Maverick McNealy ’13 qualified yesterday for the U.S. Open, making him the first Harker alumni known to do so. McNealy, who is on the Stanford University golf team, qualified after shooting 67 and 69, respectively, in Monday’s U.S.Open sectional qualifier held at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City and the Olympic Club (Ocean Course) in San Francisco. He took third place, overall, in the 36-hole event. In his first season at Stanford, McNealy was named to the Pac-12 Conference All-Freshman Team, according to the Stanford University golf web page. He will travel to Pinehurst, N.C., for the U.S. Open June 12-15.
When his final putt dropped, “I wasn’t sure where I stood with regard to the cut line,” said McNealy, but when I got to the scoring table and saw that I was two shots inside the projected cut with nobody who could realistically pass me, it hit me that I was going to be playing in the US Open.”
In an interview with the Northern California Golf Association, McNealy said about qualifying, “It’s awesome. It’s a great day. It’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. It’s still sinking in.”
Maverick will have his secret weapon along for the U.S. Open, too. “I am excited to have my dad caddying for me that week, and my three brothers (Scout, grade 7; Colt, grade 9; Dakota, grade 10) and mom will also be there cheering me on from the grandstands!”
At Stanford, McNealy was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and received an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. In his career at Harker, he twice earned the WBAL individual championship and was named to the WBAL All-League first team three times. McNealy is the Harker record holder for lowest nine-hole match score (-6) and most matches as medalist (nine of 10).
He noted, “at Harker I figured out that I wanted to pursue both golf and my academics seriously; hence, it was a pretty easy decision to choose Stanford. I plan on majoring in management science and engineering with a minor in computer science.”
In a 2013 Harker Quarterly article on Harker athletes playing in college, McNealy noted he was learning the game when he was learning how to walk and “loved to go outside and whack balls around with a plastic club.” Arriving at Harker in grade 9, McNealy immediately excelled on the links, but he believes that “until I shoot 18 in every round, there will always be room to get better.”
Given that drive, it is no wonder that McNealy is acutely aware of the life lessons golf provides: “Golf, to me, is the ultimate game of personal responsibility,” he said. “Your performance is a direct result of the time and effort you put into the game, and you take complete responsibility for your play. If you hit a bad shot, you can only blame yourself because you were the only one to swing the club. Conversely, if you make a hole in one, you can take complete pride in your accomplishment.”
Go Alumni Eagles!