Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers moved into a first-place tie with Seth Reeves and Jordan Niebrugge after two days at the Western Amateur at The Alotian Club on Wednesday in Roland, Ark.
Rodgers followed his first-round 67 with a 4-under 68 as fellow Cardinal golfers Andrew Yun and Cameron Wilson dropped out of the top 10.
"The last two days I've done a really good job mentally," Rodgers told the event's website. "I made just two bogeys the first two days, so I think that's a testament to playing smart and controlling my golf ball well."
Like his fellow players, Rodgers heaped praise on the course, the tournament and the playing conditions.
"The greens are so good you feel you can make everything," Rodgers said. "Even yesterday (Tuesday), I was so impressed, with 130 people having walked in front of me during my last nine holes, how great the greens were. It's just in such impeccable condition. It's just a blast to play out there."
A former Western Junior champion, Rodgers said he would love to win this week's championship, noting "there's a long way to go."
"This is one of the majors of amateur golf," he said. "To be able to come to this place, such a pristine venue, such an awesome golf course, it would be awesome to win. Just gotta play six more good rounds."
At the Junior PGA Championship in Washington, D.C., Palo Alto students Anna Zhou of Gunn and Michelle Xie of Paly both were tied at 153 following 36 holes at the Trump National Golf Club. Zhou shot 70 on Wednesday after opening with an 83 while Xie fashioned a 75 to go with her first-round 78.
Stanford grad Mark Appel threw 4 2/3 innings in the Quad River River Bandits' 4-3 victory over visiting Peoria Chiefs on Wednesday night in Davenport, Iowa.
Appel allowed a run on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three in his longest stint as a professional.
Appel has made a combined six starts for Single-A Tri-Valley and Quad Cities. He has 20 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings. He has an ERA of 3.20 and is still looking for his first decision.
In related news, the Cincinnati Reds designated Stanford grad Greg Reynolds for assignment earlier this week. The Reds have 10 days to trade him, release him or send him outright to the minors.
Reynolds made his first start in the major leagues in over two years when he took the mound against the San Francisco Giants last week at AT&T Park.
Reynolds was the starting and winning pitcher for the International League all-stars two weeks ago in Reno.
Austin Hall, a 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman out of Phoenix's Brophy Prep, gave Stanford his verbal commitment on Wednesday.
Hall is ranked as high as 37th at his position, 13th in the state of Arizona. He's always expressed his desire to attend Stanford.
Cornerback Denzel Franklin of Pace Academy in Atlanta was offered by Stanford on Tuesday and gave his verbal commitment on Wednesday.
The men's 400 free relay team representing Stanford Swimming won the event at the U.S. Open on Wednesday at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine.
The foursome of Christopher Pickard, Aaron Wayne, David Nolan and Jason Dunford clocked 3:19.88 for the victory.
Earlier, Nolan finished eighth in the 200-meter backstroke (2:03.28) and Mary Olsen of Stanford Swimming was sixth in the women's 200 breast in 2:31.37.