Maverick McNealy still unsure about Professional Plans
(Stanford Athletics Photo)
(January 26, 2017) -- Stanford senior Maverick McNealy has had a dream amateur career. He is the top-ranked amateur in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and he has won a program record matching 11 times during his Stanford career. The 11 wins ties McNealy with former teammate Patrick Rodgers and of course Tigers Woods.
"My goal as a freshman was to honestly qualify for two events so that shows how much my perspective has changed," McNealy said on the Golf Digest Podcast with Ryan Herrington. "Those guys, Patrick and Tiger, have contributed huge amounts to the Stanford golf program and we are very proud to have them as alumni and to be able to be in the same sentence as those guys who have done so much for the Stanford golf team is fulfilling especially after what I set out to do during my freshman year."
However, McNealy isn't completely sure if he is going to join the professional ranks when his time at Stanford comes to a close. There have been indications that McNealy might enter the business world and follow in the footsteps of his father Scott who co-founded Sun Microsystems.
"I definitely think the experience I’ve had out playing against the big boys has persuaded me more towards playing professionally."
McNealy has played in four PGA Tour events, making the cut three-times with his best finish coming last year in the form of a tied for 46th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
His first appearance on the big tour was at the 2014 U.S. Open where he missed the cut but he has made the cut in every appearance since, twice in 2015 and again at the previously mentioned Arnold Palmer Invitational.
However, McNealy understands that his game still needs work to compete long-term on the PGA Tour.
“If I played the way I have played on the PGA Tour, it feels like I’ve had three good rounds and one poor round every event I’ve played that wouldn’t be enough to make it. So I do think I need to work hard on my game this year. I don’t think I’m quite ready right now if I were to tee it up on the PGA Tour to have the success I would like to have. But I do think it would be possible if I have good year this year to have that opportunity.”
If McNealy were to turn pro it wouldn't likely happen until the latter part of the 2017 season. Unlike other amateurs in his position who often turn professional shortly after the end of the college season, McNealy who won the McCormack Medal last year has exemptions into this years U.S. Open and British Open. McNealy also has designs in competing in the Walker Cup set to be played in September of this year at Los Angeles Country Club.
The spring portion of the Stanford's golf season begins February 3rd at the Amer Ari Invitational hosted by Waikoloa Kings' Course in Hawaii. McNealy began his 2017 season with an appearance at the AmateurGolf.com Silicon Valley Amateur presented by Callaway Golf with a second place finish.
Editors Note: Golf Digest provided information for this story