Isaiah Salinda with the traditional blue jacket (SJSU Athletics photo)
Something seems to have clicked last month for Stanford’s men. There wasn’t much to celebrate in the first half of the season, and that continued into the spring. For the past six weeks, however, Stanford hasn’t finished outside the top 3. On Wednesday, the Cardinal won the Western Intercollegiate in a comeback, closing out back-to-back victories for the first time since 2016.
"Our team definitely made their share of birdies the last two days," head coach Conrad Ray said. "This team just keeps plodding along and I'm really proud of them. Everybody stepped up and made some great shots when it mattered."
Stanford’s 10-under effort in the final round at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif., was well-documented. All three rounds of the Western were televised on Golf Channel, which is unprecedented for regular-season college golf.
Stanford entered the day trailing host San Jose State by one shot but ended it with a six-shot victory. After a slow start, the Cardinal started to climb just before the turn. Brandon Wu played Nos. 6-9 in 4 under, then birdied three of his next four after making the turn. All told, Stanford played the last four holes of the front nine in 8 under.
The back nine, in a word, was solid.
“I was really proud of them on the back nine, especially today,” Ray continued. “We kept the bogeys off the card. If it wasn’t a par it was a birdie. That is what it takes to win.”
Individually, Bay Area product Isaiah Salinda
, a Stanford senior, put together a steady round of 70 to win the individual title. It just took five extra holes (the longest playoff in Western history) against San Jose State junior Sean Yu to do it. Remarkably, this is the first collegiate victory for Salinda, who won the Pacific Coast Amateur and played his way to the U.S. Amateur semifinals over the summer.
For his win, Salinda received the traditional blue letterman’s jacket that is awarded to all Western winners.
“Isaiah has had some really close calls,” Ray said. “He’s had a phenomenal run over the last couple of years. He’s deserving and has been working really hard.
San Jose State remained in the conversation until the final holes on Wednesday. Cal clipped the Spartans by five shots to finish second at 4 under. For a San Jose State team that has struggled with results of late, the week showed marked progress.
“This team is tough, and they have gone through the gauntlet, so to speak, in terms of the competition,” said San Jose State men’s golf coach John Kennaday. “It was very cool to be in this position for three days straight. We had a lot of wins this week in a lot of different areas. We didn’t win the two that we wanted the most, but if we keep doing what we’re doing and keep plugging away and doing the right things like they are doing both on and off the golf course, we are going to get our wins where we want them.”
ABOUT THE Western Intercollegiate
54-hole men's college tournament hosted by
San Jose State University. “The Western” is
of the most highly recognized national
tournaments, conducted since 1946
Golf Club; a historic venue where a player’s
is always well-tested. Pasatiempo perennially
ranks among the best by all of the major golf
The format is slightly different than most college
events. Six-player teams take the best five scores
each round to determine the team score.
View Complete Tournament Information