Stanford earns No. 1 seed; Wilson individual champ


It was a good day for the Cardinal.

Stanford established itself as the favorite at the men's NCAA Championship at Prairie Dunes after finishing the stroke-play portion of the championship at 13 under par, nine shots clear of LSU and Alabama.

The team title will be decided over the next two days in a match-play tournament between eight teams.

The individual title, however, was decided Monday, with Cardinal senior Cameron Wilson winning in a three-hole playoff over Georgia Tech's Ollie Schniederjans. Wilson joined Frank "Sandy" Tatum (1942) and Tiger Woods (1996) as individual champions from Stanford.

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"It's a huge honor to win this tournament and be on a distinguished list of champions," Wilson said.

Stanford coach Conrad Ray said Wilson has done nothing but improve every year since he got to college.

"To see him pull off a victory today in our biggest championship that we know is really cool – for Stanford, for our program, and for all the hard work that he's put in and the efforts that he's made over the last four years," Ray said.

Due to several rain delays, the individual race was reduced to 54 holes in order to give all 30 teams a chance to qualify for one of eight spots in match play.

The race to grab one of those eight spots came down to the wire.

With Stanford, LSU, Oklahoma St., Alabama and Georgia Tech safely in, five teams battled for the final three spots.

Led by Brian Campbell's 63, Illinois grabbed the last spot with SMU at 5 over. UCLA put on a phenomenal display of putting over the closing holes to finish in the sixth spot at 4 over.

While the Bruins, Fighting Illini and Mustangs celebrated, it was a heartbreaking day for South Carolina.

Junior Will Murphy finished bogey-double bogey to put the Gamecocks on the outside looking in. That put the pressure on Caleb Sturgeon to birdie his final hole to get South Carolina in a playoff for the final spot, but his 25-foot birdie putt didn't break into the hole, and they left Hutchinson, Kan., disappointed.

No doubt there will be more drama over the next two days. And while Stanford may be the top seed, it does not have history on its side. No medalist has gone on to win the NCAA title.

Tuesday's quarterfinal matches

(1) Stanford vs. (8) Illinois

(2) Alabama vs. (7) SMU

(3) LSU vs. (6) UCLA

(4) Oklahoma State vs. (5) Georgia Tech