• • •
One week after an uncharacteristic eighth-place finish, California bounced back with a 15-stroke victory March 16 at the National Invitational Tournament.
The Golden Bears bested Oklahoma State and SMU with a 33-under 831 at the par-72, 7,200-yard Catalina Course at the Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National Resort. A week earlier, Cal had struggled to a middle-of-the-pack showing in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas. Cal has won six tournaments in nine starts this season.
Joel Stalter led Cal with a final-round 66, taking medalist honors at 11 under. Stalter played the first 16 holes of his final round with eight birdies and eight pars. He stumbled into the clubhouse, making bogey on the final two holes.
Brandon Hagy, who shot a tournament-best 64 in the first round, also notched a top-5 for the Golden Bears. Hagy struggled during the second round with a 5-over 77, but he shot 5-under 31 on the back nine Sunday.
Three players tied for second at 8 under: Oklahoma State’s Wyndham Clark and SMU teammates Bryson Dechambeau and Harry Higgs.
Oklahoma State and SMU tied for second at 18 under, and San Diego State and UNLV tied for fourth at 13 under.