With David Boote, a senior from England, leading the way, Stanford, No. 4 in the latest Golfstat rankings, surged in front after a 36-hole day as a very contentious Pac-12 Championship opened Friday at The Country Club in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Cardinal came on strong in the second round with a sizzling 19-under 336 team score to finish the day at 22-under 688, five shots ahead of No. 13 California. No. 2 Southern California, after struggling with a 1-over 356 in the opening round, bounced back with a 7-under 348 to sit in third place at 6-under 704. No. 10 Arizona State followed in fourth place at 1-over 711 and No. 24 Washington State rounds out the top five at 5-over 715. In Stanford, Cal, USC and Arizona St., the team leaders represent four of the nation’s top 13 teams.
Boote had rounds of 68 and 66 to climb to second in the individual chase at 8-under 134 and pace the Cardinal, which is seeking its third straight Pac-12 title.
He was backed up by Franklin Huang, a sophomore from Poway, Calif., who is tied for sixth at 4-under 138, Maverick McNealy, a junior from Portola Valley, Calif. and ranked No. 2 individually in Division I by Golfstat, and Jeffrey Swegle, a sophomore from West Des Moines, Iowa, both of whom are tied for 12th at 2-under 140, and Viraat Badhwar, a junior from Australia, who is tied for 20th at even-par 142.
Swegle had a lot to do with Stanford’s lights-out second round, firing the best round of a long day over the 7,209-yard, par-71 layout at The Country Club, a 7-under 64.
Cal didn’t have a bad day either with rounds of 5-under 350 and 12-under 343 for a 17-under 693 total in the depth-testing six-player, count-five format employed for the Pac-12 tourney. The Golden Bears were led by KK Limbhasut, a sophomore from Loma Linda, Calif. who grabbed the individual lead with a pair of 66s for a 10-under 132 total.
Two players are tied for third in the individual standings, a shot behind Stanford’s Boote. They are UCLA’s Jonathan Garrick, who had rounds of 67 and 68, and Colorado’s Jeremy Paul, a junior from Germany, who also went 67-68. Arizona State’s Jon Rahm, a senior from Spain, is alone in fifth place at 6-under 136 after rounds of 70 and 66.