Oct. 22, 2012
WINDERMERE, Fla. - Top-ranked Cal (284-295 - 579, +3) braved windy conditions and a challenging golf course to hang onto its lead at the end of second round action Monday at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational co-hosted by Texas Tech and UCF. The Golden Bears are looking to complete the fall portion of their 2012-13 season on Tuesday with a fifth team title in as many events, while Michael Kim (67-72 - 139, -5) heads into the final round on top of the player leader board and in pursuit of his first collegiate title.
"Yesterday I said our guys reminded me of a bunch of magicians, but today was blue-collar," head coach Steve Desimone said. "We worked hard all day and held pretty tough down the stretch when conditions were especially difficult. But no matter what the conditions are these guys are in there fighting for every shot. Anything less and we would not have the lead going into the final round tomorrow."
The Bears began Monday's second round of action at the par-72, 7,544 Isleworth Golf & Country Club with a four-stroke lead over defending national champion Texas and ended it three shots ahead of second-place Illinois (291-291 - 582, +6). Texas (288-295 - 583, +7) remained four shots out of the lead after matching Cal's seven-over team score of 295. The Longhorns are tied for third with Florida (297-286 - 583, +7), who was the only team to shoot under par on Monday. New Mexico (293-291 - 584, +8) is another shot back in fifth.
Kim has three-stroke lead over a trio of players - New Mexico's James Erkenbeck (72-70 - 142, -2), Florida's Tyler McCumber (74-68 - 142, -2) and Texas' Jordan Spieth (68-74 - 142) - currently tied for second. Kim's even-par round Monday started with two bogeys over the first three holes on the par-four first and par-five third. But he would steady from there, making birdies on the par-five seventh and 17th holes, and 13 pars over the remainder of the round.
Kim extended his one-shot first-round lead over Spieth and teammate Michael Weaver (68-76 - 144, +4), who fell into a tie for seventh. Weaver had bogeys on the first and par-three fifth holes but got back to even with birdies on the par-four ninth and par-five 13th before struggling down the backstretch with back-to-back bogeys on the par-four 14th and par-three 15th, and a double bogey on 17.
"We are looking forward to playing a good round tomorrow," Weaver said. "If we play smart we should be in good position to take home another title. This is the best field we have played in so far this year, so it is exciting to have a chance to play for the win."
Brandon Hagy (73-73 - 146, +2) moved up four spots into a tie for 12th with his second consecutive one-over par round. Hagy had two birdies, three bogeys and 13 pars just as he did during Sunday's opening 18 holes. This time his birdies came on the fifth and 14th holes, while his three bogeys were split between a variety of types of holes on the par-four sixth, par-five seventh and par-three 15th.
"This is exactly where we want to be going into tomorrow," Hagy said. "We really hung tough today in tricky conditions, and we're going to need the same toughness tomorrow to bring home the win."
Stalter finished with two birdies and four bogeys. He was Cal's only player Monday to make birdie on the par-three 11th and added another on seven. His bogeys came in back-to-back fashion on a pair of par-fours on the front nine (6, 9) and a pair of par-fives on the back (13, 17).
Homa had a difficult time with the front part of the golf course for the second straight round. One day after playing the course's first five holes that started his own back nine in five-over, he could improve by only one stroke on Monday at four-over through five holes, with bogeys for the second straight day on each of the course's first three holes. He had another bogey on five, which he doubled the day before. Homa was able to get one shot back with a birdie on seven but made double on nine to finish with a five-over par 41 over the course's first nine holes for the second straight day. He steadied on the back with a one-under par 35, making back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14 before his bogey on the par-four 18th.
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 concludes with 18 holes of third-round action Tuesday. The first tee time is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. ET/5:00 a.m. PT. Homa will be the first Cal player off the first tee at 9:40 a.m. ET/6:40 a.m. PT, and be followed in 10-minute increments by Stalter, Hagy, Weaver and Kim.
"If we were to win tomorrow I think it would certainly be one of the best falls in the history of college golf, certainly in the history of this program there's nothing like this," Desimone said. "Tomorrow's a statement day. We've played great all fall and it would be nice to cap it off. Win, lose or draw there isn't going to be anything to diminish what we've done this fall, but it might add a little bit if we can pull it off."
Isleworth Collegiate Invitational (hosted by Texas Tech and UCF)
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)