Player Diary: California's Joel Stalter (Part 2)
I guess my first blog was decent considering Golfweek has not fired me yet! Yes, I did write “yet!”
Truce of jokes, it was great to be down in Monterey for our second tournament of the season and to have both Michael’s (Kim and Weaver) back in our lineup. Shout-out to Michael the “Dream” Weaver, as we call him, and to my dear roommate Brandon Hagy for their second and third place finishes, respectively. They both work very hard all year long and it’s very inspiring to see how their hard work translates into performance.
What is really great about our team is that it is composed of a wide scope of personalities and we never miss an occasion to have some fun. Pace Johnson, particularly, is the most talented person I have probably ever met. Challenge him for anything, and the kid will execute. I challenged him on our way back to campus to eat two rice crispies at once. And sure enough he got them down! I also want to thank St. Mary’s (Calif.) for putting on a great event on two manicured and challenging golf courses, along with perfect weather conditions. It was a real treat to be there this weekend.
Unfortunately, coach Desimone is recovering from a cold and therefore could not attend the tournament. Coach Chun, as always, took us under his wing and led the team to the first victory of the season, not to mention that it was his first win as a head coach. Congratulations Coach Chun!
For those who don’t know, Walter is the team spiritual father. In addition to coach Des, Walter has guided me throughout the years here at Berkeley. He has taught me a lot both on and off the golf course, which made my transition to the U.S. a lot easier. Rather than focusing solely on the golf aspect, Walter helps us develop as individuals by inspiring a shared vision, the latter reminding us that we are very privileged with every opportunity college golf presents to us.
Also want to take the opportunity to shed some light on the rest of our team. It is important to remember that while we are traveling, some of the younger guys are working very hard and developing their games while nobody is watching. We stopped by Castlewood CC on the way back from Monterey, and they were shooting some low scores. Sophomores Cameron Shaw, Keelen Kilpatrick (from New Zealand), Andrew Morgan, and James Yoon have significantly improved from last year and are on their way to becoming dangerous competitors. We also have Alexander Wilson (from Scotland), Jay Burilson, Clayton Madey, and Alex Helgans, who have been great additions to the team. We are lucky to have a special group of underclassmen that are not only teammates, but also amazing friends. It looks like the program is in good hands with them and most importantly, that their hard work ethic will pass along for years to come.