BRYAN, Texas –Brandon Hagy (71-70 – 141, -3) has a two-shot lead and Cal (302-303 – 605, +29) is in seventh place after the first 36 holes of the Aggie Invitational hosted by Texas A&M were played Saturday at the par-72, 7,146-yard Traditions Golf Club. Hagy has a two-stroke lead on Texas A&M’s Ben Crancer (71-72 – 143, -1), who was the only other player in a field of 70 to shoot under par over the first 36 holes.
“I played solid today,” Hagy said. “I drove the ball well and made some putts when I had to in order to keep the momentum. The course was playing tough with some hard pins and the winds kicked up, too.”
Hagy was the only player with two sub-par rounds, making 11 birdies, eight bogeys and 17 pars over his 36 holes. During each round he had a string of three consecutive birdies.
Hagy accomplished the feat in the first round on the par-four third and fourth holes and the par-five fifth to quickly go to three-under par. He would bogey three of his next four holes on the par-four sixth and ninth, as well as the par-three seventh to drop back to even-par at the turn. Hagy shot one-under on the back nine with three birdies on the par-three 11th, par-four 13th and par-five 15th holes, while he also had a pair of bogeys on the par-four 14th and par-three 16th.
The second time around Hagy sandwiched a birdie on the ninth hole he had bogeyed in the first round with birdies on the par-five eighth and 10th holes. His second stretch of three straight birdies came after back-to-back bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes for the second consecutive round that put him in the red for the only time all day. He would give one stroke back with a bogey on the par-four 12th before making birdies for the second consecutive round on the 13th and 15th holes.
Two Cal players in the tournament as individuals – Shotaro Ban (71-75 – 146, +2) and Pace Johnson (79-71 – 150, +6) – are tied for fifth and tied for 20th, respectively. Neither player’s score counts towards Cal’s team total.
“It was a pretty frustrating and pretty disappointing day,” Desimone said. “Conditions in the morning were tough and this is a very difficult golf course. The conditions settled down in the afternoon and the course played a little easier, but we just didn’t finish well. We’re disappointed with the way we finished because we really felt like we had played ourselves back into the tournament. At one point we were within four or five shots of the lead with just a few holes to go, but all of a sudden the bottom fell out.”
The forecast for Sunday in the Bryan area calls for a 70 percent chance of rain with thunder but if the third round is played Cal will start 14 strokes behind second-round leader LSU (298-293 – 591, +15). Johnson and Ban are scheduled to start on the first tee playing as individuals at 7:30 and 7:40 a.m. MT. Members of Cal’s lineup are scheduled to play along with players from Arkansas and North Texas. Weaver (7:50 a.m. MT) will be in the first of five threesomes from the teams off the first hole and be followed in 10-minute increments by threesomes featuring Yoon, Stalter, Kilpatrick and Hagy.
“It’s tough stuff, but this is a proud team and these are proud guys,” Desimone added. “They love to compete and if we get a chance to play tomorrow I suspect we will play a whole lot better.”
AGGIE INVITATIONAL (HOSTED BY TEXAS A&M) BRYAN, TEXAS TRADITIONS GOLF CLUB (PAR-72, 7,146 YARDS) TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 2 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes) 1. LSU (298-293 – 591, +15) 2. Texas A&M (297-295 – 592, +16) 3. Texas Tech (302-295 – 597, +21) 4. Oklahoma State (300-298 – 598, +22) 5. Kent State (305-297 – 602, +26) 6. San Diego State (305-298 – 603, +27) 7. Cal (302-303 – 605, +29) 8. Arkansas (305-301 – 606, +30) T9. North Texas (304-313 – 617, +41) T9. New Mexico State (321-296 – 617, +41) 11. Michigan (316-303 – 619, +43) 12. Pacific (328-299 – 627, +51) PLAYER LEADER BOARD – INDIVIDUAL LEADER (after 1 of 2 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes) 1. Brandon Hagy (Cal) 71-70 – 141 (-3)
NOTES ► Including its six wins in nine 2013-14 tournaments, Cal has won 24 of its last 34 stroke-play events dating back to the beginning of the 2013-14 season. The Bears have also been in the top five in 38 of 39 events during that stretch, with four other top-five finishes coming in four match-play events. ► Cal’s six wins in 2013-14 are tied for the second-most in school history with the 2011-12 squad with only the 2012-13 team’s 12 better. ► Cal is playing for the first time ever at the Aggie Invitational, which is in its eighth year of existence. ► Hagy is looking for his third victory of the season and the fourth of his career. He has finished in the top five in nine of his last 11 events and top 10 all but once during the stretch. ► Statler entered the tournament with three victories, four top-two finishes and five top-five finishes in his previous six events. ► Ban had seven birdies, four bogeys, one double bogey and one triple bogey over his 36 holes. He was at even par for the tournament after his birdie on the par-three 16th hole of his second round before finishing with a double-bogey on the 17th and a bogey on the 18th, both par-fours. His seven birdies came on seven different holes. During his first round, he birdied the par-five 10th and 15th, as well as the par-four 12th. The second time around his birdies were on three par-fours (1, 4, 12) before his final birdie of the day on 16. ► Johnson improved his score by eight strokes during his second round, improving from a seven-over par 79 to a one-under par 71. His tough first round included a stretch six holes (6-11) in which he was eight-over par and a 12-hole stretch (6-17) in which he was 10-over. He did have two birdies (4, 5) before the tough stretch and one after (18). He started his second round with a double bogey on the first hole but rebounded with three straight birdies (3, 4, 5). He would temporarily give all three strokes back with bogeys on the eighth, 11th and 12th holes but birdies three of his final five holes (13, 15, 17) to get them back. ► Kilpatrick’s day included four birdies, five bogeys and four double bogeys. ► Stalter had three birdies, 11 bogeys and one triple bogey. ► Yoon had seven birdies, including five in the second round, but also had 11 bogeys and four double bogeys. ► Weaver had two birdies, nine bogeys, three double bogeys and one triple bogey.