Pac-12 Conference Championships, which began Friday at The Country Club in Salt Lake City.
No big deal.
The Cardinal stayed cool, mounted a brilliant comeback and took a five-shot lead over second-place Cal through 36 holes.
Stanford shaved 16 shots off an opening-round 352 and went 19-under in the second circuit on the par-71 course.
At 22-under, Stanford's 688 in the 6-count-5 tournament scoring format set the pace as the Cardinal seeks a third consecutive conference crown.
"This was a great start for the team in some very tough conditions," said Conrad Ray, Stanford's Director of Men's Golf. "I was proud of the guys and how they hung in there and managed their games and stayed away from the big numbers."
Morning temperatures that hovered in the low 40s and gusty winds greeted the Pac-12 golfers which made for some challenging play in the first round as only two teams were able to shoot par or better.
"We have a lot of golf left against a strong field on a tough course, but we're happy with how we got out of the blocks," Ray said. "All the guys made some great contributions today."
Cal's KK Limbhaust shot 5-under to pace the Golden Bears to a first-round lead with a team score of 5-under, two strokes better than Stanford.
As winds calmed and the temperatures warmed in the afternoon, Jeffrey Swegle posted the low round of the day with a 7-under 64 to lead the Cardinal surge in the second round.
As a team, the Cardinal posted a second-round score of 19-under to leapfrog the Golden Bears and move into the lead after two rounds. The Bears are second at 17-under, followed by USC in third at 6-under.
Franklin Huang tied Limbhasut for the first-round lead with a 5-under to keep the Cardinal in the team race.
"That was a big first round for Franklin. He's been really trending the right way and has had a couple of good weeks the last few tournaments," said Ray. "Franklin was our rock this morning, for sure. That first hour and a half it was about as tough as you are going to get.
"This afternoon we got some momentum going. Jeffrey Swegle really got hot at the end and birdied his last three, and then David Boote dropped in eagle on the last hole. It's fun to finish strong, but knowing there's a lot of golf left and the forecast isn't great, we have to show up tomorrow and take care of business."
Despite inconsistent weather conditions, Limbhasut was steady throughout the day as he increased his lead in the individual race to 10-under 132 (66-66). He's two strokes ahead of David Boote, who posted an 8-under 134 (68-64).
Maverick McNealy went 69-71 and Swegle went 76-64 to share 12th at 2-under.
Viraat Badhwar (74-68) and Brandon Wu (75-67) are tied for 20th at even-par.
Both Boote and Huang led the medalist race at different times during the first 36 holes.
The third round will begin Saturday morning.
Stanford freshman Tristan Beck shut down No. 10 Oregon State through seven innings, but he was not around when the Beavers scored twice in the ninth to walk off with a 3-2 victory over over the Cardinal in a Pac-12 contest at Goss Stadium on Friday night.
Beck allowed one run and struck out five, departing with a 2-1 lead.
Sophomore Matt Winaker, junior Jack Klein and freshman Brandon Wulff each had two hits for the Stanford (19-17, 7-9 Pac-12), which suffered its third walk-off loss of the year.
In the ninth, the Beavers (27-11, 9-7) led off with a single and then bunted.
It was fielded cleanly, but Mikey Diekroeger tried to get the runner at second and the ball hopped into centerfield to put runners at the corners.
The next hitter laid down a safety squeeze bunt that Stanford waited to trickle foul, but it stopped on the first base line to tie the game. Three batters later, a bases-loaded walk forced in the winning run.
Winaker, who hit leadoff for the first time in his career, drew a walk on a full count to start the game. He went to third when Tommy Edman followed with a single. Two batters later, he scored on Quinn Brodey's RBI groundout.
Winaker also extended his hitting streak to six games. In the second inning, he singled up the middle with runners at first and second and two outs, but Wulff, who singled to start the frame, was thrown out at home.
Both teams scored in the fourth. Klein doubled down the left field line and moved Wulff to third, where he scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore catcher Bryce Carter. However, Oregon State's KJ Harrison led off the bottom of the inning with a solo shot to cut Stanford's lead to 2-1.
Alex Dunlap walked and has reached base in 11 straight games, the longest active streak for Stanford.
The Cardinal and Beavers are scheduled for a 1:35 p.m. start on Saturday.
Dillon Schoen and Kelsey Murray each recorded a hat trick, Allie DaCar made seven saves and second-seeded Stanford beat third-seeded Colorado, 10-6, in the semifinal round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament, hosted by Stanford at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
The Cardinal advances to its 19th consecutive conference championship final, a record spanning three conference affiliations, and will meet USC on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the title.
The first half saw the Buffaloes come out to keep pace with Stanford with nearly every category in the half close to knotted. Anna Salemo took less than two minutes to strike the iron, but CU fired back with two goals to take the lead.
A minute later the Cardinal knotted it again with Elizabeth Cusick setting up Kelsey Murray, who expanded on her career-best 40 goals.
Kelly Myers needed less than a minute to add another one for the Cardinal, but Colorado wasn't going easily with two more goals to regain the lead. Stanford saw three unanswered goals in the remainder of the half to close out up 6-4.
Stanford came out of the break ready to rock as they outdrew CU 6-2 in the half to as the Cardinal zoned in on offense with eight shots for five goals. Goals from Schoen, Murray and Maggie Nick to open the half pushed Stanford's scoring streak to seven to take an insurmountable 10-4 lead.
Whitney Burks homered but Stanford could not generate the offense needed to keep pace with California, dropping the series-opener Friday, 10-1.
Burks provided the only hit for the Cardinal (13-27, 0-16 Pac-12) through the first six innings, a leadoff solo home run to center field in the bottom of the third.
Stanford could not figure out California starter Nisa Ontiveros (12-5) who permitted just two hits and one run while racking up 13 strikeouts.
Carolyn Lee (6-18) got the start in the circle for the Cardinal and did well to keep Stanford within striking distance through the first six innings, holding the Bears (26-18-1, 7-1 Pac-12) to five runs. She finished the game permitting 10 runs four earned on 11 hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
The Stanford beach volleyball team dropped a 4-1 decision against Arizona on Friday in the Pac-12 Conference Championships at Merle Norman Stadium.
"This was a positive showing for us," said head coach Denise Corlett. "I felt like we competed hard, and Arizona is a great team that has a good shot to make the NCAA Championships. We hope to continue to improve and advance in our match tomorrow."
Merete Lutz and Halland McKenna won their match at the No. 3 position, 21-13, 21-14, but the third-seeded Cardinal (5-11 overall, 2-3 Pac-12) was unable to erase an early deficit to the Wildcats (16-3, 4-2).
Stanford fell behind early, losing the first two matches of the dual. No. 5 pair Tami Alade and Karina Robinson dropped a 21-8, 21-10 decision while No. 4 duo Courtney Bowen and Jennifer DiSanto lost 21-10, 24-22.