Impressive Opening Round for Men's Golf in Hawaii
Feb. 21, 2007
HONOLULU - Junior Michael Jensen fired a three-under par 69 in the first round of the John Burns Intercollegiate men's golf tournament on Wednesday at the Leilehua Golf Course in Hawaii to lead California to a sixth-place tie after day one of the event.
The Golden Bears' overall total of 287 puts them in a tie for sixth place with Texas A&M and New Mexico. The Bears have shot better than 287 in opening round action just twice since their 2004 NCAA Championship - both times during home-course action at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational. Cal battled rain through much of the rain, after practicing in showers on Tuesday.
'It was a great first round, especially since starting has been a problem for us,' head coach Steve Desimone said. 'The guys finished well. We need to keep it going the next two days.'
UNLV leads the event with an 11-under 277, followed by BYU (279). Auburn, Colorado State and Long Beach State are all tied for third at 284.
In addition to the strong effort from Jensen, senior Michael Wilson and sophomore George Gandranata each fired even par rounds of 72. Freshman Evan Derian rounded out the scoring for the Golden Bears with a 74.
'Michael Jensen played very well; he had a little hiccup on 14 with a double bogey, but birdied 15 and 16 then had a nice putt for birdie on the par-five third to close his round,' Desimone said. 'Michael Wilson just finds a way to get it done; he had four birdies (three of the par fives), and just played some real solid golf).
'George [Gandranata] was George, he just gets it done and competes. A couple of holes, he was a bit sloppy, but he came back and finished at even par, that was good to see. I have to give credit to Evan [Derian]; he has been battling a stomach flu and we worried about him, but he hit the ball well; it was good to see for him play decent in tough circumstances. Kent [Yamane] struggled, but I expect him to bounce back.'
Long Beach State's Michael Drake leads the field with a 65, followed by BYU's Nick Becker at 66 and SMU's Frank Wren at 67.
Following today's round, the team toured the USS Columbia nuclear submarine with other participating teams.
'It's been all golf since we got here,' Desimone said. 'We have had some pretty tough weather, so it was good to get away from the course for a bit, to sit back and relax and do some different things from the normal routine.'
Action at the Burns Intercollegiate continues on Thursday at 10 a.m. (Pacific) with a shotgun start. The event wraps up Friday at the same time.
John Burns Intercollegiate
(Hosted by Hawaii)
Leilehua Golf Course (Par 72, 6,917 yards)
Team Place After Day One: T6th (of 22 teams)
T8. Michael Jensen (69, -3)
T35. George Gandranata (72, E)
T35. Michael Wilson (72, E)
T65. Evan Derian (74, +2)
120. Kent Yamane (82, +10)