March 4, 2013
Fresno, Calif. - No. 1 Cal (346-348 - 694, -26) dominated action Monday over the first 36 holes of the Fresno State Lexus Classic at the Belmont Country Club. The Golden Bears will take a commanding 22-stroke lead over the host Bulldogs going into the final 18 holes of the event Tuesday looking for their school-record seventh win of the season in eight outings. The third and final round of action is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. PT.
Michael Kim (68-65 - 133, -7) is in pursuit of his third win of the season and has a four-stroke lead over a trio of players, including teammates Michael Weaver (69-68 - 137) and Brandon Hagy (68-69 - 137).
"We had a tremendous day today," head coach Steve Desimone said. "Once again, the guys played great. We got off to a good start and really never let up. All in all, it was a really solid day. We got the job done."
"It was a good day for both myself and the team," Kim said. "I couldn't get anything going in the first round until the last four holes, but I made a good birdie on 17 and just kept the momentum going from there."
Kim certainly got it going, rolling off seven consecutive birdies at one point beginning with his birdie the first time he played the par-four 17th. Kim added birdies on the par-five 18th, par-four first and par-four second hole to conclude his opening round then began his second round with three consecutive birdies on the par-four third and fourth holes, and the par-five fifth. Kim ended up with a team-high 15 birdies on the day, including four holes (1, 9, 17, 18) which he birdied twice each. In addition to the four birdies to end his first round, he also birdied the par-four seventh and par-five ninth. After starting his second 18 with the three consecutive birdies, he added birdies on the par-five ninth and 12th holes, as well as the par-four 15th before closing the round with three more birdies in a row on 17, 18 and 1. Kim redeemed each of his first-round bogeys (12, 15) with birdies on the holes in the second round. His second-round bogeys came on the par-three eighth and par-four 10th holes.
Weaver, a Fresno native, played a bogey-free first round with his three strokes under par coming from an eagle on nine and a birdie on 10. His first bogey of the day came on the first hole to start his second round but a hot stretch in the middle of the round with birdies on the seventh, ninth, par-three 11th, 12th and 15th holes got him to four-under for the round and seven-under for the tournament. His second and final bogey of the day on 17 dropped him back a stroke but he gained it right back with a birdie on 18.
"It was fun to be playing back at home," Weaver said. "I had lots of family and friends come out and watch throughout the day. I was really happy with the way I played today. My short game kept me in the rounds, and I made lots of good par saves. As far as the team, it's great that we got off to such a strong start today and have a nice lead going into tomorrow. It would be nice to have another great day of golf tomorrow and see how low we can take it as a team."
Hagy returned to the lineup with a vengeance after not playing in the team's most recent event at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate. His 14 birdies with seven coming in each round were one shy of Kim's 15, but he did have a double bogey in each round and three bogeys total that contributed to keeping him four shots off Kim's pace. Hagy started both of his rounds on the fifth hole and was four-under par after birdies on the fifth, eighth, ninth and 12th holes before his first double bogey on the par-four 16th. Hagy rebounded with back-to-back bogeys on 17 and 18 before a bogey on two and a birdie on four closed out his first round. He opened his second round with a birdie on the fifth hole for a second straight time. After a bogey on seven, he would birdie six of his next 12 holes (9, 10, 12, 17, 18, 1) before a bogey on two and a double bogey on three took three of the strokes back.
Reigning Pac-12 Golfer of the Month Joël Stalter (69-73 - 142, -2), who has won individual medalist honors at each of his two spring tournaments, is tied for 11th. The nation's No. 1 ranked player according to Golfstat and No. 2 by Golfweek had an early bogey on the third hole of his first round but came back with four birdies (5, 7, 9, 18) the remainder of the way. He started his second round with a bogey on the first hole and had another on the third before three birdies (5, 12, 15) and a double bogey on the par-four 14th gave him his final score.
James Yoon (72-73 - 145, +1) is tied for 34th after his seven birdies and eight bogeys put him one-over for the day. Yoon started his rounds on the fourth hole and got to his best mark of the day at three-under par quickly with birdies on the fifth, par-four sixth and 10th holes of his first round. He lost all three of those red numbers with back-to-back bogeys on the par-three 13th and the par-four 14th holes, as well as bogeys on 18 and 1 sandwiching a lone birdie on 15.
Max Homa (73-73 - 146, +2) is tied for 42nd after a day that included six birdies, six bogeys and a double bogey. Homa, who started on the second hole, had first-round birdies on the third, 14th and 18th holes. His first-round bogeys were on five, nine, 13 and 17. His second-round birdies came on two, five and 17, while he had bogeys on three and 13, as well as double bogey on 16.
"I like our chances tomorrow, but you never count on anything until it's over," Desimone said. "We still have to play a tricky golf course that's short and tactical tomorrow."
Following the completion of Tuesday's action, Cal will have two days off before continuing a busy week at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters to be played at the Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas.
The Bears have won 12 of their last 21 tournaments overall dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign and finishing in the top five in all 21.
Fresno State Lexus Classic (hosted by Fresno State)
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 2 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD - INDIVIDUAL LEADER (after 1 of 2 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD - CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 1 of 2 days/2 of 3 rounds/36 of 54 holes)