Second-ranked Stanford came into Saturday's final round of the N.C.A.A. men's golf tournament with a virtually insurmountable lead, so it was unsurprising when the Cardinal claimed the national championship by 12 strokes.
What was noteworthy, however, was the fact that top-ranked Georgia, which languished in 16th place after two rounds yet rose to fifth place on Friday, matched Stanford's 281 on the last day to finish the tournament at one over par, which was good for a second-place finish in the field of 15.
For the first half of the tournament, No. 1 played like No. 2.
No team was able to approach the Cardinal's 11-under-par 1,109, but the Bulldogs' cumulative 1,121 put the Red and Black ahead of Charlotte (1,125), Lamar (1,125), Coastal Carolina (1,128), Alabama (1,129), U.C.L.A. (1,130), Georgia Tech (1,131), Florida (1,133), Minnesota (1,133), South Carolina (1,136), Texas (1,136), Duke (1,140), Florida State (1,140), and Oklahoma State (1,142).
While it was disappointing that Georgia was unable to close out the campaign with a tournament win and a national title, the team's second-half surge salvaged what began as an embarrassment and ended with a respectable runner-up finish that put the Bulldogs ahead of all of their rivals.