LIHUE, Hawaii – No. 2/3/4 Cal leads the field by seven strokes after the first round of action Wednesday at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate hosted by Hawai’i at the par-72, 6,991-yard Wailua Golf Course. Defending champion Joël Stalter led the way for the Golden Bears with an opening-round five-under par 67 that has him in second place three strokes behind first-round leader Erik Oja of Arizona.
“Overall it was a good round and we hung tough,” head coach Steve Desimone said. “With all five guys in the top 10 everyone has a shot to win this thing individually. Both collectively and individually we have put ourselves in a good spot. When you add those two things up you’ve got to say it was a pretty good day.”
“I was really happy about my round today, although it was frustrating to finish with a bogey,” Stalter said.
Arizona (285, -3), Texas A&M (286, -2) and BYU (287, -1) are the three others teams under par after the first 18 holes of the three-day event that continues Thursday before concluding Friday. Cal players will tee off from the 10th hole Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. PT/9 a.m. HT, while Friday’s shotgun start with yet to be determined pairings gets underway at 10:30 a.m. PT/8:30 a.m. HT.
JOHN A. BURNS INTERCOLLEGIATE (HOSTED BY HAWAI’I) LIHUE, HAWAII WAILUA GOLF COURSE (PAR-72, 6,991 YARDS)
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes) 1. Cal (278, -10) 2. Arizona (285, -3) 3. Texas A&M (286, -2) 4. BYU (287, -1) 5. New Mexico (288, E) 6. Washington State (291, +3) T7. Long Beach State (292, +4) T7. UTEP (292, +4) T9. Colorado State (293, +5) T9. UNLV (293, +5) T9. Pacific (293, +5) 12. Nevada (295, +7) T13. Saint Mary’s (296, +8) T13. Fresno State (296, +8) 15. Hawai’i ‘B’ (297, +9) 16. Hawai’i Hilo (298, +10) 17. Hawai’i (299, +11)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD – INDIVIDUAL LEADER (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes) 1. Erik Oja (Arizona) 64 (-8)
NOTES ► Cal has won four of its first six events in 2013-14 and 22 of its last 34 stroke-play events overall while finishing in the top five in each ► Cal is the three-time defending team champion at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate ► Hagy, a candidate for National Player of the Year and the nation’s third-ranked player, is looking to extend his string of top-10 finishes to nine in a row including all six of his previous 2013-14 tournaments and his final two 2012-13 events at the NCAA Championship and NCAA Pullman Regional ► Cal’s round of 278 was its third-lowest of the season ► Stalter’s round was highlighted by a stretch of four straight birdies to open the back nine, while he also had three birdies on the front (1, 2, 8) for a team-high total of seven although he did bogey both nine and 18 ► In the lineup for only the second time since the 2011-12 season, Kilpatrick had four birdies (1, 7, 13, 15) and two bogeys (3, 6) in his two-under par round of 70 that was tied for the second lowest of his career ► Weaver’s round that consisted of four birdies (1, 5, 11, 13) and three bogeys (4, 7, 18) was his lowest score in four rounds this spring and tied for his third-lowest of the season ► Hagy got back in the red where he stayed the remainder of the round for his 15th under-par round in 19 tries this season with an eagle on the par-five 10th and a birdie on the par-four 11th after being two-over following the first four holes after a start of birdie, par, double bogey, bogey ► Johnson matched Hagy’s eagle on 10 and also had four birdies (4, 8, 9, 17) to help counteract an up-and-down round that included five bogeys (3, 5, 14, 15, 16)
ADDITIONAL QUOTES ► Head Coach Steve Desimone “It was a slow start but this team has had a tendency over the years to suddenly get going. They’re pretty explosive and we saw that over a period of five, six or seven holes today where we were one over and suddenly went to 10-under. All that happened pretty quickly in golf terms. We got to 12-under at one point but the finishing stretch was pretty tough. We gave a couple of shots away.”
“We have some guys on this team that can play. It’s been very difficult to crack into the lineup. Over the last two and a half seasons we’ve had one great player after another. It’s been difficult for some of these guys to really get an opportunity to play. The depth is there.”
“Keelan’s performance today was very consistent with what he’s been doing in qualifying the last three or four weeks. He’s been playing really well, which certainly justified his selection to the traveling team.”
► Brandon Hagy “I played solid the whole day, just needed a few more putts to drop. On 10 (eagle) I hit a great drive, then hit a 6-iron to 12 feet and read the putt perfectly.”
► Pace Johnson “I’m not surprised that all five guys put up good numbers today. Everyone seems to be on top of their game, and I feel like this team really prepared well on and off the course leading into this tournament. My game feels as sharp as ever and despite a few off tempo iron shots, I feel really pleased with how I played today and am really looking forward to tomorrow.”
► Keelan Kilpatrick “We are very pleased with our start. Whenever you have one-under as the non-counting score there’s not much to complain about. Now it’s just about putting distance between us and the rest of the field. Personally, it’s nice to be back in the mix again, especially in Hawaii. I played a very solid round today. Hitting 17 greens I had plenty of opportunities but the putter let me down a bit on the greens. Tomorrow I’ll be looking for more of the same but I have to capitalize on the opportunities I get.”
► Joël Stalter “My game is shaping up and I am definitely more consistent than last year, which is great and I hope to keep the momentum over the next few days. The course is quite open so there is room for low scores if the conditions stay the same. I’ll try to stick to my game plan and do my best to defend my title and help our team get our second victory of the spring.”
► Michael Weaver “I played well today and gave myself chances to score. Obviously, the team started off well with everyone in the top 10. We are in good shape heading into tomorrow and hopefully we can grow our lead.”