(Santa Cruz, Calif.) - With Cameron Wilson, the nation’s #1-college golfer according to GolfStat, winning individual medalist honors, the Stanford University men’s golf team picked up its fourth team victory of the season in a decisive 16-stroke win at the 68th annual Transamerica/WFG Western Intercollegiate.
Leaders heading into the final 18 holes, the Cardinal started strong and finished posting a team score of 344 for a 54-hole winning total of 10-under par 1,040 on the par 70, 6,615-yard Pasatiempo Golf Course. Stanford became the first team to record an under-par team score in each of the three rounds in the six-player, score-five format that was instituted in 2010.
"I was proud of the way our team played with a lead going into the final round. This is truly one of the best tournaments in collegiate golf, and to leave here with a win is a great accomplishment for our team and will give us the momentum we need heading into the postseason,” said Stanford coach Conrad Ray.
The Cardinal picked up their ninth Western Intercollegiate team championship and first since 1996 when sophomore Tiger Woods played for Stanford.
Washington was second at 1,056, 16 shots behind Stanford. First-round team leader California finished third at 1,058, San Diego State with a 1,065 and Oregon at 1,067 rounded out the top five teams in the 14-team field.
Host San Jose State finished 12th at 1,098.
Wilson outlasted nine other players four shots within the lead when the final round began. He and teammate Patrick Rodgers and Washington’s Trevor Simsby were tied for the lead at the start of the final round at six-under par. Before nine holes were done, Southern California’s Rico Hoey made it a four-way tie for first at seven-under par with consecutive birdies on holes #13, #14 and #15.
Hoey immediately dropped back when he double-bogeyed the 16th hole. Simsby, playing in the same foursome with Wilson and Rodgers, saw his chance at medalist honors fade when he bogeyed #10 and double-bogeyed #11 to fall three behind the Stanford pair.
Rodgers grabbed a two-stroke lead on the 14th when he birdied and Wilson bogeyed the hole. However, Rodgers finished with bogeys on three of the last four holes. Wilson rolled in a 14-foot birdie putt on the par 3, 18th hole giving him a final round 69 for a 203 total and a two-shot win over Rodgers at 205.
"It was an honor to win this tournament, as so many great players have done so before me. To be able to play with Patrick (Rodgers) was a pleasant challenge. We're great friends and both fierce competitors. This individual victory wouldn't mean anything if it didn't help our team win," Wilson said about his second individual victory in 2013-14. He also tied for first at the Fighting Illini Invitational in September 2013.
UC Irvine’s Pete Fernandez, Hoey of USC and Beau Hossler of Texas tied for third at three-under par 206 in the 92-player field.
Sophomore Cody Blick was the top San Jose Sate finisher. He tied for ninth at two-under par 208 after scores of 69-68-71. Only 14 players finished under par or matched par on the Alister MacKenzie-designed course.
“The tournament itself went great. We had a great golf course in great shape and great teams,” said tournament host and San Jose State men’s golf coach John Kennaday.
“We need to thank Pasatiempo and the membership. They’ve been incredible to us. We need to thank our sponsors starting with Transamerica/WFG, Rich Thawley and Joe DiPaulo and the group there. Also, Don Lucas, Lee Brandenburg, Terry Rose, Kirkorian Enterprises, Chris La Monico, Fry’s Electronics, Jerry Hamilton and Cooper-Challen Realty, Paul Decena and Planet Beach, Jim Jiminez, Brad Sargent, and Arron Oberholser.”
Regarding his team’s play in a field that featured 10 teams in GolfStat’s top-50 national rankings, the Spartans head coach said, “My guys fought hard and we have some work to do (as a team). I’m sure our boys will get to work on it.”