As the regular season came to a close, our team came on strong, playing some great golf to cap off the season with convincing wins at both the Goodwin Invitational and the Western Intercollegiate.
With our team playing well heading to the postseason, we had high expectations and we started it off with a bang at the PAC 12 Championship in Tucson, Arizona. As we won by 15 shots in wire-to-wire fashion on the demanding North Course of The Gallery Golf Club, we also captured the team’s first PAC-12 title in 20 years. The last time we won the PAC 12 title was also in the Arizona Desert. Ironic? Perhaps. But after finishing our schoolwork, fighting through wind and freezing rain in the third round, coping with the pain of some jumping cholla, and living through standoffs with javelinas, we managed to play some great golf, and the fact that the team won again in the desert was probably more of a coincidence. I’m really proud of our team, for the way we played, and also for how we carried each other as a whole. A win by Patrick Rodgers individually also marked his 4th win in the last 5 events, with Cameron Wilson capturing the Western Intercollegiate, and Stanford capturing the last 5 individual titles. It is really neat to see Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson lead the team with some outstanding golf as they near the end of their Stanford Golf Careers.
It’s an exciting time in the Stanford locker-room, because we all are excited for what lies ahead, beginning with NCAA Regionals. However, amidst the hard work and preparation for the challenges that lay ahead, we were fortunate enough to take a quick step away from reality and live the dream of what it is to be a Stanford golfer. Two Friday’s ago, before PAC 12’s, with the generosity of a few supporters of Stanford Golf, the team made the trip down to Monterey Bay, and the main headline on our agenda that day was a round at Cypress Point Golf Club. My time at Stanford has been relatively short so far as a freshman, but from the stories I’ve heard from upperclassmen like Cameron Wilson and Shane Lebow, this would be one of those trips that you will cherish and remember for a long time.
It turned out to be a very accurate assessment and quite the experience. We drove down in the morning with everyone sharing some epic stories about the famed 16th hole. The drive flew by quickly and before we knew it the van got very quiet as we drove up the entrance into Cypress Point Golf Club. What happened after that was slightly a blur for me, as I was soaking up as much as I could. I’ve heard so much about Cypress Point and to be there and playing the course was pretty special. As we walked around, some of us gave each other one of Viraat Badhwar’s signature expressions – a wide-eyed and bushy tailed facial expression accompanied by an enthusiastic yet sarcastic, “Stop it”. Jokes and humor aside, we teed off after hitting a few balls and rolling some putts. The round on the course was just as fun, as we played with some good company and played against each other in friendly Stableford match. It might have been what I had for breakfast (which I will omit in case our sports performance and conditioning coach choses to read this), because I was feeling good as I finished birdie, par, birdie, birdie to shoot a 63, and tie the low round of Ben Hogan and former Stanford golfer, Jordan Cox.
Jim Liu's Scorecard at Cypress (63)
Our day didn’t end there, as we made our way over to Carmel beach after our round. While there, we observed some of the golf that was being played above us on hole 10 at Pebble, and we were reminded of the fact that stray golf balls can be dangerous. The day was topped off with a dinner at the Dunes Shelter at MPCC overlooking the Pacific Ocean as we shared stories of what unfolded on the golf course. It was a day to remember, as was this past Sunday at the Gallery Golf Club.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into what has unfolded during the past few weeks with the team, and I’d like to thank all of you guys for your support, it really means a lot to us!
Here's Jim warming up his woods at Erin Hills in the Fall 2013