TUCSON, Ariz. (March 16, 2014) – Cal (268-281-282 – 831, -33) closed out its sixth win of the season Sunday with its first-ever victory at the National Invitational Tournament by finishing with its second-lowest 54-hole score of the year. Joël Stalter (68-71-66 – 205, -11) fired a six-under par 66 that was the best round of the day on his way to a three-shot win.
“It was awesome for the team to win after a tough tournament our last time out,” Stalter said in reference to the team’s eighth-place finish in its most recent event at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters. “The individual win was like the cherry on top of the cake. I could not be happier. It was a big round for me today and I’m really happy I pulled it off.”
“Hats off to Joël for a great round today,” head coach Steve Desimone added. “It was a nice win for him.”
Brandon Hagy (64-77-68 – 209, -7) rebounded from his five-over par round of 77 on Saturday to shoot a four-under 68 on Sunday, moving up six spots into fifth place for his seventh top-five and eighth top-10 showing of the season.
Keelan Kilpatrick (69-69-75 – 213, -3) tied for 14th, while Michael Weaver (67-70-77 – 214, -2) and James Yoon (70-71-73 – 214, -2) tied for 17th. Shotaro Ban (76-72-71 – 219, +3) played as an individual and tied for 43rd.
Three different Cal players led at the conclusion of each round at the par-72, 7,200-yard Catalina Course at the Omni Tucson National Resort, with Hagy and Weaver on top after 18 and 36 holes, respectively. The individual score from each Cal player was used at least twice towards the team score, with all three rounds from Stalter and Kilpatrick being counted.
“This was a complete team victory,” Desimone said. “It was great to see all five guys in the lineup finish in the top 20.”
Cal’s closest competitors Oklahoma State (282-288-276 – 846, -18) and SMU (290-275-281 – 846, -18) tied for second after the best and third-best rounds of the day but were still 15 shots behind the Bears in the final results. Cal shot the best round of the tournament with a 20-under par 268 in the opening round that also tied its best of the season and the 13-stroke lead it held at the end of the first round was never seriously threatened.
“We got off to a great start in this tournament and then played steady golf over the final two rounds,” Desimone said.
Cal is next in action April 5-6 for the first time ever at the Aggie Invitational hosted by Texas A&M.
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ABOUT THE National Invitational Collegiate
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by the
University of Arizona. Team (best four scores of five
players each day) and individual competitions.
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