Collin Morikawa (Todd Drexler, SE Sports Media)
Through three rounds of the Pac-12 Championship, three teams have effectively separated themselves at the top of the leaderboard. On Tuesday, Cal surged into the lead with a second-round 12-under 343 in the play-six-count-five format, but UCLA and Stanford are close behind.
Cal leaned on senior leader Collin Morikawa, who holed out for eagle at the par-4 first and never looked back. He made six birdies over the next 16 holes before giving one back with a bogey at 18. His 7-under 64 at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club was enough to pull Cal two spots up the leaderboard and into the lead at 15 under.
Morikawa is also leading the individual race.
"Starting the round off with an eagle is always exciting and it got the round started off nicely," Morikawa said. "Overall, I kept the ball in front of me today and gave myself a lot of birdie looks. There's a lot of momentum from today heading into tomorrow for myself and the team so we just need to keep sticking to our game plan and execute."
It wasn’t just Morikawa under par on Tuesday, it was the whole team. Cal also counted a 69 from Kaiwen Liu, and the other four Golden Bears put up rounds of 1-under 70.
"For all us to shoot under par shows our depth," Morikawa said.
Behind Cal, UCLA and Stanford had similar days, going 7 under and 6 under, respectively, as a team. UCLA is now at 12 under in second, and Stanford is 11 under in third. The Cardinal, after a slow start to the season, won last week’s Western Intercollegiate to get their season back on track – and at just the right time.
USC is 8 over after 54 holes and Oregon is 9 over, and both teams would have a lot of ground to climb to challenge for the title on Wednesday (remember, however, that USC came back from a 17-shot deficit in the fall to win the St. Mary’s Invitational by eight shots).
Arizona State, the No. 2 team in the Golfweek
/Sagarin Rankings, is tied for sixth with Utah at 14 over. The Sun Devils opened Monday’s 36-hole day with a round of 14 over, which was a setback they’re still trying to overcome.
Information from Cal Athletics used in this report
ABOUT THE Pac-12 Championship
72-hole men's collegiate championship of the
Pac-12 Conference with simultaneous team and
individual competitions. Unlike most college
tournaments, the best five scores of six players
account for the team score each day.
View Complete Tournament Information