Portola Valley resident Maverick McNealy has always wanted to test his game against the best players in the world. Now, he will have the opportunity.
On Sunday, the former Stanford All-America was presented with his 2019-20 PGA Tour card after placing No. 23 on the Korn Ferry Tour. The top-25 on the points list secured promotions.
"It's funny," McNealy said. "Growing up, the PGA Tour wasn't really on my radar. It wasn't until halfway through college that I thought I could be good enough to do this. I saw a lot of my teammates and friends make the jump to that next level and started to believe I could do it."
McNealy, who attended The Harker School in San Jose, was also a junior hockey standout. But he got hooked on golf and qualified for the 2014 U.S. Open at age 18.
At Stanford, McNealy was a three-time PING All-America first team and two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year. He earned a degree in management science and technology and was selected Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2017. McNealy competed for the U.S. Walker Cup team in 2015 and 2017.
McNealy won the 2015 Haskins Award as the top male collegiate golfer in the country and rose to No. 1 in the Official World Amateur Ranking. In 2017, he won the Ben Hogan Award and Byron Nelson Award and finished his Cardinal career with 11 victories, tied for the most in program history with Tiger Woods and Patrick Rodgers.
"I remember watching golf growing up and loving it," McNealy said. "I watched Tiger … that's the guy that got everyone into golf. I am just so fortunate how things have shaken out."
McNealy joined the Web.com Tour – now the Korn Ferry Tour – last year and finished 65th on the money list.
"I think people put huge expectations on me and I put big expectations on myself," he said.
Stanford coach Conrad Ray couldn't be happier for McNealy, who will join Woods and Rodgers on the big circuit.
"He's worked so hard," said Ray. "I couldn't be prouder of him and am excited to see what he accomplishes."