Cal opens season with 14-shot Gopher victory

Max Homa, left, and Michael Kim of Cal

Max Homa, left, and Michael Kim of Cal

Men's Rankings »

RankNameSchoolRating
1Joey GarberGeorgia  68.61 
2Robby SheltonAlabama  68.62 
3Patrick RodgersStanford  68.67 
4Ollie SchniederjansGA Tech  68.81 
5Cameron WilsonStanford  69.05 

Men's Team Rankings »

RankNameRatingEvents
1Alabama 68.92 
2Georgia 69.62 
3Georgia Tech 69.62 
4Oklahoma State 69.72  10 
5California 69.81  11 

Depth was supposed to be the strength of Cal’s lineup this year. The Bears showed that is the case with an impressive season-opening performance at the Gopher Invitational.

Cal, No. 2 in Golfweek’s preseason rankings, shot 2-under 862 (274-290-298) to win the Gopher Invitational on Monday at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minn. The Bears finished 14 shots ahead of second-place SMU (876). Arkansas (888) finished third.

Cal had three of the top four players on the leaderboard. Sophomore Michael Kim (71-72-71) and senior Max Homa (67-70-77) tied for second at 2-under 214. Redshirt junior Brandon Hagy, a semifinalist at the recent U.S. Amateur, was fourth at even-par 216 (66-75-75).

Kent State junior Corey Conners won the individual title with a 3-under 213 total (75-70-68). He began the final round in seventh place, eight shots behind Homa, the 36-hole leader. Conners was the only player to shoot in the 60s Monday, and one of just four players to break par. Spring Hill played to a 79.65 scoring average in the final round.

Conners was an honorable mention Golfweek All-American last season, finishing 49th in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. He had six birdies and two bogeys Monday, and was the only Kent State player to break 80. Kent State finished fourth as a team at 30-over 894.

SMU was led by freshman Bryson Dechambeau, who finished fifth at 2-over 218 (76-69-73).

Cal, which won the 2012 Pac-12 and NCAA West Regional titles and advanced to the NCAA Championship semifinals, returned all five starters from last year’s team and added U.S. Amateur runner-up Michael Weaver. Weaver, who redshirted last season, tied for ninth at the Gopher with a 5-over 221 total (70-73-78).

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