California men’s golf opened the 2021 fall season on Friday, shooting a combined 279 (-1) strokes in the first round of the Maui Jim Intercollegiate. Redshirt freshman Ethan Chung made a splash in his Cal debut, carding a team-low 67 (-3) in his first round as a Golden Bear. He currently sits tied for 13th with two rounds remaining.
Starting on hole one, Chung got out of the gate hot, shooting three birdies in his first five holes. The Eastvale, California native recorded just one bogey (on hole seven), but dropped back down to three under par with his fourth birdie of the round on the 10th hole. Chung then finished his back nine with eight-consecutive pars. Both Sophomore Sampson Zheng and redshirt sophomore Costas Panay will enter the second round tied for 37th after shooting 70s (E) on Friday. Panay had a strong final nine holes: after entering his back nine four over par, he recorded four birdies to pull back to even. Senior James Song was Cal’s final scorer, closing out the round tied for 57th after shooting a72 (+2). Song recorded the Bears’ only eagle on Friday, finishing with three strokes on the par 5 17th-hole. He was one of just four players to score an eagle in the opening round. Then, a birdie on hole 18 helped him drop from +5 to +2 in just two holes.
In terms of stats, both Zheng and Song tied for the lowest score on par 5s today, averaging -2. Meanwhile, Chung’s -2 on par 4s is tied for ninth-lowest in the 90-person field. Competing as an individual, redshirt senior Kyle Maspat has a tie for the fifth-lowest score on par 3s (-1). He is currently tied for 64th with a score of 73 (+3). As a team, the Bears are averaging 4.50 on par 5s which is tied for the second-best score.
Currently in eighth-place, Cal will play the second of three rounds on Saturday morning when it will look to catch up with Georgia Tech who is in front of the Bears by 15 strokes. Panay will get things started for Cal tomorrow with an 8am tee time on hole 10. The Bears will be paired with players from Georgia State (T10) and Utah (9th). Live stats can be found here.