Cal takes Pac-12 Championship lead behind Max Homa's 9-under 61

Cal's Max Homa talks with Golfstat Media on his record day at Los Angeles Country Club


LOS ANGELES – The California Golden Bears lived up to their No. 1 national ranking as they posted a 5-under 695 to take the team lead after 36 holes of the Pac-12 Men’s Golf Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.

Cal senior Max Homa shot a 9-under 61 in the opening round to establish a new course record, a feat made more impressive by the fact that the first round scoring average was 73.29, more than three strokes above par.

“The course is playing tough today,” said LACC director of golf Jim Schaeffer. “[Homa's] round is by far the best we’ve seen here in a long time. He broke the course record by one shot. He had nine birdies and no bogeys; that’s extremely impressive.”

The Bears built a commanding lead after shooting a 12-under 338 during the morning round and weathered a 7-over 357 second- round to take a nine-stroke lead into the second day of the championship. UCLA, which posted a 4-over 174, sits in second, while Washington (9-over 709) is in third.

Cal head coach Steve Desimone is confident his squad will bounce back after a shaky second round.

“They’ll be a lot more ready to go, I think, for the third round tomorrow,” he said. “I’ll tell you, some of the guys are pretty frustrated, pretty disappointed, right now. We let a good- sized lead get away, and that has not happened with this team all year.”

Homa didn’t rest on his record-setting performance in the first round. The Valencia, Calif. native, who shot even par in round two, carded a 9-under 131 (61-70) through 36 holes to pace the field.

“I just tried to keep digging,” Homa said. “I knew after the good start in the beginning that there were 54-plus holes to go and that I couldn’t really pull off the gas. It worked really nicely.”

His teammate, junior Michael Weaver, sits in second place after firing a 6-under 134, while UCLA freshman Jonathan Garrick and Washington senior Chris Williams – each of whom shot 136 – sit in a tie for third, five strokes out of the lead. UCLA junior Anton Arboleda, who carded a two-under 138, rounds out the top five.

Oregon State junior David Fink made the biggest jump on the leader board after round two, moving from a tie for 53rd to a tie for 14th at 3-over 143. Arizona State freshman Jon Rahm posted the low score of the second round, a 3-under 67.

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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.

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