The Cal men’s golf team wrapped up NCAA regional competition at Myrtle Beach, SC with a flourish, climbing to fourth place to secure a berth in the NCAA Championships.
The Bears, who entered Wednesday’s third and final round in fifth place, enjoyed their best day of the event, compiling a 12-under par score to finish at minus-14.
"We played very well today on the day that matters the most in our season," said senior KK Limbhusat, who finished ninth among individuals at the tournament. "We achieved our first goal, which is to make it to nationals and are one step closer to our end goal."
Cal was the only team in the field to have four golfers finish among the top-15 individually.
"It was a special day for the team," coach Walter Chun said. "I'm proud of them for their outstanding performance. They stayed patient all tournament long, and it paid off. These guys have worked hard all season long, and they deserve the opportunity to compete for a national championship."
Illinois won the Myrtle Beach regional with a three-day score of 25-under par, led by individual medalist Michael Feagles, who carded 68-68-65—201 to beat Oregon’s Edwin Yi by one stroke.
Ohio State placed second at minus-20 and pre-tournament favorite Wake Forest, which is ranked No. 3 nationally, was third at minus-15. UNLV finished six strokes behind Cal at eight-under par to secure the fifth and final team qualifying spot for the collegiate nationals.
The NCAA nationals will begin a week from Friday at Fayetteville, Ark., and run through Wednesday, May 29. Cal is making the trip for the first time since 2016.
Senior Collin Morikawa, the Bears' national player of the year candidate, fired a 67 on Wednesday after two challenging days. He wound up at 214, tied with sophomore teammate Kaiwen Liu for 14th place in the individual competition.
Morikawa sounded relieved by the way he and his teammates delivered on the final day of competition.
"It was awesome for the team to have a great final round and punch our ticket to nationals," he said. "All year we've put ourselves in a great position to win and didn't come through, but today we knew what we had to do for our season not to end and everyone put it all out there.
"Overall, we didn't have our best stuff but it was enough to get us through and that's what matters."
Limbhasut, the Bears’ No. 4 man entering the tournament, wound up leading the team with a three-day score of 210 for ninth place after shooting a 70 on Wednesday.
Cal’s Sebastian Crampton also shot a 70 in the final round to finish at 212 and in 11th place. James Song wound up at 228 for 58th place.