Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters: Cal extends lead
Logan McCracken
Logan McCracken

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Mar. 10, 2012) -- Cal (286-287 - 573, -3) continued its strong play at the prestigious Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters on Saturday by extending its lead to six shots over host and second-place UNLV (287-292 - 579, +3). The Bears were the only team to break par Saturday at the par-72, 7,510 Southern Highlands Golf Club with a one-under par round that was four strokes better than the next best team score of 291 shot by Stanford.

"Like yesterday our guys hung tough," associate head coach Walter Chun said. "This golf course is so demanding from tee to green. It just beats you up mentally if you're not ready for it, but the way we've played these last two days show that these guys have prepared well and are mentally tough. It's fun to see and fun to be a part of it."

Ranked No. 7 in the nation by Golfstat and No. 10 according to Golfweek, Cal is one of 11 squads in the 15-team field ranked in the top 25 nationally.

"The way we've played the last two days shows that these guys can take on any team and any golf course," Chun said. "They really haven't gotten as much notoriety as some other high-ranked teams but they know they're good and they want to prove it. They want to show it to all the top teams and the college golf world. They're playing with a real determination to try and get some recognition."

"We're playing with a chip on our shoulder and I don't mind that," head coach Steve Desimone said.

Chun is serving as the team's head coach for the tournament while Desimone recovers from a health-related issue that prevented him from making the trip.

A year ago, Cal was also ahead by six shots heading into the third and final round of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters before finishing third.

"We're in exactly the same position we were a year ago, but this is a different year and a different team," Desimone said. "Every one of these guys has won major events so when you look at where we are this is no surprise. I think we'll be very competitive tomorrow and if we do what we've done the first two days we should be on top, but nobody's going to give it to us."

Cal has already tied a regular-season school record with three team victories in 2011-12 and will break the mark with its next win.

Logan McCracken of Texas Tech sits at 6-under-par 138 after a second round 72 and is two strokes ahead of Tyler Dunlap (68-72) and Pontus Widegren of UCLA (69-71) at 140.

The 54-hole tournament concludes on Sunday.

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ABOUT THE Southern Highlands Collegiate

54 hole men's college tournament hosted by UNLV. Team (best four scores of five players each day) and individual competitions.

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