Sept. 25, 2011
(BURLINGTON) - Cal shot an even-par round of 288 on Sunday and is in fifth place after the conclusion of first round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge. The Bears will begin Monday's second round at the 7,010-yard, par-72 Spirit Hollow Golf Course nine shots off the pace of first-round leader Chattanooga (279, -9). Also ahead of Cal are Arkansas (280, -8), host Iowa (283, -5) and Oklahoma State (283, -5), members of a 15-team field that includes one team from each of 15 different conferences.
"We're in this thing only nine shots back but there are some very good teams ahead of us," head coach Steve Desimone said. "We've got our work cut out for us if we're going to win, but I think everybody here thinks we're capable of that and believes it. Hopefully we can narrow the gap tomorrow."
Pace Johnson paced the Cal effort Sunday with a two-under par 70, playing in the top spot in the lineup. After an opening-hole bogey on the par-four first hole, Johnson rattled off four birdies over his next 11 holes to get to three-under par. He immediately responded to his opening-hole bogey with a birdie on the par-five second hole to get back to even and went in the red to stay with another birdie on the fourth hole, another par five. He would go on to birdie the par-four 11th and par-three 12th holes, before giving one shot back by making bogey at the par-four 17th.
Max Homa was Cal's No. 2 player in the lineup behind Johnson and also had the Bears' second-best score on Sunday. Homa's up-and-down round of one-under par 71 has him tied for 17th. His round included five birdies and four bogeys. Homa both started and finished well, making birdie on each of the first two holes and then holes 16 and 18. He had another on the ninth holes. He had three straight bogeys on holes six, seven and eight, and another on 15.
Michael Kim had an even-par 72 and is tied for 22nd. Kim birdied the first two holes and then went on to make par on 14 of his final 16. His bogeys to bring him back to even came on the ninth and 18th holes.
Joël Stalter, who was Cal's top finisher at the season-opening Wolverine Intercollegiate nearly two weeks ago, shot a three-over par 75 on Monday and is tied for 46th. Stalter's birdies on the 10th and 18th holes were offset by three bogeys (7, 12, 17) and a double (14).
Brandon Hagy shot an eight-over par 80 to put him in a tie for 68th. He birdied the first hole before his round immediately fell apart with back-to-back double bogeys on two and three. He would never have another birdie but did have five additional bogeys (6, 7, 9, 10, 14).
"It was one of those b-minus or c-plus days," Desimone said. "We just never really got it going. We made a couple of birdies, we made a couple of bogeys and at the end we would up even par."
"We know that we've put up some good numbers, and we know that we've won [this season]," Desimone said. "Those are very important marks I don't care what sport it is. It's always great to win and it's good to know that you can produce when you have to. If we can improve by a couple of shots we can be right there on Tuesday morning."
The second of three rounds of action at the Golfweek Conference Challenge tees off Monday at 9:00 a.m. CT/7:00 a.m. PT. Johnson will be the first Cal player off the tee at 10:30 a.m. and be followed in nine-minute intervals by Hagy, Kim, Homa and Stalter
Golfweek Conference Challenge (hosted by Iowa)
Burlington, IA - Spirit Hollow Golf Course (par-72, 7,010 yards)
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes
1. Chattanooga (279, -9)
2. Arkansas (280, -8)
T3. Iowa (283, -5)
T3. Oklahoma State (283, -5)
5. Cal (288, E)
6. New Mexico (289, +1)
T7. Southeastern Louisiana (293, +5)
T7. Kennesaw State (293, +5)
T9. Georgia Tech (294, +6)
T9. Tulsa (294, +6)
11. Ball State (295, +7)
12. North Texas (297, +9)
13. UC Irvine (298, +10)
14. Xavier (299, +11)
15. New Mexico State (301, +13)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes)
1. Stephen Jaeger (Chattanooga) 67 (-5)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD - CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes)
T8. Pace Johnson 70 (-2)
T17. Max Homa 71 (-1)
T22. Michael Kim 72 (E)
T46. Joël Stalter 75 (+3)
T68. Brandon Hagy 80 (+8)