Top-seeded Cal moved from fifth place to second after Day 2 of stroke play at the NCAA championships at the Capital City Club in suburban Atlanta.
The Bears (277-272-549) sit at 11-under par entering Thursday’s final 18 holes of stroke play. Cal trails Georgia Tech by one stroke.
The top eight teams after Thursday’s round qualify for the quarterfinals of match play, beginning Friday. Cal has an 11-stroke margin over the current ninth-place team, Central Florida.
Three Cal players broke par Wednesday, led by Max Homa (70-65-135), whose five-under 65 tied for the best round by a Cal golfer at an NCAA tournament. Homa and Brandon Hagy (66-69-135) are tied for fourth place.
Joel Stalter (69-68-137) is at three under and tied for 16th place.
Top-ranked Michael Kim (72-70-142) is tied for 58th place and Michael Weaver (74-71-145) is tied for 97th place.
“When I woke up this morning if you would have told me we were going to shoot somewhere around seven, eight or nine-under par I would have said that’s the best thing going,” Cal coach Steve Desimone said. “When we were way up after 13 holes it was party time, but now it’s root canal.
“There’s a lot of golf left with a lot of great teams right behind us. We put ourselves in a real good position but this thing is not a done deal.”