Medalist K.K. Limbhasut pace the Cal Bears
(Cal Athletics Photo)
FAIRFAX, CA (October 10, 2017) - After finishing ninth and tied for ninth to start the year the Cal Bears were looking for a spark and they got one in a big way this week. Playing at their own Alister MacKenzie Invitational the Bears went low, low, low to win the tournament in dominating fashion.
"There's no doubt that we needed the win this week," said Cal first year head coach Walter Chun. "We didn't bring our best stuff to our first two events and we certainly showed what we're capable of moving forward. While we can still be better, this was a huge step in the right direction. I'm happy for Walter and Eric that they are able to pick up their first wins in their coaching roles today, and we're going to give it all we've got to keep them coming. As for myself, I had a lot of great opportunities to get the win this week, but KK played great and he deserved it. It was fun to be able to win again as a team for the first time in a while with both KK and I in the lineup."
Cal opened with a 17-under first round at Meadow Club before following that up with consecutive 12-under tallies to finish 41-under-par and 17-strokes in front of second place Santa Clara who was coming off a win at The Jackrabbit. No. 15 Arizona State took third at 20-under, San Diego State was fourth at 19-under while 17-under Nevada and Pepperdine shared fifth.
Leading the Cal charge was junior K.K. Limbhasut who finished 15-under and as the medalist winner. After taking a year off to focus on gaining entrance into Cal's Haas School of Business Limbhasut has returned this season and he is quickly returning to form. Limbhaust began his tournament with a 7-under 64 before following his round one showing up with a 6-under 65 in the second round and a final round 2-under 69.
Limbhaust made things interesting down the stretch as he bogeyed the 17th hole but he was able to par the closing hole and hold on for a one-stroke triumph. Kevin Velo (San Jose State) and Sebastian Crampton (Cal) shared second at 14-under, Hayden Shieh (Santa Clara) placed fourth with a 13-under showing while in fifth at 12-under it was PJ Samiere (San Diego State).
The victory, which came on the heels of a 61st place showing at the Fighting Illini Invite, was the second of Limbhasut's career. With Limbhasut returning to the lineup he gives Cal a huge lift as he joins among others 2017 Northeast Amateur winner Collin Morikawa on the roster.
As a sophomore Limbhasut played in 13 events and finished in the top-10 eight-times.
"It was a special week for everyone," said a modest K.K. Limbhasut. "It has been a long time since we won as a team and great to do especially for Walter Chun and our assistant coach Eric Mina. To do it in dominating fashion at our home event in front of our fans was even better. The guys fought hard this week. This team has so much potential and this is a great way to show others how good we can be."
Besides Limbhasut three other Bears recorded under-par finishers; Sebastian Crampton (T2; -14), Collin Morikawa (9th; -9) and Ben Doyle (T25; -2).
-Editors Note: Cal Athletics contributed to this story
ABOUT THE Alister Mackenzie Invitational
54-hole men's collegiate tournament hosted by
University of California at Berkeley. Team (best
scores out of five players) and individual
View Complete Tournament Information