Jan. 29, 2012
Tucson, Ariz. - Top-ranked Cal (281-284-282 - 847, -5) had its dreams of an unbeaten season end Tuesday as the Golden Bears finished third at the 2013 Arizona Intercollegiate although Michael Kim (70-69-65 - 204, -9) and Joël Stalter (65-69-70 - 204, -9) did share medalist honors.
Kim, the nation's second-ranked player according to Golfweek, won his second straight collegiate event dating back to his most recent outing at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational last October. Stalter picked up his first victory at Cal.
"It was definitely not our finest hour as a team, but congratulations to Michael and Joël," head coach Steve Desimone said. "They both played great, obviously. But it was a little bittersweet. This is a team game more than an individual game."
Stalter jumped out of the gate with birdies on his first five holes of the tournament Monday en route to an opening-round six-under par 65 that equaled his best round of the season. He started third-round action Tuesday with a four-shot lead on the field and a five-shot advantage on Kim, who caught Stalter with his own six-under par round of 65 on Tuesday. The two rounds of 65 equaled the tournament's best.
"I'm really happy about the way I played during the tournament," Stalter said. "I hung tough and got my first collegiate win, but it's still bittersweet because we finished third as a team. Still, I think we can only get better from this experience, and I am confident we will bounce back soon, as we always do."
"I wasn't really thinking about being medalist," Kim added. "It was more about trying to help the team win. It's bittersweet. It's disappointing to finish third as a team especially after losing by one shot here last year. But in the end I think it will help us by making us work harder than before to win at Hawaii and in the future."
Michael Weaver (73-76-73 - 222, +9) ended in a tie for 39th place, while Brandon Hagy (79-70-77 - 226, +13) and Max Homa (73-79-74 - 226, +13) tied for 57th. Playing as an individual, Shotaro Ban tied for 54th (81-69-75 - 225, +12).
New Mexico (285-278-281 - 844, -8) won the team title, while TCU (280-282-284 - 846, -6) finished second.
Cal will next play Feb. 20-22 at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate hosted by Hawai'i on the Arnold Palmer Course at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu in Kahuku. The Bears are the two-time defending champion of the event.
"We'll bounce back," Desimone said. "These guys are too good and too tough not to."
Arizona Intercollegiate (hosted by Arizona)
FINAL TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 2 of 2 days/3 of 3 rounds/54 of 54 holes)
FINAL PLAYER LEADER BOARD - CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 2 of 2 days/3 of 3 rounds/54 of 54 holes)
A full recap will follow.