LAS VEGAS, Nev. - No. 1 Cal (285-280-291 - 856, -8) closed out a convincing 13-stroke win Sunday at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters for its eighth victory in nine tournaments this season. Michael Kim (76-67-69 - 212, -4) finished in a four-way tie for the lead at the end of 54 holes of regulation before Stanford's Patrick Rodgers won the playoff on the first extra hole with a birdie on 18.
Cal won the event hosted by UNLV at the par-72, 7,510-yard Southern Highlands Golf Club that featured 12 of the nation's top 13 teams in its field for the first time after finishing second last year and third in 2010.
"I think I'm running out of superlatives for this team," head coach Steve Desimone said. "They just keep playing great golf. It's hard to believe we had a 13-shot win in the best field of the year, we've won eight out of nine tournaments and all five players finished in the top 11 in this tremendous field."
Kim, who is ranked No. 1 nationally by Golfweek, shared at least a part of an individual win for the fourth time in his last five tournaments and extended Cal's streak of at least sharing an individual victory to six events in a row.
Kim's three-under par third round of 69 on Sunday tied for the second best of the day and capped an amazing comeback from a four-over par first-round 76 that left him tied for 51st after the first 18 holes Friday. Kim played bogey-free and steady golf Sunday with three birdies and 15 pars. His first two birdies came back-to-back on the par-four seventh and par-three eighth holes. He added another on the par-four 16th to get into the playoff.
"I can't say enough about Michael Kim," Desimone said. "To comeback like he did showed why he's the No. 1 player in the country. He could not have played better than he did the last couple of rounds. I'm so proud of him."
Kim had plenty of help from his teammates as each of Cal's five players finished among the top 11 on the final leader board.
"It was a great win at a great tournament with a tremendous field," Kim said. "It was a team win, and it's cool to see all five of us finish in the top 11. As for me, I played a really solid round today with no bogeys. Even though it was a little disappointing to lose in a playoff, it was still a great week."
Max Homa (72-72-73 - 217, +1) moved up five positions from where he began the third round to end the day as one of four players tied for seventh. His one-over par score in the third and final round included an eagle on a 40-foot putt on the par-five 13th hole. He also had a birdie on the par-five ninth, as well as bogeys on the par-five third, par-four 10th, par-three 17th and par-five 18th.
Brandon Hagy (69-75-74 - 218, +2), Joël Stalter (72-70-76 - 218, +2) and Michael Weaver (72-71-75 - 218, +2) each finished a shot back of Homa as part of a five-way tie for 11th.
Hagy was never in the red but still had the best round Sunday of the trio that tied for 11th at two-over. He had an early bogey on the par-three second hole but made six straight pars and then birdied the ninth to get back to even at the turn. He would fall to two-over with a double bogey on the par-three 12th. Hagy came back with a birdie on the 13th but would bogey the par-four 14th and 16th holes to drop to three-over before a birdie on 18 gave him his final score for the day.
After starting the day tied for fourth, Stalter would drop seven spots following a four-over par round. He bogeyed each of the first two holes on both his front and back nine. Stalter made his lone birdie of the day on 13 but gave that stroke back with a bogey on 18.
Weaver started his round with a double bogey on the par-four first hole and would be up and down all day during a round that included an eagle on the par-four 15th hole when he his 170-foot approach shot with a seven-iron one-hopped into the hole. He also had three birdies (3, 8, 13) and six bogeys (2, 4, 9, 11, 12, 16).
Cal will be out of action for nearly four weeks before resuming its season April 5-7 at the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational.
"We're going to take a little break now, enjoy it and then get back to work," Desimone said.
The Bears have won 14 of their last 23 tournaments overall dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign and have finished in the top five in all 23.
"I'm so proud of the players," Desimone said. "They've worked really hard for this. They've earned it."