College Men

Men's fall countdown: No. 20 Stanford

Sophomore Maverick McNealy competed in the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and returns as one of the top players for the Cardinal this season.
Sophomore Maverick McNealy competed in the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and returns as one of the top players for the Cardinal this season. ( USGA )

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Next up on our men's 2014 fall countdown, No. 20 Stanford:

Editor's note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won't be available until a couple of the weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.

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Stanford Cardinal

Preseason rank: 20

Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 3

2013-14 in review: Led by Haskins Award winner Patrick Rodgers, the Cardinal won six times last season, including four straight leading into the NCAA Championship. Stanford then finished atop the stroke-play leaderboard at Prairie Dunes before falling to Oklahoma State in the semifinals of match play.

Notable departures: Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson

Key returnees: Junior David Boote, sophomores Maverick McNealy, Viraat Badhwar and Jim Liu

Newcomers of note: Freshmen Franklin Huang, Bradley Knox and Jeffrey Swegle

Circled on the fall calendar: Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational, Sept. 13-15, Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club

Fall outlook: While Rodgers and Wilson leave some huge shoes to fill, Stanford still has depth on its side. Boote had a good summer playing overseas while McNealy played in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Badhwar overcame a wrist injury early in his freshman year to play a key role down the stretch last spring. And then there’s Liu, a former U.S. Junior champion who will get his chance to shine as a sophomore. Senior Patrick Grimes, junior Dominick Francks and the three freshmen will also be at head coach Conrad Ray’s disposal – “You’re going to see a lot of different lineups from us this fall,” Ray said.

Coach's perspective: “We have some work to do. We have some guys who weren’t in the spotlight (last season) who will now have major roles for us. . . . We’re going to have to win as a team.” – Ray