July 1, 2014
Bethesda, Md. -
Former Lamar standout Shawn Stefani qualified for the British Open at Royal Liverpool following his second-place finish at the Quicken Loans National Sunday. Stefani, who graduated from Lamar in 2005, lost a playoff to Justin Rose to finish second overall.
"I'm thrilled for Shawn," said LU head coach Brian White. "He is one of those players who just continues to grind it out on the course. He has worked so hard on his weaknesses that those have now become strengths. He has steadily improved every year, and has reached the highest level."
A three-time All-Southland selection, Stefani guided the Cardinals to the 2003 Southland Conference title. During Stefani's time on campus, he helped guide the Cardinals to three top-13 finishes at the NCAA Regional Championships.
Currently ranked 77th in the FedEx Cup standings, Stefani will be making his first appearance at Royal Liverpool.
Stefani's performance at Bethesda comes on the heels of other former Cardinal golfers who have been turning in strong performances since turning pro.
Former All-American Chris Stroud, who turned pro just a year prior to Stefani, was recently inducted into the Southland Hall of Honor. Stroud has posted several top-20 finishes in the past year in PGA Tour events, including a third-place finish at the CIMB Classic and the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. His most recent top-10 finish came back in March when he shot a 15-under par 273 at the Puerto Rico Open. Stroud's best PGA Tour finish of 2013 was at the Travelers Championship where he finished second.
Another former All-American, Dawie Van Der Walt, won the Nelson Mandela Championship this past January. Van Der Walt started the final round three strokes back of the leader before rallying for his second European Championship of the year.
"We have a lot of former players who are having a ton of success lately," said White. "I think this is validation of what we are trying to do at Lamar. If kids want to play at the next level, we can tell them that what we do at Lamar works. When we recruit 15, 16 and 17-year olds who are interested in one day turning pro, we can tell them that our formula works. It is fun, and that is what drives me as a coach."