Oct. 8, 2012
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. - Cal (285-273 - 558, -15) leads after the first day of action at the Pac-12 Preview that began Monday but ended before 10 of the 12 teams could finish both of the day's scheduled rounds. Cal and Colorado were the only teams to finish 36 holes on the par-72, 7,017-yard Witch Hollow Course at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. The Golden Bears hold a two-shot lead on both USC and Washington, who were 16-under par before their final rounds were suspended due to darkness with players remaining on the course.
"We got off to a tough start, but then we stabilized and played some fabulous golf over the last 27 holes," head coach Steve Desimone said. "It took us a while to settle down, but as we have so many times before we played ourselves into the round. All of a sudden we caught fire and we were climbing the leader board in a hurry."
"I'm so proud of the guys," Desimone continued. "When things started tough it could have been so easy to pack it in, but we just dug our heels in and starting playing some great golf. It was a solid day for us, but there's more work to do tomorrow."
Max Homa (72-67 - 139, -5) and Michael Weaver (70-69 - 139, -5) are tied for fifth at the end of the first day's action, while Michael Kim (71-69 - 140, -4) is tied for ninth a shot back of his two teammates. Joël Stalter (72-72 - 144, E) and Brandon Hagy (77-68 - 145, +1) are tied 18th and 27th, respectively.
Washington's Tyler Salsbury (67-68 - 135, -9) is the leader after the first day of action, one stroke ahead of USC's Yi Keun Chang (69-67 - 136).
Homa was one-over through his first 21 holes before catching fire with six birdies and nine pars over his final 15. He finished the day with 11 birdies, twice making birdie on the par-five seventh and 14th holes. He added birdies on the par-five 11th hole in his first round and par-five fourth in his second to give him six birdies over his 10 par-five holes on the day. He also had three birdies on par-threes, making birdie on the 15th hole in his first round and the 10th and 12th holes on his second. His par-four birdies came on the eighth hole in the first round and the sixth in his second.
"It was obviously not a good start for us as a team," said Homa, who contributed to the team's tough start with bogeys on two of the first four holes. "But everyone hung tough and played great late in the day."
Weaver played the back nine on fire during both of his rounds, combining to shoot seven-under par with a four-under par 32 the first time through and a three-under 33 on his second try. Eight of his nine birdies came on the back nine as did an eagle on the 11th hole during his first round. Weaver started his day with eight consecutive pars and would make par on 15 of the 18 holes during the front nine of his rounds, with the only exceptions a double bogey on the par-four ninth the first time through that he rebounded from with a birdie on 10 and his eagle on 11. The second time around he had a bogey on the par-four third and a birdie on the seventh.
Kim played the front nine better than any other Golden Bear at two-under par with four birdies and the only blemish a double bogey on the par-three fifth hole of his first round. Kim birdied the seventh hole both times, while adding a birdie on the par-four first during his opening round and the third during his second. He was also solid on the back nine at two-under, making back-to-back birdies on the 12th and par-four 13th holes of his first round to help reduce the effects of a bogey on 10. His second time through he had birdies on all three par-five holes (11, 14, 18) but also back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13 after his first-round birdies on the holes.
Stalter, a hero in an NCAA quarterfinals win against San Diego State last season, had a pair of even-par rounds in his first action of the 2012-13 campaign after winning the fifth and final spot in the team's lineup for the event during recent team qualifying. Stalter started his season with back-to-back bogeys on the first two holes but then made eight consecutive pars and then had an eagle on 11 to get back to even par. He would bogey 12 but then came up with back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14 to get to one-under. Back-to-back bogeys on the par-four 16th and 17th holes put him back at one-over before he birdied 18. His second round included a hot stretch of three birdies in four holes (10, 11, 13) to start the back nine and helped him get to one-under par for both the day and round, as well as make up for a two-over 38 on the front nine. He would bogey 17 for the second time for his final even-par score.
Hagy had a rough start with an eight-over par 44 on his first nine holes that included double bogeys on the first and third holes, and bogeys on the fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth. But he rebounded to play his final 27 holes in seven-under par with an eagle, five birdies and 21 pars. All of Hagy's birdies and his eagle came on par-fives, with the first three birdies on the back nine of his opening round (11, 14, 18). He added another on the fourth hole of his second, made eagle on 11 and birdied 18 to finish his day.
The conclusion of the suspended portion of the second round of the event hosted by Oregon State is scheduled to begin Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. PT. Tuesday's regularly scheduled third and final round is slated to follow with the first tee time scheduled for 8:21 a.m. PT. Cal will start its third round at 8:32 a.m. PT, playing in foursomes along with USC, Washington and UCLA.
"We have two very strong teams right behind us in Washington and USC, so we should be in for a quite a day tomorrow," Desimone said about his team that has won or shared titles at eight of its last 16 events dating back through the entire 2011-12 season. "But we're in familiar territory. These guys know how to win, they like to win, and I sure like our chances tomorrow."
Pac-12 Preview (hosted by Oregon State)
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 2 days/in 2nd of 3 rounds)
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)