Men's fall countdown: No. 20 Stanford
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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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