T2 California boasts individual winner at National Invitational, wins title
TUCSON, Ariz. -- California (268-281-282 – 831, -33) closed out its sixth win of the season Sunday at the National Invitational Tournament and 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-stroke win. Stalter’s victory was his third of the season and fifth of his career.
“Hats off to Joël for a great round today,” head coach Steve Desimone said. “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 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 finished 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 in front 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 round 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 and the 13-stroke lead it held at the end of the first round was never seriously threatened.