Men's Golf Closes Fall Campaign at The Prestige

Oct. 14, 2007

BACK ON COURSE: The California men's golf team closes its 2007 fall campaign this week, playing at The Prestige on Monday and Tuesday.

THE EVENT: The Prestige at PGA WEST, which has become a highlight of the fall men's golf season after just seven years, will take center stage once again when 16 teams compete at the par-72, 7,156-yard Greg Norman Course at PGA WEST on Monday and Tuesday in La Quinta, Calif. It is co-hosted by UC Davis and Stanford and presented by Hormel and Farmer John. The 54-hole tournament brings together some of the top academic and golf-playing institutions in the country and this year features defending NCAA and tournament champion Stanford as well as Charlotte, currently the top-ranked team according to Golfweek Magazine. Competition begins with 36 holes on Monday starting at 7:30 a.m. with the final round scheduled for Tuesday at 8 a.m. Live stats will be available at www.GolfStat.com.

DEZ SAYS: Going into the final tournament of the spring campaign, Cal head coach Steve Desimone is hoping for a strong finish as the team goes into the offseason of prepartion for the spring. 'We're looking forward to this tournament. It's an important two days for us. We need to bounce back from what was really an unfortunate end to last week's tournament. We need to do some playing on Monday and Tuesday. We've had two good practice rounds; this is a very hard golf course; they use this for PGA Qualifying - that tells you the quality of the course and how challenging and demanding it is. We're going to have to bring our A game here; we need to hit it, chip it, and putt it. There is little margin for error.'

BEAR LINE-UP: Cal's lineup (in order, with 2007-08 statistics) for The Prestige is listed below.

Player Cl. 07-08 Rounds Strokes Avg. Low Top Finish
Evan Derian So. 5 352 70.4 67 T8
Stephen Hale Fr. 8 575 71.9 68 T8
Eric Mina Fr. 5 369 73.8 72 T24
George Gandranata Jr. 6 429 71.5 67 T8
Andrey Mindirgasov So. 8 587 73.4 68 T13

LINEUP LOOK: The Golden Bears will bring a young lineup to the challenging PGA West course this week. Junior George Gandranata is the veteran of the group, with 74 career rounds under his belt. He will play No. 4 with his solid 71.5 fall average. Sophomore Evan Derian, who has paced the team in his last two tournaments, is at No. 1 with a 70.4 stroke-average. Freshmen Stephen Hale and Eric Mina will play at Nos. 2 and 3 while sophomore Andrey Mindirgasov rounds out this week's lineup.

A LOOK AT THE FIELD: The PGA West field showcases some of the top collegiate golfers in the country. Besides top-ranked Charlotte, seven other teams are ranked among the top 50 by Golfweek. Stanford enters at No. 15, Wisconsin is No. 25, Pepperdine is No. 22, Minnesota is No. 39, UCF is No. 41, Michigan is No. 46 and TCU is No. 49. Other teams entered are California, UC Irvine, Colorado, Denver, Kansas, Pacific, San Diego and the co-host UC Davis.

LAST YEAR: The California men's golf team finished 11th at The Prestige, shooting a three-round score of 895 (298, 299, 298, +31). The Golden Bears' top individual finisher was sophomore George Gandranata, who tied for 15th with an even 216, with rounds of 70, 74 and 72. Gandranata had 37 pars over the 54 holes. Stanford captured the tournament with a 15-under 849 (288, 281, 280), followed by UCLA with a 13-under 851 (294, 276, 281). Other individual scores for the Bears included junior Brandon Beck tying for 31st with a seven-over 223 (74, 76, 73). Beck had 40 pars during the 54 holes, second-best in the tournament behind UCLA's Chris Heintz. Junior Michael Jensen tied for 39th with a nine-over 225 (77, 72, 76), freshman Andrey Mindirgasov tied for 59th with a plus-15, 231 (77, 77, 77) and senior Michael Wilson tied for 66th with a plus-19, 235 (78, 78, 79).

LAST TIME OUT - MACKENZIE INVITATIONAL: In a dramatic turnaround, the Alister MacKenzie Invitational course at The Meadow Club played much more difficult for Tuesday's final round of the event. One of the few schools able to solve the par-71, 6,686-yard course was San Diego State, which fired an eight-under 276 to go from seventh place to first place. The Golden Bears were paced by sophomore Evan Derian, who notched a plus-one 72 on Tuesday. That followed a pair of rounds of 67 on Monday as he finished with a 206 (-7) to tie for eighth place. Freshman Stephen Hale finished with a minus-two 211 (tied for 28th) after shooting a 72 on Tuesday as well. The rookie had fired a career-best 69 in the opening round. Junior George Gandranata and sophomore Andrey Mindirgasov both shot plus-six 77's on Tuesday as they both finished at 216 (+3) for the tournament. Gandranata had opened the tournament with a minus-four, including six birdies, and then shot a plus-one 72 in round two. Mindirgasov had a pair of eagles on Monday, and fired a second round 67 with five birdies.

TWO WEEKS AGO AT HUSKY INVITATIONAL: Cal had a solid first two rounds at the Husky Invitational on Monday. However, the Golden Bears did not have a chance to use its momentum on the second day as rain and wind on Tuesday cancelled the final round at Gold Mountain Golf Club's 7,061-yard par-72 Olympic Course. The Bears finished in a tie for fifth place in the event. Oregon State won the tourney with a 585 (+9), followed by Washington (592) and Pepperdine (595). Oregon was fourth with a 596 (+20). The Golden Bears tallied a 21-over 597 to tie for fifth with San Diego State. Cal freshman Stephen Hale and sophomore Evan Derian were the top scorers for the Bears, both shooting two-round 146's (+2) to tie for eighth place. Hale opened the event by firing an even-par 72 with three birdies cancelling out three bogeys. In the second round, he continued his excellent play, finishing with a 74 to check in at a 146. Derian also had an excellent day, shooting a two-under 70 followed by a 76 to finish at 146.That's a great Oregon State team. Freshman Eric Mina made his collegiate debut and was solid with a 151 (+7), including six birdies. Sophomore Andrey Mindirgasov and senior Freddy Wolfe rounded out the competitors for the Golden Bears. Mindirgasov shot a 156 while Wolfe closed the event with a 159 (+15).

FALL OPENER AT AIR FORCE: California sophomore Andrey Mindirgasov fired the fourth-best round of the day to lead the Golden Bear men's golf team which finished fifth at the 39th annual Falcon Invitational at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Eisenhower Golf Club on Sept. 10. Junior George Gandranata was the overall leader for the Bears, finishing tied for eighth place in the three-round event. Cal fired a plus-six 870 in the event, including a minus-three 285 in Sunday's final round - the third-best score of the day. Iowa State and Wichita State tied for first place with minus-12 852's. UTEP was third (285, -6), while Xavier earned fourth place (286, -2). Gandranata continued to build his reputation for consistency in the event, firing rounds of 73, 69 and 71 to finish at 213 (-3). Mindirgasov, meanwhile, stormed back in the final round by firing a 68 to wrap up a three-round 215 (-1), tied for 13th place. Freshman Stephen Hale notched an even-par day on Sunday to shoot 218 (+2) for the tournament, tied for 19th place. Senior Freddy Wolfe and freshman Feldman Tan rounded out the Golden Bear lineup. Wolfe improved each day to finish at 225 while Tan shot a 233.

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