Maverick McNealy Prepares as PGA Tour Pro

Last week, inside his new surroundings in Summerlin, Nevada, a recent college graduate faced his next challenge — assembling furniture from IKEA.

“Everything in the apartment looks like a bomb went off,” the 21-year-old said. “It’s just been a logistical and instruction mayhem today, but I actually kind of enjoy it.”

Maverick McNealy is unemployed at the moment.

That will change after this weekend, when the No. 2 men’s golf amateur in the world will turn pro at the conclusion of the Walker Cup.

It’s a decision the Portola Valley native announced Aug. 23 on GoStanford.com, exactly a year after a similar post explaining why he opted to return to Stanford as a senior.

“Honestly, I was surprised that people found it such an interesting story and that it got so much traction,” McNealy said. “For me, I felt like I was just another college student that didn’t know what he was going to do with his life.”

The 6-foot-1 prodigy won the Jack Nicklaus Award as a sophomore at Stanford, then the Ben Hogan Award as a senior.

He finished tied with Tiger Woods and Patrick Rodgers with 11 career wins as a Cardinal.

Unwilling to commit either way, the management science and engineering major kept his options open for life after college by exploring opportunities in professional golf in order “to understand whether this is something I wanted to do, or not.”

He added: “I had to start making some preparations, because it’s not really something you can put together overnight.”

To help put things into perspective, McNealy relied heavily on his father, Scott, who co-founded Sun Microsystems.

“My dad was probably the one I talked to the most — he’s the world’s best devil’s advocate,” McNealy said.

At a preliminary Team Maverick meeting inside the Stanford clubhouse, McNealy gathered together his father and mother, swing coach Alex Murray out of Burlingame, and Stanford men’s golf coach Conrad Ray.

The time was now.

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