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MICHAEL RENZI/ Special to The Californian

Garces graduate Stephen Hale shot a 2-under-par 70 Monday in the first round of the Golden State Tour event at Bakersfield Country Club.

Former Bakersfield College golfer Matt Picanso shot a 5-under-par 67 to take a two-stroke lead Monday in the first round of the Bakersfield Country Club Challenge, which is part of Golden State Tour.

Chris Cunningham of San Diego was second at 69 in an event that features five other players with Bakersfield ties.

Garces grad and former Cal player Stephen Hale shot a 70, Bakersfield High graduate and former Fresno State player Bhavik Patel shot 71.

Other locals in the 25-man field are M.J. Morin (72), Rufie Fessler (73) and D.J. Reeves (81).

The second round of the 3-round event starts at 8 a.m. today.