Maverick McNealy captures Nike Golf Collegiate to tie Tiger Woods' wins record at Stanford

Maverick McNealy, shown at the 2015 U.S. Amateur

Maverick McNealy captures Nike Golf Collegiate to tie Tiger Woods' wins record at Stanford

Men

Maverick McNealy captures Nike Golf Collegiate to tie Tiger Woods' wins record at Stanford

Scores

• • •

Move over, Tiger. You’ve got more company.

Maverick McNealy closed in 2-under 68 Tuesday at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational to grab a two-shot victory in his 2016-17 season-opener. But while a win in his first college start this season is nice, this sounds a lot better: McNealy now finds his name next to that of Tiger Woods.

The Stanford senior earned his 11th college win, a milestone that now ties him for the most victories in Stanford history alongside Woods and Patrick Rodgers.

Woods, who plans to return to PGA Tour competition after an extended absence next week at the Safeway Open, accomplished the feat in just two seasons for the Cardinal. The 14-time major champion won three times in his 1994-95 freshman season and then captured EIGHT(!) titles in his 1995-96 campaign. He would turn pro after his sophomore season. Rodgers needed three seasons to get his 11 wins, capturing two his freshman year (2011-12), three his sophomore season (2012-13) and six as a junior (2013-14), his final season at Stanford.

For McNealy, it did take him a little more than three years but he’s still tied atop in the record books regardless. McNealy got to his 11 wins in 35 events, the same number it took for Rodgers. (Woods only needed 26 tournaments to get to his 11.)

The record-tying win came in an appropriate place – against one of the best fields of the fall. Three of the four semifinalists (including the national champion) from the 2016 NCAA Championship were in the field at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. McNealy shared the lead heading into the final round, but four birdies (against one bogey) in his first eight holes moved him ahead of co-leader Wyndham Clark (Oregon).

Clark, a transfer from Oklahoma State, actually birdied his first two holes but a double bogey at No. 5 threw him off. He would play the remainder of the round in even to close in 70 and finish solo second at 6 under. McNealy would par his final nine holes for 68 and 8 under for the title.

Vanderbilt held on for the team victory, as the Commodores posted an 8-over 288 Tuesday to finish 1 under and retain its one-shot margin over Florida.  John Augenstein (fifth, 2 under) led the Vanderbilt scoring, with Matthias Schwab posting a tie for eighth at 1 over and Patrick Martin and Theo Humphrey coming in at 4 over for T-21. The Commodores had opened the season with a fourth at the Carmel Cup.

For Florida, Alejandro Tosti (third, 4 under) and Jorge Garcia (T-8, 1 over) paced the team. Georgia finished a distant third at 11 over, first-round leader Oklahoma was fourth at 15 over, defending national champion Oregon placed fifth at 19 over and defending tournament champion Wake Forest eighth at 24 over. Stanford only managed sixth at 20 over despite McNealy’s win.

This marks the third straight year McNealy has won his season opener. The senior won six times in 2014-15 to capture the Haskins Award Presented by Stifel and followed up with a four-win campaign that earned him a good run at a repeat.

McNealy had health issues last spring and took some time off from golf in June to get back to full strength. Now healthy again, he’s already back to his winning ways and sees his name on par with two Stanford legends.

Stanford will next play at the United States Collegiate Championship from Oct. 21-23.

That tournament will represent McNealy’s first of many chances to earn his 12th win and have the record all to himself.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home