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BERKELEY'S NEWS • JANUARY 19, 2023

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Cal men’s golf ties for 9th in Lamkin San Diego Classic

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KAREN CHOW | SENIOR STAFF

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MARCH 10, 2022

A three-week road trip for Cal ended Tuesday with the conclusion of the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic in Chula Vista. Cal finished the tournament in a tie for ninth place with UC Davis in a tournament that was only five days removed from the finish of the Cabo Collegiate. The lineup consisted of Finigan Tilly, Aaron Du, Tony Chen, Sampson Zheng and Simon Kwon.

The 54-hole tournament, which was ultimately won by LSU, was not the most stellar outing for the Bears. With such a quick turnaround from the previous tournament in Cabo, the four players from that lineup struggled in their outing in San Diego, with all but one carding over pars in the final standings. Tilly, who didn’t participate in Cabo and produced under pars in each of his three rounds, brought a veteran presence to the lineup.

“None of the players will admit if they’re tired or not. It may have caught up to them but, you know, we just didn’t play well,” said Cal head coach Walter Chun. “We’re capable of playing better than we did despite the quick turnaround. I’m not going to say the quick turnaround was an excuse, we just didn’t play well enough.”

Tilly, who is the longest-tenured member of the team, finished highest in the overall rankings for the Bears, tying for ninth place with three other players. Across the first two rounds, Tilly shot a 71 and 70, finishing the first day of the tournament tied for 18th with a total 3-under par. In the third round, Tilly moved up nine spots after producing a 69-shot round, finishing at 6-under par.

Zheng finished in a tie for 25th after initially starting in great shape. He carded a 71 and a 70 in the opening rounds, mirroring Tilly’s day-one scorecard. Initially having placed 18th on Day One, Zheng would go on to produce a 73-shot third round, leaving a final total of 214 shots at 2-under par, the only other member of the team to do so. He was the only player who played in Cabo that finished the tournament under par.

“We just didn’t hit the ball very well, our putting was average. Yesterday I felt like we got away with it, and today it just caught up with us.” Chun said. “So it’s just an uphill battle all day today and the guys, true to their nature, hung tough, but we didn’t hit the ball well enough nor putt well enough to compete.”

Du, who is fresh off of being named the Pac-12 Golfer of the Month for February, finished tied for 51st in the individual rankings. Du shot 72 and 71 in the first two rounds, ending the day tied for 33rd. This all came apart in the third round where he produced a 76-shot round, ending his day with a scorecard at plus four-over par.

Chen had struggled from the beginning of the tournament, carding a 73 and 74 in the opening rounds. He ended the day tied for 62nd at plus 3-over par. This trend of an increase over par continued into the third round, where he would card a 75, leaving his scorecard with plus 6-over par and tying for 72nd.

Kwon produced the lowest finish for the team, ending tied for 90th. Also struggling from the beginning, his opening rounds were carded at 75 and 77, being left at 86th place at the end of Day One. Kwon would then produce an 81-shot final round, producing a plus 17-over par total scorecard.

The tournament wasn’t the best outing for the Bears, but they will now get a period of rest and recovery from the three long weeks on the road.

“It’s been three weeks on the road, I think Hawaii, Cabo and San Diego, they’re all different types of golf, but it exposed different weaknesses in various parts of the game,” Chun said. “I have seen improvement in our short games where it wasn’t very good, but in golf, and in sports, you can always get better at the little things.”

The next challenge the Bears will tackle will be the Goodwin, hosted by Stanford from March 24-26 in two weeks. While the Bears might’ve struggled in the last leg of their road trip, there is no denying their grit and drive to keep competing at a top level.

Emmanuel Macedo covers men’s golf. Contact him at [email protected].
LAST UPDATED

MARCH 13, 2022


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