Hutchinson, Kan. – Cal (279-289-282 – 850, +10) briefly moved into a top eight spot Monday morning during its third and final round of stroke play at the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship on Monday before a difficult finish over the final two holes left the Golden Bears with a round of two-over par 282 and a final 10-over par team over 54 holes of stroke play.
Cal, who had a high water mark Monday of five-under par for the round and three-over par for the tournament at the par-70, 6,941-yard Prairie Dunes Country Club, sits seven strokes out of a coveted top eight spot heading into Monday’s second wave of third-round play that begins at Noon CT. The Bears are tied for 17th following the conclusion of the first wave and would need seven of the top 15 teams to finish at 10-over par or worse to have an opportunity to advance to match play for the third straight season.
The situation looked much brighter for the Bears through the first 15 holes of their third and final round that began with a shotgun start Sunday afternoon and was completed Monday morning. Cal was sitting at four-under par for the round and four-over par for the tournament heading into the final three holes before its four scoring players played combined to play their final three holes in six-over par.
Brandon Hagy and Michael Weaver had the biggest struggles in the closing holes.
Hagy made a triple bogey on the par-five 17th. He lost his original tee shot in knee-high rough left of the fairway and then hit his provisional drive in the rough right of the fairway. Hagy found his second drive but advanced the ball only a few feet on his first attempt to get out of the rough. He then decided to chip back onto the fairway on his fifth shot before hitting a 230-foot four-iron to within 25 feet and two-putting for the triple.
Weaver, who started his round on the par-four 18th hole, was two-under through his first 16 holes before a bogey on the par-four 16th and a double bogey on 17.
Joël Stalter and Pace Johnson both played their final three holes in even par. Stalter bogeyed the 16th hole, birdied the 17th and made par on the 18th. Johnson, who started on the 17th, made three consecutive pars on the 14th, 15th and 16th to end his round.
Shotaro Ban, who started on the 18th hole, finished as the team’s third-round non-counter with a five-over par 75. He was one-under par over his closing three holes.
Stalter (69-73-67 – 209, -1) had both Cal’s best round of the day and top 54-hole finish followed by Hagy (68-72-72 – 212, +2), Weaver (72-71-71 – 214, +4), Ban (70-74-75 – 219, +9) and Johnson (81-73-72 – 226, +16).
Final places for each of Cal’s players will not be finalized until the end of the third round.All players in the Cal lineup other than the sophomore Ban are seniors playing in their final NCAA Championship.