The 2014 summer has been scorching for Ducks golfer Brandon McIver. After finishing his 2014 sophomore season as second on the team with a final score average of 71.95, McIver has thrived in multiple summer amateur tournaments as well as competing in the 2014 US Open and the 2014 US Amateur Championships. While McIver is already well known and respected for his ability to hit the long-ball off the tee, he has improved around and on the greens, which is quickly making him become the Ducks’ next big golf star.
McIver finished his 2014 sophomore season with eight top-25 individual performances, as well as earning Pac-12 All-Academic honors. He shot a 67 (3 under par) with an eagle on the final hole of the 2014 NCAA Championships.
Since then, he has clinched his second consecutive victory in the Montana State Amatuer Golf Championship. In his home-state’s championship, McIver led the field for the entirety of the tournament and shot a 69-68-67-204 to repeat his victory of the state amateur championship by eight strokes.
McIver also qualified for the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst No. 2 after finishing third overall at the Creswell, Oreg., sectional qualifying round. McIver struggled the first day of the Open finishing with a score of 82. However, he came back the next day and performed significantly better by finishing with 73. But his two-round score of 155 was too high too make the cut in an extremely competitive PGA field. The experience was still huge for McIver’s confidence and development as a player, though, especially due to his strong come back on the second day.
In the US Amateur Championships last week, McIver shot a 71-72 to make it to the round of 32, where he was eliminated by Nathan Smith. After the round, Smith praised McIver’s ability to drive the ball by referring to some of his drives as “spooky” (long); as well as saying if it weren’t for “a couple bad breaks” (for McIver), Smith did not know if he would have been able to pull out the win to advance.
After a solid 2014 season and an excellent summer, the Ducks will be looking for McIver to be a national threat along with his exceptional teammates Jonathan Woo, Thomas Lim, Brandon Baumgarten, and incoming-freshman Aaron Wise — who all joined him in competing at the US Amateur. With McIver excelling, and the talent of his surrounding teammates, the Ducks men’s golf team can look to make a push for the Pac-12 Championship in 2015, as well as possibly a top-ten placing in the NCAA Championships. With that being said, 2015 might just be the year to start paying more attention to Oregon golf, as they look to assert themselves as a national force in the NCAA.