Golden Bears Go To Arizona For Final Tune-up Before Pac-10's

April 12, 2007

QUICK TURNAROUND: The Golden Bear men's golf team will play its final tune-up for the Pac-10 Championships this weekend, competing at the Thunderbird Invitational in Arizona. This weekend's tournament is a three-day format with one round each morning (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) at te par-72 7,037-yard Karsten Golf Course. Live scoring will be available online at www.golfstat.com.

LAST TIME OUT: California had a tough outing on March 26 and 27, finishing in 10th place at the Duck Invitational in Oregon. Junior Michael Jensen was the top Golden Bear finsher for the second tournament in a row, tying for 24th place with a seven-over par 223. Freshman Andrey Mindirgasov and senior Michael Wilson, who finished at 228 (tied for 41st) and 229 (tied for 44th), respectively, followed Jensen on the leaderboard for the Bears. Sophomore Freddy Wolfe was fifth overall for the Bears with a 234, while sophomore George Gandranata had a 236.

DEZ SAYS: After Cal finished in 10th place against a Pac-10 heavy field in Oregon in late March, head coach Steve Desimone was disappointed, but still optimistic about the rest of the season: 'It was a very disappointing day for us. There was a lot to play for and we just didn't get it done. The teams that are going to advance are the ones that play well in the final rounds. We have to be more consistent and play better in final rounds. We sure didn't do it today. We should still be in good shape for the regional. It was good for us to see Eugene Country Club because we'll be back up here for the Pac-10 Championships (4/23-25). Hopefully we gained some experience from this.'

A LOOK AT THE FIELD: The Thunderbird Invitational features 16 schools (Golfweek Rankings in parentheses): Arizona (23), Arizona State (19), Baylor (36), Cal (54), UCF (40), Fresno State (101), Kansas State (132), New Mexico (58), Oklahoma (97), Oregon (72), San Diego State (46), USC (5), Texas A&M (15), Texas Tech (35) and UNLV (7) will be in action.

BEAR LINE-UP: Cal's lineup (in order, with 2006-07 statistics) for the Thunderbird Invitational is listed below.

Player Cl. 06-07 Rounds Strokes Avg. Low Top Finish
Michael Jensen Jr. 27 1951 72.3 67 5
Andrey Mindirgasov Fr. 21 1997 74.0 67 T10
Michael Wilson Sr. 24 1765 73.5 65 1
George Gandranata So. 27 1975 73.1 67 T5
Chris Jensen Fr. 12 883 73.6 67 T10

LINEUP LOOK: Junior Michael Jensen has been the Golden Bears' top scorer in each of the last two tournaments and will remain in the top lineup slot this weekend. Freshman Andrey Mindirgasov will play No. 2 this week, while the lone senior on the roster, Michael Wilson will play No. 3. Sophomore George Gandranata, who has the second-best average this year on the squad, will be at No. 4. Meanwhile, freshman Chris Jensen will make his debut in the spring season rotation. The younger brother of Michael, Chris averaged a 73.6 over 12 rounds in the fall.

SECOND PLACE AT THE WESTERN: Golden Bears jumped all the way from seventh place to second place in the final round of the 61st annual Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo Golf Course for their top finish of the season. Junior Michael Jensen registered a round-three 68 to finish with a one-under 209 to climb to fifth place among individuals, the top finish of his collegiate career. Senior Michael Wilson was the second-place finisher for the Bears, sandwiching a 70 between a pair of 73's to finish at 216 and tied for 17th place. Sophomore George Gandranata tied for 36th place with a 200.

AT THE USC COLLEGIATE: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.

ISLAND GOLF: 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.

SPRING OPENER: 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.

FALL RECAP: 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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