Photo credit Tony Yamashita

Redshirt sophomore Tony Chen carded a 1-under-par 71 to pace the California men’s golf team in the first round of the Isleworth Collegiate at Isleworth Golf and Country Club on Sunday.

 The Golden Bears are tied for eighth place in a talented 15-team field – seven of the 15 teams are ranked among the nation’s top 42 teams by – with a collective 5-over-par 293 after 18 holes of action. Ten teams, including Cal, find themselves within seven strokes of one another between even-par and 7-over-par; third-ranked Auburn leads the field by a wide margin at 15-under-par.

Chen played near-bogey-free golf on Sunday on the way to his first-round 71, which earned him a tie for 15th individually. Birdies on holes 7 and 12 had Chen at 2-under-par before a bogey on 14 brought him back to 1-under. Chen has fired three consecutive rounds of 71 or better dating back to the second round of the Alister Mackenzie Invitational in Sonoma on Oct. 10.

Close behind Chen are Nathan Wang (+1), Simon Kwon (+2) and Jeewon Park (+3), the latter of which rebounded from a difficult front-nine 41 with a back-nine 34 that featured three birdies on holes 11, 15 and 17. Wang and Kwon are tied for 23rd and 28th, respectively, while Park is tied for 37th.