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Home Maverick McNealy continues to learn on the job

Amateur Maverick McNealy, a current All-American at Stanford University, was the first recipient of the Arnold Palmer Cup exemption for a player who best represents the “Arnold Palmer Legacy,” as voted by his peers. With rounds of 69- 71-74-71—285 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, McNealy finished T46 and three back of fellow amateur Bryson DeChambeau. It was his fourth PGA TOUR start. In his three previous PGA TOUR events, McNealy missed the cut at the 2014 U.S. Open (MC), posted a T60 at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic (T60) and a T78 at the 2015 Barbasol Championship. While the results may not be what he wanted or expected, it hasn’t diminished his appreciation of the experience. “It was awesome. Obviously it's a treat every time you get to play the PGA TOUR,” he remarked after concluding his play at Bay Hill.

“Put myself in a lot of situations where I can learn from the experiences, too, and good shots and bad and took a little bit of confidence away knowing that when I play good golf I can compete with these guys and obviously it takes a lot to play well out here,” he continued. “It's very difficult and every time you miss a shot there's no getting around it when they're setting the courses for the best players in the world. It really makes you pay. It takes really, really good golf to compete with these guys. I'm happy with how I did this week.”

McNealy also was able to assess his own game and where it stacks up against the best in the world. “I think the biggest thing I need to improve is my driving. That sets up every shot and it's incredible how much more difficult it is to play out of the rough on the PGA TOUR than it is the fairway and the rough on the PGA TOUR versus the rough in college,” he said.