MARANA, Ariz. – Two-time defending conference champion Cal (368-354 – 722, +2) is in second place after the conclusion of play on the first day of the 2014 Pac-12 Championship hosted by Arizona at The Gallery Golf Club. The Golden Bears were one of only three teams to have each of its players finish all of Friday’s scheduled 36 holes of the par-72, 7,349-yard course along with playing mates Colorado and USC. Stanford was in the lead four shots ahead of Cal when play was suspended due to darkness.
“My guys gave everything they had today,” Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. “We’re going to get ready for tomorrow and make another run at this thing.”
Three Cal players – Shotaro Ban (73-69 – 142, -2), Brandon Hagy (73-69 – 142, -2) and Joël Stalter (74-68 – 142, -2) – are among a group of five players that all finished 36 holes tied for second place four shots behind leader Patrick Rodgers, who is six-under par with two holes remaining in his second round.
“It was a frustrating day as we finished in the dark, but I played very well overall and came back strong after my quad,” Stalter said in reference to his nine on the par-five seventh hole during his first round. “There’s lots of golf left and work to do, but the team fought hard.”
Keelan Kilpatrick (74-74 – 148, +4) and Michael Weaver (74-74 – 148, +4) are tied for 24th, while James Yoon (76-75 – 151, +7) is tied for 38th.
Cal came into the Pac-12 Championship ranked tied for No. 3 nationally by Golf World/Nike Golf, No. 4 according to Golfstat and No. 5 by Golfweek, while the Cardinal was Golfstat’s No. 3 team and No. 6 according to both Golfweek and Golf World/Nike Golf. The teams are in a battle to be the top-ranked team in the West heading into NCAA postseason action and likely stay close to home for the only one of six NCAA Regionals on the West Coast May 15-17 at the Eugene Country Club.
“There’s plenty of golf left to catch Stanford,” Hagy said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
“We’re a few shots behind Stanford with two rounds to go so anything can happen,” Ban said. “We need this one.”
Second-round action at the Pac-12 Championship resumes Saturday at 7 a.m. MDT/PST. Third-round pairings and tee times will be announced following the conclusion of second-round action, with the third round slated to begin one hour after the second round ends.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP (HOSTED BY ARIZONA) MARANA, AZ THE GALLERY GOLF CLUB (PAR-72, 7,349 YARDS)
PLAYER LEADERBOARD – INDIVIDUAL LEADER (after 1 of 3 days) 1. Patrick Rodgers (Stanford) 71-DNF – DNF (-6)
PLAYER LEADERBOARD – CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 1 of 3 days/2 of 4 rounds/36 of 72 holes) T2. Brandon Hagy 73-69 – 142 (-2) T2. Shotaro Ban 73-69 – 142 (-2) T2. Joël Stalter 74-68 – 142 (-2) T24. Keelan Kilpatrick 74-74 – 148 (+4) T24. Michael Weaver 74-74 – 148 (+4) T38. James Yoon 76-75 – 151 (+7)
NOTES ► Cal won six of 11 events during the 2013-14 regular season and has won 24 of its last 37 stroke-play tournaments dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 season. The Bears have also been in the top five in 36 of those events as well as another four match-play events during the period for 40 top-five showings in their last 41 tournaments overall. ► Another Cal victory this season would give the Bears seven in 2013-14 and the second-most in school history behind the school-record 12 stroke-play events won by the 2012-13 squad. ► Ban, who is the lone Cal player participating in his first Pac-12 Championship, finished strong with a four-under par 32 on the back nine of his second-round three-under par 69. He played his final 14 holes in five-under par with a birdie on the par-four fifth, three in a row on the par-four 10th and 11th, and another on the par-five 18th that was Cal’s lone of the day on the hole. His only second-round blemish was a double bogey on four. Ban birdied both par-fives on the front nine (2, 7) during his opening-round one-over par 73, while he had bogeys on a trio of par-threes (3, 6, 16). ► Hagy played 17 holes of five-under par bogey-free golf during his three-under par 69 second round before taking a double bogey seven on the 18th hole to end his day. His second-round birdies came on the par-five first and seventh holes, as well as the par-four fourth, ninth and 10th to get him to five-under through his first 10 holes before he made seven consecutive pars. Hagy had back-to-back birdies on the par-four 14th and par-five 15th holes in his one-over par opening-round 73, while he had back-to-back bogeys on the par-four eighth and ninth holes, as well as the 18th. ► Stalter started his second-round four-under par 68 that was the best completed round of the day by playing the first 11 holes in six-under par with birdies on the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, 10th and 11th holes. He would bogey three of his final seven holes (12, 14, 18) but managed one more birdie on the par-four 17th. Stalter’s opening-round two-over 74 was marred by a quadruple-bogey nine on the seventh hole. He did manage four birdies during the round (5, 12, 14, 16) for a team-high 12 on the day, while he had bogeys on the par-four eighth and 13th holes. ► Kilpatrick totaled nine birdies, 11 bogeys and one double bogey over his 36 holes. ► Weaver bogeyed his final three holes and four of his last six, while totaling four birdies and eight bogeys on the day. ► Yoon bogeyed four of his final six holes as well, while totaling five birdies (four on the front nine of his second round) and 12 bogeys on the day. ► During Cal’s second round, the five Bears that counted for the team score played the front nine in a combined nine-under par and the back nine in three-over par for a total of six-under par.