Two Oregon golfers crack top-5 in latest national rankings
Coming off their second victory in three tournaments, the Ducks now have two of the top four college golfers in the nation, according to the new Golfweek/Sagarian rankings released Tuesday.
Oregon senior Wyndham Clark is No. 2, up from No. 4 last week, and freshman Norman Xiong is No. 4, up from No. 8 in last week’s rankings.
“For me, it’s great to see how all the hard work I’ve put in over the years is starting to pay off,” Clark said to GoDucks.com. “None of this would be possible though, if I didn’t have great coaches and teammates to push me to be better, like Norman.”
On Feb. 8, Clark was announced as one of only three Ducks in school history to be named to the Ben Hogan Award watch list, which goes to the top men’s collegiate golfer. Two days later, both Clark and Xiong made the top-six of the first Arnold Palmer Cup rankings of American golfers. The second round of rankings will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 23. There are three sets of rankings announced, and the golfers in the top-six of the final rankings for both American and European collegiate golfers will automatically qualify to compete in the Arnold Palmer Cup match held in June.
In their most recent tournament, the Wyoming Collegiate Invitational, Xiong and Clark both finished -11 under to tie for the individual championship in the tournament. On the 18th hole in the final round on Sunday, Clark sunk an eagle to tie Xiong, forcing a split of the individual championship.
“Being able to play and perform for my team and coaches is a really good feeling,” Xiong said to GoDucks.com. “I’ve learned a lot so far and being able to play alongside Wyndham is such a great experience for my career.”
From around the Pac-12, also in the rankings is Maverick McNealy from Stanford, who is rated No. 1. USC teammates Sean Crocker and Rico Hoey round out the top-10 at spots nine and 10. Collin Morikawa of California is No. 19 and Jared DuToit of Arizona State is No. 20.
The Ducks will compete in the state of Oregon for the first time in a three-day tournament starting March 12 at the Old Macdonald golf course in Bandon.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445
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