Cal freshman wins Aggie Invitational

K.K. Limbhasut of Cal claimed his first college title, but the Golden Bears finished a disappointing seventh in the Aggie Invitational at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.

Limbhasut, a freshman from Loma Linda, posted a score of 73-69-72–214, two-under par, and won by two strokes over Kolton  Crawford of Arkansas, who finished at 72-72-72–216.

“It is a relief to know that I’m working towards the right direction,” said Limbhasut, who built a five-stroke with five holes remaining and held on despite making a double bogey on his last hole.

“Winning this tournament also gave me confidence for upcoming tournaments. Fortunately I had enough room to make some mistakes coming down the end.”

The Golden Bears made their second appearance in the tournament and have had the individual winner each time, with Brandon Hagy taking home the title last year.

Limbhasut became the first Cal freshman to win an event since Michael Wilson won the Mid Pines Intercollegiate in his first college event in the fall of 2002.

“I’m not surprised,” coach Steve Desimone said. “He’s had a tremendous Spring and the beat goes on. The course set up well for him. He played some really smart golf, hit a lot of good golf shots and made some putts.

“When you do that you put yourself in contention and in this case it was good enough to win. I’m very happy for and proud of him.”

Wes Artac of Texas Tech shot 73-70-75–218 and tied for third with Ben Crancer of Texas A&M, who wound up at 75-66-77–218, while Zach Wright of LSU totaled 69-76-76–220 to tie for fifth with Pat Beyhan of New Mexico State, who came in at 72-70–220.

Cal’s next best finisher was Shotaro Ban, a junior from San Jose, who tied for 29th at 75-74-79–228.

Oklahoma captured the team title at 302-288-294–884, followed by Texas Tech at 308-291-288–887 and Arkansas at 298-293-297–888.

Cal got off to a slow start en route finishing solo seventh at 307-297-302–906.

“I was disappointed in the finish, but overall it was a good learning experience for us,” Desimone said. “It was very similar to an NCAA Regional competition with lots of travel, a short time frame and an unfamiliar golf course.

“As far as the tournament itself, the front nine (in round one) really did us in. We never really recovered from that. I will give the guys credit though because they fought for the entire 54 holes and we played some pretty good golf over the last 45 holes.

“Young teams are going to go through this. Patience is the key word.”

Cal plays next in the Western Intercollegiate on Saturday and Sunday at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.

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