Men's Golf Stays Close to Home for Western Intercollegiate

March 17, 2007

The California men's golf team is as close to home as its been this spring for a tournament, playing in the Western Intercollegiate hosted by San Jose State in Santa Cruz on Monday and Tuesday. The Golden Bears will be one of 18 teams playing three rounds on the par-70 6,432 yard Pasatiempo Golf Course. Results will be available late on Monday eveing and in the late afternoon on Tuesday.

Freshman Andrey Mindirgasov fired a plus-three 216 to tie for 15th place as he led the Golden Bears to a seventh-place finish at the USC Collegiate Invitational on Mar. 5 & 6. Mindirgasov was plus-two after the front nine on Tuesday, but then connected on three birdies with just one bogey on the back nine to come in at even par. In the opening round, the freshman had fired a two-under 69. Sophomore George Gandranata was the next top finisher for the Bears, tallying an eight-over 221 in the three rounds. Junior Kent Yamane had opened the event with a first-round 70, but slipped to a nine-over 222 to finish tied for 39th place.

After a seventh-place finish at the USC Collegiate Invitational, head coach Steve Desimone said, 'They have this course set up very tough. Not only that, it may have been the best field we have played in all year. We continue to compete with some of the best teams in the country. We took a big step towards NCAA Regional competition by beating some teams in our district. I was pleased with the way the guys fought through all three rounds. Those are positive signs.'

This week's 18-team tournament field includes UAB, Columbia, Fresno State, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Long Beach State, Nevada, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado, Pacific, Purdue, Saint Mary's, San Diego, San Jose State, Washington and Xavier. Washington, with a No. 30 national ranking is the favorite to win the event. Defending champion Duke did not enter the field.

The Golden Bears finished 10th of 18 teams at last year's Western Intercollegiate. Michael Wilson led the way with a three-over 143 to tie for eighth-place in the event. Freddy Wolfe shot a 149 while George Gandranata had a 153.

Junior Michael Jensen had his fourth career top-10 finish to lead the California men's golf team to an 11th-place finish at the John Burns Intercollegiate men's golf tournament at the Leilehua Golf Course in Hawaii from Feb. 21-23. Freshman Evan Derian and sophomore George Gandranata each finished at 219 for the Bears, tying for 52nd overall. Junior Kent Yamane fired a 72 in the final round to complete his recovery from a tough opening round. His 145 over the final two rounds was tied for the second-best on the team, though his opening 82 dropped him to a final total of 227. Senior Michael Wilson finished with a three-round 225.

The Golden Bears opened the PING/Arizona Intercollegiate slow, shooting a 301 on day one, but rebounded with rounds of 286 and 278 to climb to 11th place in the 16-team field. Cal's round three score was the second-best round of the day. The 564 over the last two rounds was the fifth-best effort in the tournament. UNLV won the event with an 829.

The Golden Bears played five fall tournaments, highlighted by a victory in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational (second year in a row winning the event). George Gandranata led the team with a 12-round average of 71.7 while Michael Jensen was just behind at 72.2. Junior Brandon Beck had a solid fall with a 72.4 over nine rounds and Michael Wilson averaged a 73.0, including the individual title at the MacKenzie. Newcomer Andrey Mindirgasov was impressive in his debut, averaging a 73.1, including a low round of 67 at the MacKenzie.

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