Aaron Du Takes Fifth At Arizona Intercollegiate
TUCSON, Ariz. – Sophomore Aaron Du was the highlight of California men's golf's first tournament of 2022, riding a career-best performance to a fifth-place finish at the Arizona Intercollegiate. The sophomore finished 10 under par (206) with a career-best 68 (-4) strokes in the first round. As a team, the Bears finished in 10th-place in the tournament with a combined score of 864 (E).
Du closed out the first 18 holes with six birdies and his 68 strokes were the third-lowest of the round. Despite the second round being cut short due to darkness, the Beijing, China native continued to perform well on Tuesday morning when play resumed, ultimately shooting a 69 (-3) which he replicated in the final round as well. Du collected a team-best 16 birdies at the Tucson Country Club which was the seventh-most in the 80-player field. Meanwhile, his average 2.83 strokes on par 3s was tied for the lowest in the tournament. He also performed well on par 5s, finishing -8 on such holes.
"Aaron Du played exceptionally well," Alex and Marie Shipman Director of Men's Golf Walter Chun said. "I was happy to see him do well. He really led us for 54 holes."
Sophomore Sampson Zheng recorded the Bears' second-lowest score, finishing with 217 (+1) strokes which placed him in a tie for 39th. Zheng's best round came in the first when he finished with a career-low three under par (69). He collected six birdies in the round. Three strokes behind Zheng was redshirt sophomore Costas Panay who closed out the Arizona Intercollegiate tied for 52nd with 220 (+4) strokes. Panay produced an impressive second round, carding a 68 (-4) which was his second-lowest round as a Bear. Senior James Song was Cal's final scorer with 225 (+9) strokes which placed him in a tie for 67th.
"We're continuing to get better," Chun said. "It may not be showing in the results and tournament finishes, but progress is being made. I know it and we need to remain patient."
As a team, Cal's 864 strokes is its second-lowest combined score of the 2021-22 season. The Bears also produced the best score on par 3s in the 14-team field, finishing with a collective average of 3.08 strokes (+5 overall).
Cal will now return home to prepare for its next tournament, the John Burns Intercollegiate. The event will be hosted by University of Hawaii February 17-19 at Ocean Course at Hokuala in Lihue, Hawaii.
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