WINDERMERE, Fla. – No. 4 ranked Cal (284-286 – 570, -6) moved into sole possession of third place at the conclusion of second-round action Tuesday at the 2013 Isleworth Collegiate Invitational but fell 18 shots off the pace of second-round leader and top-ranked Alabama (280-272 – 552, -16). Co-host UCF (282-281 – 563, -13) is the only other team ahead of the Golden Bears at the prestigious event also co-hosted by Texas Tech at the par-72, 7,387-yard Isleworth Golf & Country Club.
“We played better today, but we just didn’t make many putts and you have to putt well to win,” head coach Steve Desimone said. “Throw in a couple of bad decisions and bad breaks, and we’re back 18 shots instead of five or six. But hats off to Alabama, they played great and are a tremendous team. They played great early and just kept right on going.”
Joël Stalter (66-74 – 140, -4) shared the lead after Sunday’s first round but fell back into a tie for fourth place after two rounds six shots off the pace of co-first-round leader Trey Mullinax of Alabama (66-68 – 134, -10). Stalter moved to seven-under par for the tournament and one-under for the round with a birdie on the par-four fourth that coupled with eight pars made him one-under on the front nine. But Stalter played a wildly uneven back nine, starting with a bogey on the par-four 10th and double bogey on the par-three 11th. He got all three shots back with three consecutive birdies on the par-four 12th, par-five 13th and par-four 14th but returned them with a bogey on the par-three 15th and a double bogey on the par-five 17th.
“I played well today but had a rough go with two shots on the back nine that cost me a pair of double bogeys,” Stalter said. “Still I’m happy with the way I played and thought for every shot.”
Brandon Hagy (74-70 – 144, E) and Michael Weaver (73-71 – 144, E) both posted sub-par rounds Monday to make significant jumps on the leader board into a tie for 19th place along with six others. Hagy had been tied for 39th heading into Monday’s action, while Weaver was tied for 32nd
Hagy posted the top round by a Cal player Monday, going through the course with three birdies on a pair of par-fives (7, 13) and one par-four (16) as well as one bogey on the par-three fifth in addition to 14 pars. His round Monday was in stark contrast to his opening round Sunday that included five birdies, five bogeys and two double bogeys.
“I hit the ball very well today,” said Hagy, who hit 11 fairways and 16 greens in regulation. “I didn’t make a lot of putts but they will fall tomorrow.”
Weaver also had three birdies in his round on the par-five third as well as the 10th and 16th holes. He both started and finished the front nine with bogeys on par-four holes.
Pace Johnson (73-72 – 145, +1) and defending Isleworth Collegiate Invitational champion Michael Kim (72-73 – 145, +1) are among a group of seven tied for 27th one shot behind the group including Hagy and Weaver.
Johnson had both four birdies (1, 7, 11, 12) and four bogeys (3, 6, 9, 16) on Monday.
Kim was three-over through 13 holes after bogeys on the first, fourth and 13th, but had birdies on two of his final five holes (14, 17).
Cal will play along with Alabama and UCF in the final group during Tuesday’s third and final round. The first threesome from the trio of teams is scheduled to start from the first tee beginning at 6:40 a.m. PT. The first tee times of the round are at 5 a.m. PT.
Cal will conclude a 2013-14 fall season Tuesday that has included three victories by a combined 61 strokes on the heels of a historic 2012-13 campaign that is considered by many as the finest in the history of college golf. Cal won 12 of 14 stroke-play tournaments last season to set a modern-era NCAA single-season record. 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 2012-13 season were second consecutive NCAA Regional (Pullman) and Pac-12 titles. Cal has won 21 of its last 32 stroke-play events overall and finished in the top five in all 32.
“What I’d like to see tomorrow and would be a good way to end the fall is to see our guys make some putts and at least put a little heat on Alabama, and at least let them know we’re knocking on the door,” Desimone said. “We’ll give it our best shot.”
ISLEWORTH COLLEGIATE INVITATIONAL (CO-HOSTED BY TEXAS TECH AND UCF) WINDERMERE, FLA. ISLEWORTH GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (PAR-72, 7,387 YARDS)