Wu's road to his Stanford diploma was lined with gold


Stanford senior, or rather new graduate, Brandon Wu got an early start on his advanced degree this past week during the U.S. Open Championships at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

After Wu completed his final round, a 3-over par 74, on Sunday, he was handed a graduation cap along with his diploma by future USGA president Stu Francis, who earned his MBA from Stanford. He couldn't make the ceremony so the ceremony came to him.

"I didn't really envision this, how to end my college career," Wu told Golf World. "I thought I would be taking exams and walking in graduation. It's been surreal. It's been an awesome few weeks."

Once Wu qualified for the U.S. Open field, he knew there was a possibility of missing his graduation ceremony and was prepared for it.

What he could never predict after clinching his spot with a seventh-place finish at Sectional Qualifying in Columbus, Ohio in May was the path he eventually completed on Sunday.

Among the 121-player field at Brookside Golf and Country Club in Columbus was his friend and former Stanford teammate Maverick McNealy. Wu and recent California grad Collin Morikawa each qualified out of Ohio.

For Morikawa, it was his second tournament as a professional. He made his pro debut at last week's Canadian Open. He and Wu each shot a two-round total of 137 at Brookside. On Sunday, Morikawa shot a 2-under 69 to match Wu's four-day total of 285. Chesson Hadley, who finished ninth, also qualified in Ohio.

Before Wu finished in 35th place, he first helped Stanford win four consecutive tournaments leading into the NCAA championships, where he finished 3-0 in match play to help the Cardinal win the national title.

Wu won his first individual collegiate title at The Goodwin in March, beating teammate David Snyder in a playoff.

"It' so special," Wu said at the time. "We only get to play at home once a year, so it's an awesome experience. Beyond that, it was cool to see all your teammates and Stanford family come out to watch and support you."

Wu recorded a pair of birdies on his final lap of the championship but also missed a short putt and suffered five bogies.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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