Oct. 21, 2012
WINDERMERE, Fla. - Top-ranked Cal holds a four-stroke lead over defending national champion Texas and Michael Kim is on top of the player leader board after the conclusion of first round action Sunday at the prestigious Isleworth Collegiate Invitational co-hosted by Texas Tech and UCF. The Golden Bears shot a four-under par 284 at the par-72, 7,544-yard Isleworth Golf & Country Club, four shots better than the even-par 288 carded by the second-place Longhorns.
"We did a lot of things right today," head coach Steve Desimone said. "This is a hard golf course and the scores certainly show that. Our guys reminded me of magicians often times today. When we got ourselves in trouble, we'd hit a good shot or make a good putt to get out of it. We putted really well today, maybe as well as we've putted all year. We made a lot of long putts."
Kim paced the Bears with a five-under par 67 to lead by one shot over teammate Michael Weaver and Texas' Jordan Spieth after their rounds of four-under par 68.
Kim, who started on the 10th hole as did his teammates, had six birdies and one bogey during his round. He shot a two-under par 34 over his first nine holes on the back nine, with birdies on the par-three 11th and par-five 13th, as well as a clutch 15-foot par putt on the par-four 18th. He bogeyed the par-three second to fall back to one-over but then went on a tear with four birdies over his next five holes, sandwiching a pair of par-four birdies on four and six with par-five varieties on three and seven.
"It's nice to get off to a fast start, but we have a long way to go," Kim said. "Michael's one of the top players in the country so it's no surprise that he is on top of the leader board," said a more elaborate Desimone. "Michael's just a flat-out great player."
Weaver was three-under par after five holes with birdies on the par-four 10th and 14th holes, as well as the same par-five 13th that Kim birdied. Weaver's lone bogey of the round came on the 18th where Kim saved par to give him a two-under par 34 on the back nine. He matched that on a front nine that featured a 60-foot birdie putt on the par-three fifth and another on the seventh.
"It's great that we got off to a fast start today against a quality field," Weaver said. "Michael Kim and I both played very well and I know that some of the other guys will bounce back tomorrow."
Hagy, who last Tuesday picked up his first collegiate victory at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, is tied for 16th after an opening-round one-over par 73. Hagy would bogey the par-four 12th hole before back-to-back birdies on the par-four 16th and par-five 17th gave him a one-under par 35 over his first nine holes on the back nine. Hagy started his second half of play with back-to-back bogeys on the par-four first and par-three second holes before making seven straight pars for his final score.
"It was a really solid team effort today on a great course," Hagy said. "Michael Kim played great today, and it's no surprise he's out in front. As for me, I made some good putts today to keep the round going."
Stalter is tied for 45th after his four-over par 76 that included the team's only birdie on the par-four 12th and another on 17, but also six bogeys (11, 13, 14, 18, 2, 5).
"I had a tough day but grinded hard," Stalter said. "Still, I'm really proud of what the team and obviously Michael Kim did. I think it's great that we put ourselves in this spot, and we are all ready to face this challenge. It's a great start, but it's still a long road before we head back with the trophy. As for Michael, a five-under par round is amazing on this course, especially with the positions the pins were in today."
Homa, who shot a six-over par 78 and is tied for 58th, was only one over-par after his first nine holes with a birdie on the 17th hole, and bogeys on the par-three 15th and par-four 18th holes. But he started his final nine holes with three consecutive bogeys and then had a double-bogey on the fifth hole and another bogey on seven. He managed to get one stroke back with the only birdie of the day by a Cal player on the par-four eighth.
Despite his tough round Homa had plenty of praise for his first-round leader teammate Kim.
"Michael Kim is so good, it's his time to win," Homa said.
Cal is attempting to close out an unbeaten fall season and extend its school record win streak to open the campaign to five at the 54-hole event which continues with 18 holes of second-round action Monday. The first tee time for both Monday's second-round action and Tuesday's third and final round is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. ET/5:00 a.m. PT. Homa will be the first Cal player off the first tee on Monday at 9:40 a.m. ET/6:40 a.m. PT, and be followed in 10-minute increments by Stalter, Hagy, Weaver and Kim.
"This is what we were hoping for," Desimone said. "We're two rounds away from closing out a phenomenal fall and the guys know it. There's a lot of golf left, but I like where we are."
Isleworth Collegiate Invitational (hosted by Texas Tech and UCF)
TEAM LEADER BOARD (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD - INDIVIDUAL LEADER (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes)
PLAYER LEADER BOARD - CAL INDIVIDUALS (after 1 of 3 days/1 of 3 rounds/18 of 54 holes)