Tain Lee (FR, San Juan Capistrano) was the medalist and led the Stags to a 885 score as the team made their inaugural visit to the ELCO/Cal State Bakersfield Invitational at Seven Oaks Country Club in Bakersfield. The first day saw low scores across the board as rain softened the course and allowed players to fire at pins. The Stags, led by Lee's outstanding seven under par 65, finished at even par 288 for the morning. The afternoon winds made the course more challenging for the second round, but Lee and Co-Captain John Morris (JR, Santa Rosa) fired rounds of 69 and 71 respectively to lead the Stags to a six over par 294. After the first two rounds, the Stags sat in seventh place at six over par 582. Lee held the individual lead at ten under par 134, and Nova Southeastern University (Florida) grabbed the team lead at fifteen under par 561. Other first day scores for the Stags saw Jay Tymkovich (FR, Denver, CO) shoot 75, 77 in his first tournament which put him at +8 through two rounds; Michael Liu (FR, Tustin), and Co-Captain Kyle Casella (JR, Tiburon) both shot rounds of 76, 77, a +9 day one total.
Day two saw a firmer, faster course with tucked hole locations to challenge the field. Lee and Casella led the Stags with rounds of 72 and 75 respectively. Lee's final day 72 was good enough to edge Nova's Greg O'Mahony by one for the individual title at ten under par 206. John Morris was the next top finisher for the Stags at six over par 222, good enough for a tie for 36th in the 105-player field after a 79 on Tuesday. Michael Liu rounded out the scoresheet for the Stags with a 77, placing him in a tie for 60th with a fourteen over 230. Jay Tymkovich added to his day one total, shooting 79 on Tuesday, which was good enough for a +15 finish and a tie for 64th. Casella shot twelve over 228 for the two days finishing in a tie for 56th. The three round total of 885, 21 over par, placed the Stags in eleventh, with Nova taking the title at fourteen under. The Stags edged out SCIAC foes Redlands, +36, California Lutheran, +49, and Pomona-Pitzer, +83, in a battle of the D-III teams in the field.
With a win at the CMS Invitational and a solid finish against a tough field at Bakersfield, the Stags debuted in the Golfstat national rankings at 10th in the country (http://golfstat.com/2008-2009/men/mncaahth.htm#DivIII). The Stags will return to action next Monday and Tuesday at Steele Canyon in San Diego for the Point Loma Invitational.