NCAA Men's Golf Championship: Friday Match Play Open Thread. The Bears Are Alive!

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via media.morristechnology.com

Max Homa shot Cal's best round of the day on Thursday, a 3-under par 68, to help the Bears secure a spot in the match play portion of the NCAA Championship.

2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championship -- Match Play Quarterfinals

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Cal vs. San Diego State

Stream: ncaa.com (coverage begins at Noon PDT)

Live scoring: golfstatresults.com

Matches and Tee times:

10:45 a.m. Max Homa (Cal) vs. J.J. Spaun (SDSU)

10:54 a.m. Brandon Hagy (Cal) vs. Colin Featherstone (SDSU)

11:03 a.m. Pace Johnson (Cal) vs. Matt Hoffenberg (SDSU)

11:12 a.m. Michael Kim (Cal) vs. Tom Berry (SDSU)

11:21 a.m. Joël Stalter (Cal) vs. Alex Kang (SDSU)

The Cal men's golf team is still in the hunt for the second national championship in program history.

Needing a solid team performance in the third and final round of stroke play competition on Thursday at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., the Bears got it. Cal's top four scores resulted in the Bears' best round of the tournament (287, +3) and the Bears finished the third round in a fourth-place tie with San Diego State at 19-over par for the stroke play portion of the championship. Only Alabama (+7), UCLA (+9), and Texas (+17) scored better than Cal over the first three days of competition.

After tying for fourth place in stroke play, the Bears and Aztecs draw each other in Friday's match play quarterfinals. The Cal/SDSU match will begin at 10:45 a.m. This marks the first time Cal has advanced to the match play quarterfinals since the NCAA reinstituted match play to decide the team champion in 2009.

This is your open thread for today's match play. Live video for today's action is available at ncaa.com beginning at Noon PDT. (Live video of the playoff between Florida State and Kent State for eighth place is also available at 8:00 a.m. The winner of that playoff will take on Alabama in match play.) Click here for live scoring throughout the day.

See a recap of Cal's Thursday third round, today's match schedule, and the stroke play results after the jump.

GO BEARS!

The Bears began Thursday's play in five-way tie for eighth place and needed to finish the day no worse than eighth in order to advance to match play. Starting on Riviera's back nine, the Bears were buoyed by Max Homa's eagle at the par-5 12th hole on the way to a run that saw the Bears vault to as high as 3rd place after the turn. At one point, Cal stood six shots clear of eighth place. All the more remarkably, the Bears , did this with their best golfer through the first two rounds, Brandon Hagy, struggling to a 4-over par start on the first (back) nine. Hagy eventually pulled it together after the turn (he shot even par on the second nine), but his was not one of the top four scores that counted for the Bears: those belonged to Homa (68, -3), Pace Johnson (72, +1), Michael Kim (73, +2), and Joël Stalter (74, +3), who started well and held up under pressure toward the end to keep Cal alive for the title.

Cal's day wasn't without tense moments. Just when it looked like the Bears might cruise to the next round after Homa birdied the second hole (his 11th of the day), the team went on a birdie drought, not making another one until Johnson birdied the par-4 8th hole. As the Bears were playing the final four holes, Cal hovered between sixth and seventh place and fell to within only one shot of the multiple teams fighting for eighth place. But Cal righted the ship, playing the final two holes in 1-under par as a team (seven pars and Johnson's birdie at the 8th hole). And with that, Cal is still alive and well, chasing a championship.

Friday's Match Play Schedule:

10:00 a.m. (1) Alabama vs. (8) Florida State/Kent State playoff winner*

10:45 a.m. (T4) California vs. (T4) San Diego State

11:30 a.m. (2) UCLA vs. (7) Oregon

12:15 p.m. (3) Texas vs. (6) Washington

* Florida State and Kent State tied for eighth. The teams will play in a playoff beginning at 8:00 a.m. PDT to decide the eighth and final spot in the match play competition.

CAL INDIVIDUAL SCORES

T9. Max Homa 76-70-68 - 214 (+1)

T45. Brandon Hagy 71-73-75 - 219 (+6)

T61. Michael Kim 76-73-73 - 222 (+9)

T61. Pace Johnson 72-78-72 - 222 (+9)

T89. Joël Stalter 78-73-74 - 225 (+12)

TEAM LEADERBOARD

Current
position
team scoring rounds total
score
to par thru today 1 2 3
1
2 Alabama
+7 F +3 285 287 287 859
2
5 UCLA
+9 F +1 289 287 285 861
3
1 Texas
+17 F E 290 295 284 869
T4
3 California
+19 F +3 295 289 287 871
T4
10 San Diego State
+19 F E 292 295 284 871
6
8 Washington
+20 F +6 296 286 290 872
7
7 Oregon
+21 F +4 291 294 288 873
T8
17 Kent State
+23 F +7 293 291 291 875
T8
19 Florida State
+23 F +11 290 290 295 875

FINAL INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD (TOP 20 FINISHERS)

(Thomas Pieters of Illinois wins the 2012 NCAA individual championship.)

1 1
70 Thomas Pieters (10)
Illinois -5 F E 69 68 71 208
T2 T16
11 Julien Brun (10)
TCU -2 F -4 72 72 67 211
T2 T2
Tyler McCumber (10)
Florida -2 F +1 68 71 72 211
T4 T37
34 Patrick Cantlay
UCLA -1 F -5 74 72 66 212
T4 T10
60 Corey Conners (10)
Kent State -1 F -2 68 75 69 212
T4 T5
19 Cory Whitsett
Alabama -1 F E 73 68 71 212
T7 T10
5 Blayne Barber
Auburn E F -1 69 74 70 213
T7 4
4 Justin Thomas
Alabama E F +2 70 70 73 213
T9 T37
25 Max Homa (10)
California +1 F -3 76 70 68 214
T9 T16
Will Kropp
Oklahoma +1 F -1 69 75 70 214
T9 T25
Keith Mitchell
Georgia +1 F -2 73 72 69 214
T9 T5
3 Patrick Rodgers (10)
Stanford +1 F +2 69 72 73 214
T13 T2
77 Anton Arboleda
UCLA +2 F +5 67 72 76 215
T13 T16
Dominic Bozzelli
Auburn +2 F E 69 75 71 215
T13 T10
Greg Eason
UCF +2 F +1 71 72 72 215
T13 T37
15 Pedro Figueiredo
UCLA +2 F -2 74 72 69 215
T13 T37
32 Steve Lim (10)
Southern California +2 F -2 74 72 69 215
T13 T37
27 J.J. Spaun (10)
San Diego State +2 F -2 72 74 69 215
T13 T16
Joseph Winslow
Iowa +2 F E 69 75 71 215
T13 T37
6 Eugene Wong (10)
Oregon +2 F -2 72 74 69 215
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