The 2015-2016 season was extremely successful for both Cal golf teams. It was recently announced that the men’s team had two All-Americans: Sophomore KK Limbhasut and Collin Morikawa, who earned second and third team, respectively. Additionally, from the women’s team, freshman Marianne Li won the Washington State Golf Association Women’s Amateur championship last week.
After moving from Thailand in 2010 at the age of 14, KK Limbhasut arrived at Cal in the fall of 2014 and has been one of Cal’s best players ever since. During his career, he has participated in 17 stroke-play events, 52 rounds, 3717 strokes (+73) and has a 71.48 stroke average. Limbhasut had his first career win at the prestigious Aggie Invitational Tournament in the spring of 2015. Some of his other accolades include being ranked 89th best amateur golfer in the world by AmatuerGolf.com rankings in 2015 and being the first-ever Bear to compete at the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship last October. He capped off one of his greatest seasons yet by earning NCAA All-American Honors.
Freshman Collin Morikawa also had an amazing year after getting off to an extremely hot start. In each of his first five collegiate events, Morikawa finished with top 20 performances. He is ranked the second best golfer in the state of California. He is also Cal’s second-highest nationally ranked men’s golfer, behind only Limbhasut. By the end of his first year at Cal, Morikawa led the men’s golf team with a 71.13 stroke average. As a freshman All-American, Morikawa’s future in collegiate golf is looking very bright.
Many athletes in many different sports are driven by a desire to win something for the home — whether it is their country, state or just their hometown. Lionel Messi, an international soccer star, has won almost every award for himself and his club team, FC Barcelona. But many argue he can never be deemed the best soccer player of all time until he wins something for his home country — Argentina.
Freshman women’s golfer Marianne Li did something that professional athletes such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo haven’t been able to achieve — win something for her home.
Li, a native of Bellevue, Washington, won the Washington State Women’s Amateur championship with an exhilarating comeback victory. Li beat out second place finisher, BYU’s Lauren Atkinson of Bow, Washington, by only two shots in the final round. Atkinson double-bogeyed the par-four 16th and Li birdied the par-three 17th, giving Li the victory.
“It was great to play in the final group with Lauren,” Li said to the Washington State Golf Association. “I didn’t have my ‘A’ game and was shaky off the tee and on the greens, but I grinded hard out there and played smart.”
Her shakiness on the tee and greens might be an outcome of the fact that the event was played in rainy conditions, but in the end, the weather did not affect Li as she took home the WSGA Women’s Amateur Championship trophy.
Although men’s head coach Steve Desimone may be retiring and Cal may be losing senior Shotaro Ban, the Cal golf teams have a lot to look forward to with All-Americans KK Limbhasut and Collin Morikawa and WSGA Amateur Champion Marianne Li.
Contact Siva Sambasivam at [email protected].