LIHUE, Hawaii – No. 2/3/4 Cal increased its lead to nine strokes after the second round of action Thursday at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate hosted by Hawai’i at the par-72, 6,991-yard Wailua Golf Course. Defending champion Joël Stalter (67-71 – 138, -6) remained in second place and will start Friday’s third and final round four strokes behind second-round leader Justin Kelly of BYU (68-66 – 134, -10).
All five Cal players are in the top 15 with Michael Weaver (70-70 – 140, -4) tied for fourth, Pace Johnson (71-70 – 141, -3) and Keelan Kilpatrick (70-71 – 141, -3) tied for eighth, and Brandon Hagy (71-72 – 143, -1) tied for 14th.
“It’s nice that we held onto the lead today,” Desimone said. “We have really not putted well but we have pounded the par fives and that’s really what has kept us in the lead.”
“It was tough out there today,” Stalter said. “I didn’t have my ‘A’ game but fought hard to stay close to the lead. I’m looking forward to a low round tomorrow to help the team bring home the trophy.”
BYU (287-282 – 569, -7) and Texas A&M (286-283 – 569, -7) are tied for second nine shots off Cal’s pace and the only two other teams under par after 36 holes. Friday’s final round will be a shotgun start beginning at 10:30 a.m. PT/8:30 a.m. HT. Cal players will play in foursomes along with players from BYU, Texas A&M and New Mexico and start on the first, second and third holes.
JOHN A. BURNS INTERCOLLEGIATE (HOSTED BY HAWAI’I) LIHUE, HAWAII WAILUA GOLF COURSE (PAR-72, 6,991 YARDS)
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 2 of 3 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes) 1. Cal (278-282 – 560, -16) T2. BYU (287-282 – 569, -7) T2. Texas A&M (286-283 – 569, -7) 4. New Mexico (288-289 – 577, +1) T5. UTEP (292-288 – 580, +4) T5. Arizona (285-295 – 580, +4) 7. Washington State (291-291 – 582, +6) T8. Long Beach State (292-292 – 584, +8) T8. UNLV (293-291 – 584, +8) 10. Pacific (293-293 – 586, +10) T11. Colorado State (293-295 – 588, +12) T11. Nevada (295-293 – 588, +12) 13. Hawai’i (299-291 – 590, +14) T14. Saint Mary’s (296-301 – 597, +21) T14. Hawai’i ‘B’ (297-300 – 597, +21) 16. Fresno State (296-304 – 600, +24) 17. Hawai’i Hilo (298-304 – 602, +26)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD – INDIVIDUAL LEADER (after 2 of 3 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes) 1. Justin Kelly (BYU) 68-66 – 134 (-10)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD – CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 2 of 3 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes) 2. Joël Stalter 67-71 – 138 (-6) T4. Michael Weaver 70-70 – 140 (-2) T8. Pace Johnson 71-70 – 141 (-3) T8. Keelan Kilpatrick 70-71 – 141 (-3) T14. Brandon Hagy 71-72 – 143 (-1)
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 and looking to become the first team to ever win the event four straight times in its 38-year history with Oklahoma State (1993-95) the only other team to win it three years in a row. ► 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 282 on Thursday tied BYU for the best team round of the day ► Stalter started his second with a birdie on the par-five 10th then made eight start pars before an eagle on the par-five first that kept him in the red for despite bogeys on the par-four second and par-three seventh ► Weaver moved up one spot into a tie for fourth by matching his two-under par round of 70 from the previous day with an up-and-down round that included a team-high six birdies (10, 12, 18, 1, 3, 9) with four coming on par fives and four bogeys (11, 2, 6, 7) ► Johnson moved up two spots into a tie for eighth with his two-under par 70 including five birdies (10, 17, 1, 6, 9), one bogey (5) and one double bogey (15) ► Kilpatrick dropped three spots but stayed in the top 10 tied for eighth with a one-under par that featured five birdies (10, 12, 14, 6, 9), two bogeys (16, 7) and one double bogey (13) ► 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, but dropped four spots into a tie for 14th after an-ever par 72 that featured five birdies (10, 11, 15, 6, 9), three bogeys (12, 3, 7) and one double bogey (18) and will
ADDITIONAL QUOTES ► Head Coach Steve Desimone “We have two really good teams right behind us. We’re seeing the best teams rises to the top here. BYU and Texas A&M can get after you and could make things really interesting tomorrow if we don’t take care of business.”
“The field is stronger than it’s been at this event. We’re very pleased with that as we build towards Southern Highlands and the rest of the year. You want to take a step-by-step approach competitively as you get into some of the bigger tournaments. There is no doubt that with teams like Texas A&M, BYU, New Mexico and UNLV that this is a competitive field.”
“We’ll see how we handle things tomorrow. In most of our wins we have been pretty comfortable. This one is good but stranger things have happened over nine shots, especially when you’ve got a couple of teams back there like Texas A&M and BYU.”
“Anybody within six shots of the lead has a shot to win this individual title if they can shoot three, four or five-under tomorrow and put a lot of pressure on the leader. But I’m more concerned about guys doing what they’re supposed to do and playing one shot at a time based on what the shot demands are. If they do that and we make a few putts then I wouldn’t be surprised to see Joël or one of our other guys hoist that individual title tomorrow.”
► Pace Johnson “Today was a solid day all around. The team played solid again. We got some good practice after the round to sharpen up and are all ready to get it tomorrow. After my double bogey today I did a great job of staying patient and maintaining my confidence. Tomorrow will be a great day.”
► Keelan Kilpatrick “It was another solid round from the team, but it is still far from over. Nine shots is not a lot in college golf and can be made up in the space of a few holes. We need to keep the momentum going into tomorrow’s round and make our presence felt early. Personally I had another solid round but still feel like I’m wasting a lot of shots. Tomorrow I really have to get something going early to threaten the top of the leader board. It may sound tough but it’s definitely out there for me with a couple of friendly bounces.”
► 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 “We are in good position going into the final round with a nine-shot lead. Individually, I’m happy with my position and hope to play a good round tomorrow to help the team and move up the leader board.