Freshman Lead Golden Bears at Day One of The Prestige

Oct. 15, 2007

LA QUINTA, Calif. - Playing in their final event of the fall campaign, California men's golf freshmen Stephen Hale and Eric Mina are hoping to gain further confidence. And after the first day of The Prestige, the two rookies are tied for 20th with plus-one 145's on the par-72, 7,156-yard Greg Norman course. California as a team had a solid opening two rounds, as the Bears stand tied for sixth. The final round of action will tee off at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

Charlotte, the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, leads the event at 566 (-10), while Central Florida is the only other squad below par at 570 (-6). Stanford (578, +2) holds third place, while Pepperdine and San Diego are tied for fourth at 581 (+5). The Golden Bears are tied for sixth with Michigan at seven-over 583.

'We played well for the most part,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. 'The wind kicked up in the afternoon and that affected us some. We had to finish on 6, 7, and 8 and we did not play very well there, but we made five or six birdies and an eagle coming in and made it very respectable. Obviously, we have a lot to play for tomorrow and looking forward to it.'

Hale had a very solid opening round with just two bogies and 15 pars to go with one birdie to finish at 73. In his second round, he offset three bogies with three birdies for an even-par round. Mina, meanwhile, had three birdies en route to a minus-two 70 in the opening round, but slipped to 75 on the second 18. The duo are tied for 20th entering the final round.

'We have some very impressive young players,' Desimone said. 'They are both really good ball strikers and very confident; they had a lot of success in junior and high school golf. They manage their games well and make very good decisions on the course. They are mature and veteran-like out on the course. And Evan [Derian] is only a shot back. There are some exciting days ahead.'

The Bears were victimized by 75's in the second round, in fact, as not only Mina, but sophomores Evan Derian and Andrey Mindirgasov and junior George Gandranata each also finished the second round at plus-three. Derian had opened the day with a 71 to finish day one tied for 29th at 146 (+2). Gandranata had an even-par 72 in the opening round and finished at 147. Mindirgasov, who eagled the par-five, 566-yard 12th hole, finished at 150 (+6) on the day.

'Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we have a very important day tomorrow,' Desimone said. 'Good teams play three solid rounds. We need to get out there and play well tomorrow. It's a very important day for us.'

CALIFORNIA SCORING - after two rounds
The Prestige (Hosted by UC Davis and Stanford)
Greg Norman Course at PGA West (Par 72, 7,156 yards)
La Quinta, Calif.
Team Place: T6th (of 16 teams)

Score: 286-297 - 583 (+7)

T20. Stephen Hale: 73-72 - 145 (+1)
T20. Eric Mina: 70-75 - 145 (+1)
T29. Evan Derian: 71-75 - 146 (+2)
T37. George Gandranata: 72-75 - 147 (+3)
T22. Andrey Mindirgasov: 75-75 - 150 (+6)

Team Standings:
1. Charlotte: 281-285 - 566 (-10)
2. UCF: 284-286 - 570 (-6)
3. Stanford: 285-293 - 578 (+2)
T4. Pepperdine: 287-294 - 581 (+5)
T4. San Diego: 287-294 - 581 (+5)
T6. California: 286-297 - 583 (+7)
T6. Michigan: 298-285 - 583 (+7)
8. TCU: 299-286 - 585 (+9)
T9. UC Irvine: 292-294 - 586 (+10)
T9. Colorado: 291-295 - 586 (+10)
11. Denver: 289-298 - 587 (+11)
12. Wisconsin: 292-297 - 589 (+13)
13. Minnesota: 290-300 - 590 (+14)
14. UC Davis: 298-296 - 594 (+18)
15. Pacific: 306-290 - 596 (+20)
16. Kansas: 304-298 - 602 (+26)

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