On the gridiron, Stanford-Cal is known as “The Big Game.” Now, the golf teams are getting involved in what, naturally, is called “The Big Match.”
The Forecaddie was intrigued when he heard the details about the unique match-play competition, which will take place Thursday at Menlo Country Club in Woodside, Calif. The men’s and women’s teams at Stanford and Cal will team up in six mixed four-ball matches with one point awarded to each team. In the event of a tie, the teams will send out their No. 1 players for a sudden-death playoff.
Of course, these teams have some pretty talented No. 1s. Cal’s Collin Morikawa, who will pair with Cindy Oh, is ranked third in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Stanford’s No. 1 duo of Isaiah Salinda, a semifinalist at the U.S. Amateur last month, and Andrea Lee, a perennial ANNIKA Award contender, is strong as well.
“With where all of this television stuff is going in college golf, there is potential here,” Stanford coach Conrad Ray told The Man Out Front.
The concept came from Mark Pitchford, a former Stanford basketball player and Menlo member. Wanting to showcase Menlo, which was redesigned in 2014 by Kyle Phillips (Kingsbarns, Dundonald Links, Cal Club, Blessings, Wilshire CC), Pitchford contacted Ray about having this match-play event during the week of the Stanford-Cal football game. But since the football game is typically played after the fall season for golf, they had to find another date.
TMOF is especially impressed with the Stanford women’s team, which just wrapped up play at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate on Wednesday in Minnesota.
“It should be a great way to showcase the highest level of men’s and women’s collegiate golf in a unique format on a challenging and picturesque course,” Cardinal coach Anne Walker said.
Here are the complete matchups (all times Pacific):
Noon: Nate Menon/Kelsey Zeng (Stanford) vs. Sofia Lundell/Marianne Li (Cal)
12:12 p.m.: Henry Shimp/Maddie Chou (Stanford) vs. KK Limbhasut/Elena Arias Quiros (Cal)
12:24 p.m.: Ashwin Arasu/Mika Liu (Stanford) vs. Ben Doyle/Amina Wolf (Cal)
12:36 p.m.: David Snyder/Ziyi Wang (Stanford) vs. James Song/Katherine Zhu (Cal)
12:48 p.m.: Brandon Wu/Albane Valenzuela (Stanford) vs. Seb Crampton/Maria Herraez Galvez (Cal)
1:00 p.m.: Isaiah Salinda/Andrea Lee (Stanford) vs. Collin Morikawa/Cindy Oh (Cal)