PEBBLE BEACH — Brandon Wu won’t have to wait for his diploma to come in the mail after all. The 22-year-old Stanford senior, who missed his graduation ceremony on the Palo Alto campus on Sunday because he was playing in the final round of the U.S. Open, was surprised by university officials behind the 18th green after he wrapped up a final-round 74.
Wu was given a graduation cap and then handed his diploma for his degree in product design by USGA president-elect Stu Francis (who got his MBA at Stanford).
Wu knew there would be a potential conflict with the graduation when he got into the U.S. Open via Sectional Qualifying. When he made the cut after opening rounds of 71-69, it became certainty.
“This is a pretty cool experience, too,” he said on Saturday. “I wish I could graduate with my classmates, but I think they’ll understand and be cheering for me.
“They said they’d mail [the diploma] to me, so hopefully I get it in the mail.”
Wu played with Dustin Johnson on Sunday. Impressively, the 74 was his worst round of the week, as he finished with a one-over 285, but was passed for low amateur honors by Viktor Hovland.
The Open capped a wild month for Wu, who helped the Cardinal win the NCAA team title a few weeks ago in Arkansas and also competed for the U.S. in the Arnold Palmer Cup.
“It’s been a crazy two or three weeks,” said Wu, who will remain an amateur in hopes of playing for the U.S. Walker Cup team in September. “I didn’t really envision this, how to end my college career. I thought I would be taking exams and walking in graduation. It’s been surreal. It’s been an awesome few weeks.”