LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Cal (314, +26) is in 12th place after the opening round Friday of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at the par-72, 7,374-yard Southern Highlands Golf Club. The event features each of the nation’s top six teams and the entire field of 15 is in the top 50 according to Golfweek but none were able to break par on a blistery day. Host UNLV leads after the first round with a one-over 289.
Keelan Kilpatrick is the first Cal player on the leader board in a tie for 14th place after his two-over par 74. Joël Stalter (79, +7) and Michael Weaver (79, +7) are tied for 46th, while Brandon Hagy (82, +10) is tied for 66th and Pace Johnson (83, +11) tied for 69th.
Kilpatrick is four shots off the pace of co-first-round leaders Wyndham Clark (70, -2) and Carl Johnson (70, +2) of Oklahoma State and UNLV, respectively.
“We’ve dug the hole the likes I would have never expected this team to be a part of,” head coach Steve Desimone said about his team that is ranked as high as tied for second nationally according to the Golf World/Nike Golf collegiate poll. “I know we’ve done it before, but I can’t remember a day like this in a long time.”
It’s been nearly a decade as Cal’s round of 314 was its highest score in the count-four format since the Bears shot the same number in the opening round of the Windon Memorial in the fall of 2004.
The 54-hole event continues with 18 holes scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. PT. Cal players will tee off from the 10th hole Saturday beginning at 8:27 a.m. PT. Sunday’s third-round action is also slated to get underway at 8 a.m. PT, with pairings and tee times to be determined following Saturday’s second round.
SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS COLLEGIATE MASTERS (HOSTED BY UNLV) LAS VEGAS, NEVADA SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS GOLF CLUB (PAR-72, 7,374 YARDS)
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes) 1. UNLV (289, +1) 2. Oklahoma State (293, +5) 3. Oklahoma (296, +8) 4. Stanford (297, +9) T5. Alabama (299, +11) T5. UCLA (299, +11) 7. TCU (301, +13) 8. Texas (308, +20) T9. Georgia (310, +22) T9. New Mexico (310, +22) 11. Texas Tech (312, +24) 12. Cal (314, +26) 13. Georgia Tech (315, +27) 14. Arizona State (318, +30) 15. Texas A&M (321, +33)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD – CO-INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes) T1. Wyndham Clark (Oklahoma State) 70 (-2) T1. Carl Johnson (UNLV) 70 (-2)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD – CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes) T14. Keelan Kilpatrick 74 (+2) T46. Joël Stalter 79 (+7) T46. Michael Weaver 79 (+7) T66. Brandon Hagy 82 (+10) T69. Pace Johnson 83 (+11)
NOTES ► Cal has won five of its first seven events in 2013-14 and 23 of its last 35 stroke-play events overall since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, while finishing in the top five on each occasions as well as in four stroke-play events over the period to make for 39 consecutive top-five finishes ► Cal is the defending champion of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters ► Four of the five players in Cal’s lineup have played previously at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters with Brandon Hagy, Joël Stalter and Michael Weaver playing twice each and Keelan Kilpatrick once, with only Pace Johnson playing in the event for the first time ► Hagy, Stalter and Johnson all had their highest scores of the season with the rounds by Hagy and Johnson also the highest of their career ► Kilpatrick had three birdies on the par-four first and fourth holes, as well as the par-five 18th, while he also had a double bogey (par-four seventh) and three bogeys (par-five third, par-four sixth, par-three 17th) ► Stalter fought back to play the back nine in one-under par 35 with birdies on both par-fives (13, 18) and a bogey on the par-four 14th after an eight-over 44 on the front nine that included a triple bogey on the first hole, back-to-back bogeys on the par-five third and par-four fourth, another bogey on the seventh and a double on the par-three eighth ► Weaver was unable to make a single birdie during his round that started with a double bogey on the first hole and had another on 14, as well as bogeys on the par-three 12th, and par-five 13th and 18th ► Hagy managed a one-over par 37 on the back nine with two birdies on the par-four 10th and par-five 18th holes that helped offset a bogey on 14 and a double bogey on the par-four 15th, but his back nine followed a nine-over par front that included a triple bogey on the third hole, a double bogey on the eighth, and bogeys on the first, par-three second, sixth and par-five ninth ► Johnson was one-under after a birdie on the second hole before the first of his two triple bogeys on three with his other coming on the 10th, while he also had a double bogey on the sixth as well as bogeys on the fourth, seventh, par-four 11th and 15th ► The five Cal golfers played the par-five third hole in a combined eight-over par
ADDITIONAL QUOTES ► Head Coach Steve Desimone "The third hole really hurt us. I don’t know if we’ve ever played a hole worse than that. That hole just put a fork in us.”
“We need to play more consistently tomorrow and fight our way back up the leader board. If we play two solid rounds, we can move up quite a bit on the leader board and that really is what the goal is now.”
“You’ve got to take it shot for shot and play those as the shot requires. You absolutely cannot get more aggressive on a golf course that is so punitive.”
► Joël Stalter “The wind was blowing hard this morning and made it really tough. I could not control my distance well which really hurt me on the front nine. I’m looking forward to a better day tomorrow.”
► Michael Weaver “It was just a tough day all around. We all had some holes where we made big numbers so if we can avoid those tomorrow I think we will make a solid move back up the board.”