Feb. 21, 2013
Kahuku, Hawai'i - No. 1 Cal (284-282 - 566, -10) has moved out to a 16-stroke lead at the end of second-round action Thursday at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate. The Golden Bears are looking to win for the sixth time in seven tournaments this season and capture the event being hosted by Hawai'i for the third consecutive year. Joël Stalter (67-70 - 137) retained his first-round lead in pursuit of a second consecutive individual title.
Stalter shot a two-under par 70 on Thursday and holds a two-stroke lead on teammate Max Homa (71-68 - 139), who was the only player Thursday to break 70 with his four-under par round of 68. Michael Weaver (72-70 - 142, -2) is in a three-way tie for third after matching Stalter's two-under 70 on Thursday. Michael Kim (74-75 - 149, +5) is tied for 18th, while James Yoon (78-74 - 152, +8) is tied for 44th.
"We played great today," head coach Steve Desimone said about his team's round that was the best of the day for the second consecutive round. "This is one of the best rounds we have played over the last two or three years. We've had a lot of really good rounds and this certainly falls into that category."
The Bears played well despite a cool morning that included a stoppage in play due to rain as well as windy conditions at the par-72, 7,218-yard Arnold Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore. The forecast is similar for Friday's final 18 holes that begin with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. PT/7:30 a.m. HT.
"These were the toughest conditions we've played in this year," Desimone said. "That's what makes this round so much more special. It was a tremendous round and a good time for it to happen."
Cal started on the back nine Thursday with its four scoring players combining for a three-over par total before rebounding to play the second half of the day's play in nine-under on the front nine with 10 birdies and a single bogey by the Bears.
Stalter bogeyed two of his first five holes on the par-four 11th and 14th, but also sandwiched in a birdie for the second straight day on the par-five 12th. He would also birdie the par-five 18th and par-four fifth for the second straight day before adding another on the par-four sixth.
"I'm happy I'm still in the lead," said Stalter, who shared the Arizona Intercollegiate individual medalist honors with teammate Kim in his most recent event. "I hung tough today and played some solid golf. Hopefully we will take care of business tomorrow and get our first win of the spring."
Homa had four birdies and no bogeys during his round, with three of the birdies coming on par-fours (17, 1, 6) and another on a par-three (4).
"It's exciting for the team to be back on top of the leaderboard again," Homa said. "We have a big lead but with the heavy winds, a solid round tomorrow is necessary."
Weaver bogeyed three of his first eight holes (12, 13, 17) before roaring back with five birdies over his final 10 holes (18, 1, 3, 6, 9). He birdied the par-five 18th and third holes for the second straight day. His birdie on the ninth gave him his third par-five birdie in a row after his bogey on 12.
"We had a great round today as a team," Weaver said. "Individually, I'm glad I was able to come back from a bad start. I wasn't hitting it great or putting it well at first, but after six or seven holes things started to click and I was able to rebound nicely."
Kim, the nation's No. 1 collegiate player, also had a tough start on the 10th hole, making double bogey on the par-four hole for the second straight day. He managed a birdie on 12 but surrounded it with a pair of bogeys on 11 and 13. After the shaky start he put together 14 consecutive pars. The Bears were able to toss out his three-over par 75.
"I hadn't thought about that," Desimone said with a chuckle when told the Bears dropped the score of the nation's top player. "Obviously that doesn't happen very often, but it did today. I suspect it won't happen very often going forward, but it just shows you the depth and quality of this team that we could overcome something like that and still play great golf. It's a real statement by the guys, and I'm really proud of them."
Yoon's round included a pair of par-five birdies on the 12th and ninth holes, while his four bogeys came on a trio of par-fours (11, 14, 16) and the par-five third.
The Bears have won 11 of their last 20 tournaments overall dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign and have finished in the top five in all 20. Cal remains one victory away from equaling the school record of six tournament wins set last season, while Desimone is also a single win away from the 50th of his career.
"We all felt like we had something to get back after," Desimone said in reference to the team's season-long five-tournament win streak being snapped by tying third at the Arizona Intercollegiate in their previous event. "Nobody's going to win them all and clearly we didn't play as well as we could have played in Tucson. But today was the kind of day that says we're back on track."
John A. Burns Intercollegiate (hosted by Hawai'i)
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 2 of 3 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD - INDIVIDUAL LEADER (after 2 of 3 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD - CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 2 of 3 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes)