California Men's Golf Earns Bid to 2007 NCAA Men's Golf Championship
May 7, 2007
BERKELEY - The University of California has earned a bid to the 2007 NCAA Men's Golf Championship, it was announced Monday by the NCAA Men's Golf Selection Committee. It will be Cal's ninth NCAA appearance in the last 11 years as well as the 12th overall regional appearance for the Golden Bears who are making their return to the NCAAs after not being selected the last two years.
'They read off the three regionals and the west was last and being seeded 21st, it wasn't comfortable waiting,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. 'But we're in and it sure feels good! I liked our chances when looking at districts and conference. We clearly have strongest conference in the country. Our first goal is to make the finals and then we'd like to play for it all again. When you look at how strong the west is, it will be a challenge, but we have three rounds to play and it feels great.'
Cal will be in action at the NCAA West Regional, which will be hosted by Arizona State at Karsten Golf Course (par-72, 7,057 yards) in Tempe, Ariz., from May 17-19 (Thursday-Saturday). The teams will play three rounds each day with five golfers competing and the top four scores counting from each round. The Golden Bears already played one tournament at Karsten, competing in the Thunderbird Invitational from April 13-15.
'It's a huge advantage [having played at Karsten already this season],' Desimone said. 'A number of the teams did not play there a month ago, so right off the top, a lot of factors that make it an interesting golf course, those work in our favor.
'I am so proud of the kids. They worked so hard all year; it's a great reward for them. I have no idea what will happen next week, but this team is definitely a group that deserved a real positive reward.'
In addition to earning 11 regional bids prior to this year, California has advanced from the regionals to the nationals five times, winning the NCAA Division I Championship in 2004.
The NCAA Championship consists of three regional sites (West, Central, East) with 27 teams and six individuals competing in each regional championship. The top 10 teams and top two individuals not on those teams from each regional will advance to the National Championship, which will be played at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va.
California is led by junior Michael Jensen, an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection. Jensen has paced the Golden Bears in five tournaments this year and has a 72.4 stroke average for the year. Jensen's younger brother, freshman Chris Jensen has also come on strong of late, averaging a 73.3 for the year - he led the Bears with an even-par 216 at the Thunderbird Invitational at Karsten.
In addition, senior Michael Wilson is no stranger to the pressures of NCAA competition. The veteran is the lone holdover from Cal's national title team in 2004. In addition, uncommon depth gives Desimone plenty of choices to round out his lineup of five golfers for the event - juniors Brandon Beck, Freddy Wolfe and Kent Yamane, sophomore George Gandranata and freshmen Evan Derian and Andrey Mindirgasov have all played key roles throughout the spring for the Bears.
NCAA WEST REGIONAL-May 17-19
ASU Karsten Creek Golf Course- Tempe, Arizona
Hosted by the Arizona State University
Teams (seeded in the following order):
4. Southern California (Pacific-10 Conference)
5. East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun Conference)
6. Brigham Young (Mountain West Conference)
7. Arizona State
8. Wake Forest
10. UC Irvine (Big West Conference)
11. South Carolina
14. Augusta State
15. Pepperdine (West Coast Conference)
16. San Diego State
17. New Mexico
18. Oregon State
19. Colorado State
22. Nevada (Western Athletic Conference)
24. Pennsylvania (Ivy Group)
25. Detroit (Horizon League)
26. Bucknell (Patriot League)
27. Monmouth (Northeast Conference)
1. Brian Locke, Loyola Marymount
2. Dustin Pimm, Utah
3. Darrin Hall, San Diego
4. Michael McRae, St. Mary's (California)
5. Geoff Gonzalez, Cal Poly
6. Thomas Petersson, Pacific
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