Cal Holds Big Lead at Saint Mary’s Invitational

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SEASIDE, Calif. – Cal (288-282 – 570, -6) used a late surge to open an 18-stroke lead following two rounds of action Monday at the Saint Mary’s Invitational. Michael Weaver (70-70 – 140, -4) birdied four of his final five holes during his second round at the 7,024-yard, par-72 Blackhorse Golf Course to move into a tie for the lead with Grant Forrest of San Diego (71-69 – 140, -4) heading into Tuesday’s final round.
“Great players and great teams have a way of finishing rounds,” head coach Steve Desimone said. “We finished very strong in each round. We just got going and didn’t let up.”
Shotaro Ban (69-73 – 142, -2) and Brandon Hagy (71-71 – 142, -2) are tied for third place two shots off the lead. Ban was the first-round leader after his three-under par opening round at the 7,104-yard, par-72 Bayonet Golf Course that included birdies on the final two holes.
Kim (78-68 – 146, +2) moved up a whopping 50 spots into a tie for 12th after a four-under par second round at Blackhorse that included birdies on his final three holes.
Joël Stalter (78-73 – 151, +7) moved up 21 spots during his second round at Blackhorse into a tie for 41st.
Pace Johnson (71-76 – 147, +3) played as an individual and is tied for 15th after 36 holes.
Weaver’s wild up and down day included 12 birdies, five bogeys and a triple-bogey eight on the par-five eighth hole during his second round at Blackhorse. Seven of his birdies (1, 3, 6, 7, 16, 17, 18) came at Blackhorse, while he had five (1, 8, 10, 13, 18) during his first 18 at Bayonet. Six of his birdies came on par-five holes, while he had five on par-fours and one on par-threes.
“I had an up and down second round today, but it was great to finish well in both rounds,” Weaver said.
“Michael is a contagious player,” associate head coach Walter Chun said. “If he can get a birdie here or there he’ll just keep going and going.”
Ban carded nine birdies on the day, picking up five at Bayonet (1, 2, 7, 10, 12) and four at Blackhorse (1, 6, 10, 16). He had three birdies on par-fives and six on par-fours. He also had five bogeys and a double-bogey on Blackhorse’s par-four fourth hole.
“My first round was great,” Ban said. “I really only made two mistakes but played the rest of the round really smart. I struggled a bit off the tee in the second round but grinded it out with my short game. It’s great to be in the hunt, but I’m more focused on the team victory right now. This is all about the team. It doesn’t matter if an individual wins, it matters if the team wins. I’m just glad to be out here representing Cal and contributing. That’s the opportunity I have so I’m trying to make the most of it.”
Hagy had the day’s lone eagle on the par-four 16th at Blackhorse. He also had two birdies (8, 10) and three bogeys during the round. In his opening round, he had five birdies (1, 3, 5, 12, 15) and four bogeys. Hagy had five of his seven birdies on par-fours with the other two on par-fives.
Kim tore up the back nine at Blackhorse with a four-under par 32 and birdies on each of the final three holes (16, 17, 18) after an earlier birdie on 12. He also birdied six and had a lone Blackhorse bogey on the par-five eighth. Two of his second-round birdies came on par-fives, two on par-fours and one on a par-three. Kim managed three birdies (10, 15, 16) during his opening round all on the back nine with the first one on a par-five and the second two in back-to-back passion on par fours. He also had five bogeys and a pair of double bogeys on the day.
Stalter was at even par through 11 holes during his six-over par opening round at Bayonet after two birdies (5, 6) and a pair of bogeys on the front nine before a double bogey (12), triple bogey (16) and bogey (18) on the back nine gave him his final score. He came up with two of his four second-round birdies (6, 8, 16, 18) over the final three holes at Blackhorse after making bogey on five of the first 13 holes.
Playing as an individual, Johnson had a strong one-under opening round at Bayonet with birdies on a trio of par-five holes (1, 10, 18) and two bogeys. He had five birdies (1, 8, 12, 13, 16), five bogeys and two double bogeys (4, 14) during his second round at Blackhorse.
The Golden Bears were back in action Monday for the first time since Sept. 8-9 when Cal finished fourth at the season-opening Gopher Invitational hosted by Minnesota. Kim and Weaver, both first-team All-Americans in 2012-13 with Kim also the unanimous collegiate player of the year, missed the Gopher Invitational while playing for the winning USA Team at the Walker Cup in the prestigious amateur event.
“Their presence definitely lifts everyone up,” Chun said. “The team chemistry and leadership, going over the golf course during the practice round. It’s not just their scores, but everything they bring.”
Cal is coming off a historic 2012-13 season that is considered by many as the finest in the history of college golf when the Bears won 12 of 14 stroke-play events to set a modern-era NCAA single-season record previously established with the 10 victories recorded by the 1985-86 Oklahoma State team. Cal was ranked No. 1 in the final 2012-13 team rankings by both GolfWeek and Golfstat despite losing to Illinois in the match-play semifinals of the NCAA Championship. Among Cal’s victories during the season were second consecutive NCAA Regional (Pullman) and Pac-12 titles.
Cal begins third and final-round action of the Saint Mary’s Invitational on Tuesday with a shotgun start at the Bayonet Golf Course beginning at 8 a.m. PT. Cal will play with Saint Mary’s, San Francisco and St. John’s.
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 2 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes) 1. Cal (288-282 – 570, -6)2. Saint Mary’s (294-294 – 588, +12)T3. San Francisco (301-288 – 589, +13)T3. St. John’s (298-291 – 589, +13)5. Oregon (297-293 – 590, +14)T6. San Diego (304-287 – 591, +15)T6. Florida Gulf Coast (297-294 – 591, +15)8. Long Beach State (305-288 – 593, +17)T9. Santa Clara (300-294 – 594, +18)T9. Fresno State (300-294 – 594, +18)T11. Loyola Marymount (296-304 – 600, +24)T11. UC Irvine (302-298 – 600, +24)13. North Carolina State (302-301 – 603, +27)14. Ball State (309-300 – 609, +33)15. Hawai’i (306-304 – 610, +34)16. Cal State Northridge (307-304 – 611, +35)T17. UC Riverside (317-297 – 614, +38)T17. Kansas State (316-298 – 614, +38)19. Akron (312-307 – 619, +43) 
PLAYER LEADER BOARD – INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (after 1 of 2 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes) T1. Michael Weaver (Cal) 70-70 – 140 (-4)T1. Grant Forrest (San Diego) 71-69 – 140 (-4)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD – CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 1 of 2 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes)T1. Michael Weaver 70-70 – 140 (-4)T3. Shotaro Ban 69-73 – 142 (-2)T3. Brandon Hagy 71-71 – 142 (-2)T12. Michael Kim 78-68 – 146 (+2)*T15. Pace Johnson 71-76 – 147 (+3)T41. Joël Stalter 78-73 – 151 (+7)*Playing as an individual

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