Editor's Note - Written by Stanford's junior All-American Steve Ziegler.
Fortunately, many individuals from our team had competitive summers of amateur golf and GolfWeek deemed Stanford as the top ranked team in the nation at the beginning of the season. Well done everyone! As expected, the crown of being at the top of the Golfweek rankings had its gold as well as its thorns (great events along with great expectations). Rankings don’t equal championships and won’t help us much towards our goal come early June. However, rankings are the product of invitational championships and consistent performance that we strive for at Stanford; they offer us a fairly solid way to measure overall quality as a team over time. I’ll remember clearly when my Mom described a life lesson to me that made a lot of sense, “The higher you are up the ladder, the more people you have looking at your butt.” This was ‘luckily’ our situation. We had and still have good motivation to keep it going, to stay on top.
As a result of incredible play by Peter Uihlein, Morgan Hoffman, and others, Oklahoma State won twice and overtook us in the rankings roughly halfway through the fall season. Today, only days away from the beginning of the Spring Season we are ranked number two behind Oklahoma State with Florida and Florida State close behind. The good news is Oklahoma State along with many other highly ranked schools will be present at Hawaii-Hilo’s Invitational at Mauna Lani early this February, so we’ll have a chance to start off the spring in the same way the Cowboys started off the fall.
Joseph Bramlett fortunately appears healthy again, and the impact of his competitive return to this team in my mind could not be overstated. Freshmen Andre DeDecker and Steven Kearney are eager to contribute and Jordan, Graham, and Wilson are all working hard for their chance to lead Stanford to tournament titles. Qualifying for Hawaii will undoubtedly be intense as usual. After all, Hawaii does seem pretty appealing by mid-winter after a couple months without competition.
The liaison between our dreams and their reality will be having a line-up one through five where each member has a chance to win the event individually. The year prior to my freshman year, 2006-2007, Stanford without exaggeration won nearly every event they entered. It was exciting to watch. They had five All-Americans, a one through five line-up that dominated consistently. What is more exciting is I see that same potential for us this spring. It’s going to take more than words, rankings, and wishes; hopefully all the priors will also be the product of our due work. Let’s Go Card!!!