Oct. 15, 2012
FAIRFAX, Calif. - Cal (265-268 - 533, -35) looked every bit the part of the nation's top-ranked team Monday on the opening day of the Alister Mackenzie Invitational hosted by the Golden Bears at the par-71, 6,759-yard Meadow Club. Cal fired the best two rounds of the day and leads by nine strokes over second-place San Francisco (270-272 - 542), who is the only team within 25 shots of the Bears. Brandon Hagy (64-62 - 126, -16) is out in front by five strokes on the player leader board.
"Overall we played well and Brandon arguably had the best 36-hole day in the history of the program," head coach Steve Desimone said. "At one point he had 16 birdies and eight pars over a 24-hole stretch, which is absolutely insane. He missed a number of short putts over the first nine holes, but after that it was as flawless of 27 holes of golf that I think I've ever seen."
"It was a pretty special day," Hagy said. "I hit a lot of greens and the putter got going. I'm glad to help put the team in a position to win tomorrow."
On Tuesday both Cal and Hagy will have an opportunity to make a run at tournament records for the event that began in 2002. Cal holds the current mark for the lowest team score with a 48-under par total of 804 to win the 2010 event. Oregon's Eugene Wong set the individual mark with an 18-under par 195 at the 2011 tournament to help the Ducks share the title with the Bears.
In addition to the 16 birdies, Hagy had an eagle on the par-five first hole to start his day and a pair of bogeys on the par-four third hole of his first round and par-four 17th of his second. After shooting a one-under par 34 on his way out over the first nine holes, he fired two consecutive 30's on the back nine of his first round and front nine of his second. Hagy played his six par-five holes (1, 13, 15) on the day in a combined seven-under par with five birdies and the eagle. He also had birdies during both of his rounds on the par-four 12th and 16th holes. His other birdies came in the first round on the par-three 11th and the 17th, as well as in his second round on the par-four second, third and 10th holes, as well as the par-three eighth.
Two other Cal players - Michael Kim (64-71 - 135, -7) and Joël Stalter (70-65 - 135, -7) - are tied for fourth nine shots off Hagy's pace. Max Homa (67-70 - 137, -5) is tied for 11th, while Michael Weaver (70-72 - 142, E) is tied for 34th.
"In addition to Brandon having a great day, we had lots of people chipping in," Desimone said. "Once again we demonstrated the great depth that we've shown all season."
Kim's first-round seven-under 64 consisted of seven birdies and 11 pars, with the birdies coming on each of the course's three par-five holes (1, 13, 15), three of its par-fours (9, 12, 16) and a par-three (11). His first round included three consecutive birdies on 11-13 and, after a par on 14 two more in back-to-back succession on 15 and 16. Kim, who started both of his rounds on the second hole, got off to a rough start in his second round with a double bogey on three. He would make repeated runs at getting back to even for the round with birdies on the par-four fourth and seventh holes, as well as the par-five 13th. But after each birdie, he would bogey a hole shortly after on the par-four sixth, 11th and 15th. Kim finally got back to even when he followed his birdie on the 16th with another on the first, his final hole of the day.
"We played solid as a team both rounds," Kim said. "I think we were just really comfortable out there since we know the course so well. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Stalter began on the third hole and his day started with back-to-back bogeys on three and four but got much better after that. He would birdie his next three holes (5-7) to get into the red for the first time and added another at 13 to get to two-under. Bogeys on 14 and 17 dropped him back to even before a birdie on the first hole gave him a one-under par first round. Stalter's second round began with birdie on three before he made his lone bogey on seven. He would catch fire midway through the second round, playing a six-hole stretch (10-15) in five-under par with birdies on 10, 12 and 13, and an eagle on 15. He would add one more birdie on one for his final six-under par score.
"I'm really happy about my day," Stalter said. "I played some good golf and definitely got going on the back nine this afternoon. As for the team, the main goal is to win the tournament tomorrow. Breaking the tournament record is not nearly as important to me."
Homa played a consistent first round that began on the fourth hole and included four birdies (9, 13, 1, 3) and 14 pars. He also would make six consecutive pars to start his second round before making four birdies (10, 13, 16, 1) and three bogeys (12, 15, 3) the rest of the way.
"I'm proud of our guys today for showing up big at our home tourney," Homa said. "Hopefully tomorrow will be more of the same."
Weaver's opening round one-under par started on the third hole and included four birdies (10, 11, 16, 1) and three bogeys (3, 9, 15). His one-over par second round started with a bogey on three and was followed by three additional bogeys on 12, 17 and 1. His three second-round birdies came on 10, 13 and 15.
"I'm glad that we got off to a good start in the tournament," Weaver said. "I wasn't thrilled with the way I played today, but I'm hoping to bring my best tomorrow for the final round."
Cal will be attempting to extend its school record win streak to open the season to four when the 54-hole event concludes Tuesday with the third and final round. Tuesday's first tee time is scheduled for 7:45 a.m. PT, with Weaver the first Cal player off the first tee at 8:50 a.m. PT.
Alister MacKenzie Invitational (hosted by Cal)
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)