Cover photo by Dino Gomez

California men’s golf battled windy conditions in the final round of the 2020 Cabo Collegiate and placed 11th with 871 strokes overall (+19). Junior Kaiwen Liu produced the Bears’ lowest score for the first time this spring, finishing tied for 26th with 214 (+1) strokes.

“We dug ourselves a rather deep hole after the first round, but we fought hard to try and move up the leaderboard,” said Alex and Marie Shipman Director of Men’s Golf Walter Chun. “In a field this rich in talented teams, it’s hard to dig yourself out of that hole. It’s a lesson for us that if we want to compete with the best teams in the country, we have to play smarter and more disciplined when we’re having an off day (like the first round). I believe we’re fully capable of playing and beating the best teams in the country.”

Liu shot a 71 (E) in the final round which included his first eagle of the event on hole four. He also collected three birdies in the final round and finished with nine (tied with junior Finigan Tilly for the second most on the team).  Liu also moved up 11 spots on the leaderboard on Tuesday from a tie for 37th to a tie for 26th.

Tilly finished the Cabo Collegiate three strokes behind Liu to tie for 37th overall. His final round (72, +1) included five birdies and his score dipped to as low as four under par before finishing four over on the next three holes. Tilly finished the event with 217 strokes (+4).

Senior Jamie Cheatham ended the tournament one stroke behind Tilly (218, +5) and shot a 77 (+6) in the final round, tying for 42nd overall. Freshman Kento Yamawaki rounded out Cal’s finishers with a 75 (+4) on Tuesday and finished tied for 64th with a score of 225 (+12) over the three rounds. However, he had the third best average score on Par 5s (4.33), finishing the tournament eight under on those holes. Furthermore, he collected two eagles in the tournament (including one in the final round) which tied three other golfers for second most. Tilly and Liu each recorded one as well.

As a team, the Bears manufactured the fifth best average score on Par 3s (3.19) and tied Arizona State (who won the tournament) for the most eagles with four. Cal also performed well as a group on Par 5s as Yamawaki (4.33), Liu (4.58), and Cheatham (4.92) each averaged under par on the tournament’s 12 such holes.

The Bears will have a quick turnaround upon their return to Berkeley as they compete in the Lamkin San Diego Classic March 9-10. Their fourth tournament of the spring will take place in Chula Vista, Calif., at the San Diego Country Club.