Cal Men's Golf Heads to Pac-10 Championship

April 20, 2007

TITLE TIME: The Golden Bear men's golf team is in crunch time now, playing in the Pac-10 Championship on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Bears have never won a Pac-10 Team Championship, although current professional golfer Charlie Wi won the individual title in 1995. Last year, the Bears finished in seventh place at the Pac-10's with freshman George Gandranata pacing the team with a 290 (tied for 17th place).

THE EVENT: This year's Pac-10 Championship is being hosted by the University of Oregon and will be played at Eugene Country Club's Par 72, 7,033-yard course. Thirty-six holes will be played on Monday, followed by 18 holes on Tuesday and Wednesday (staggered tee times each day). Action begins at 8 a.m. each day. Six golfers will play each round with the low five scores counting for each 18-hole round. Live stats will be available at www.golfstat.com.

Click here for tourney info.

DEZ SAYS: Heading into the 2007 Pac-10 Championship, head coach Steve Desimone was excited for a chance for his team to play its way into a NCAA Regional berth: 'We're going with a little different lineup than what we've had. We have Brandon Beck in the lineup which makes us much more powerful than the team that went to Oregon three weeks ago. This team is porbably better suited for this course, but our experience from three weeks ago will definitely help us. I'm excited. Anytime you walk in and see that Pac-10 Championshop banner, it gets you excited. We're hoping for decent weather and we're ready to play and try to secure a berth in the NCAA Regionals.'

BEAR LINE-UP: Cal's lineup (in order, with 2006-07 statistics) for the Pac-10 Championship is listed below.

Player Cl. 06-07 Rounds Strokes Avg. Low Top Finish
Chris Jensen Fr. 15 1099 73.3 67 T10
Michael Jensen Jr. 30 2170 72.3 67 5
Michael Wilson Sr. 27 1990 73.7 65 1
Andrey Mindirgasov Fr. 30 2222 74.1 67 T10
Evan Derian Fr. 15 1119 74.6 70 T41
Brandon Beck Jr. 9 652 72.4 68 T13

LINEUP LOOK: The Golden Bear lineup will feature three freshmen for the Pac-10 Championship, led by Chris Jensen, who has moved into the top slot in the lineup after his strong performance last week. Chris' older brother, junior Michael Jensen has led the Golden Bears for much of the spring and will play behind him at No. 2. Senior Michael Wilson and freshman Andrey Mindirgasov continue as mainstays in the rotation while freshman Evan Derian will be back in action for the championship. Junior Brandon Beck makes his spring debut in Oregon after registering a strong 72.4 stroke average in three fall tournaments.

A LOOK AT THE FIELD: The Pac-10 features six teams rated in the top 30 in the nation by Golfstat. Stanford is ranked No. 2 overall, followed by Arizona State (13) and Arizona (14). USC is No. 17, followed by UCLA (25) and the Golden Bears (30). Oregon State (51), Oregon (53), Washington State (74) and Washington (84) round out the field.

BEEN HERE BEFORE: This is Cal's second trip to the Eugene Country Club in less than a month. The Golden Bears had a tough outing on March 26 and 27, finishing in 10th place at Oregon's Duck Invitational. 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.

THUNDERBIRD INVITATIONAL: Freshman Chris Jensen, playing in his first spring tournament for the California men's golf team, led the Golden Bears with an even-par 216 as Cal placed 10th in the 16-team field at the 35th annual Thunderbird Invitational hosted by Arizona State University at Karsten Golf Course. Jensen shot a one-over 73 in Sunday's final round to follow up a 72 and a 71 in the opening two rounds as he finished in a tie for 23rd overall. Junior Michael Jensen, the older brother of Chris, and sophomore George Gandranata each finished with 219's (tied for 44th).

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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