ASU, TCU tied for lead at Arizona Intercollegiate
ORO VALLEY, Ariz. - Arizona State came charging out in the afternoon to catch TCU and share the lead when play was stopped due to darkness Monday in the Arizona Intercollegiate at the Golf Club at Vistoso.
After an opening morning round of 6-over 290, the Sun Devils scorched the par-71, 6,932-yard course and were at 10 under on the afternoon when play was stopped. That left them tied with the Horned Frogs at 4 under for the tournament.
TCU, the first-round leader and playing in only its second full-field event of the current season, was even par in the second 18.
California, 5-0 on the fall season and entering the spring No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, was 1 over in the afternoon and stood at 2 under for the tournament.
No. 4 New Mexico was at even par on the day and 1 under in the afternoon, while host team Arizona stood fifth in the 15-team field at 2 over after playing its share of the second 18 in 4 over.
Teams will finish the second round Tuesday morning and go right into the third and final round, with pairings remaining the same.
Throughout much of the day, temperatures ranged from the high 40s to low 50s, with winds blowing 20-25 mph and gusting to 30-35 mph.
Spenser Lawson led the Arizona State afternoon barrage and was 3 under through 16 holes while Max Rottluff was also 3 under on the second 18. Jon Rahm Rodriguez and Alberto Sanchez were both 2 under in the afternoon.
For TCU, it was first-team All-America Julien Brun, a sophomore, leading the way in the second round in a 3-under effort, while Eli Cole was 1 under, Pontus Gad 1 over and Daniel Jennevert 2 over.
California’s Joel Stalter led the individual race at 8 under when play was stopped, including 2 under on the afternoon. Rottluff was two shots back, with Brun and Peder Hermansson of Kennesaw State standing at 5 under. Cole was another shot back at 4 under.
TCU made a late charge and grabbed the first-round lead with a 4-under 280. Among their four counting scores, the Horned Frogs played their final five holes in 6 under.
California slipped slightly at the end and finished the initial 18 holes at 3-under 281, a stroke better than host Arizona and Liberty.
“Everything considered, we played great,” said TCU coach Bill Montigel after the round. “It was really tough out there, cold and windy. I wasn’t sure what to expect (from team) after not playing much in the fall, so I’ll definitely take a 4 under. A very good start.”
Cal coach Steve Desimone felt much the same way.
“Frankly, I’m very well pleased,” he said. “It was pretty tough out there this morning. It was tough in every aspect. About the only good thing was, it wasn’t wet. Considering the conditions and it being our first round of the spring, I’m pretty well pleased with the way they played.”
The Bears were paced by Stalter, who erupted out of the starting gate and grabbed the 18-hole lead with a 6-under 65.
Beginning on the second hole in the shotgun start, Stalter birdied his first five holes. He added another birdie at No. 15, before getting his lone bogey at the par-5 16th. He made his seventh birdie at the 18th.
He held a one-shot lead over Cole, Liberty’s Max McKay and Arizona’s Trent Redfern. Another stroke back were Rottuff and New Mexico’s James Erkenbeck.
In leading the TCU charge, Cole, starting on the sixth hole, was 2 over after five holes. Then he caught fire. Cole birdied Nos. 11, 14 and 15, before a bogey at the 16th. But he closed impressively with birdies at Nos. 17, 18, 2 and 5.