Gandranata Paces Cal Men's Golf With Impressive Opening-Day Effort

Jan. 28, 2008

TUCSON, Ariz. - California junior George Gandranata is leading the Golden Bears after 33 holes of the Arizona-PING Intercollegiate Men's Golf Tournament on Monday at the Arizona National Golf Club. The final three holes were postponed until the morning due to darkness. Teams will follow with the final round after finishing round two. It is the first event of the collegiate golf season.

Gandranata fired a two-under 69 in the first round on Monday and came back in the afternoon at minus-three after 15 holes. The steady junior had just one bogey on the day and is currently tied for second in the event.

Tennessee (-15) leads the event, largely due to its impressive 272 (-12) in the first round). Host Arizona is in second place, followed by UNLV (-8), East Tennessee State (-4) and UC Irvine (+2). The Golden Bears are tied with San Diego State for sixth place at plus-eight.

'We haven't played in three months,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone. 'I'm proud of the kids, we were ready to play, but we are capable of playing better. If we continue playing the way we're playing now, it will be a fun flight home.'

Freshman Eric Mina followed Gandranata for the Golden Bears, notching a plus-two 73 before playing even-par golf over the first 15 holes in the afternoon round. Another rookie, Stephen Hale is at plus-seven through 33 holes. Senior Brandon Beck, returning to the lineup for the first time in nearly a year, struggled with a 78 in the opening round, but shook it off to shoot a plus-two thus far in round two. Sophomore Andrey Mindirgasov rounded out the Cal scorers with an opening round 72 and a plus-seven in round two.

'It was Brandon's first tournament since he battled illness through the fall,' Desimone said. 'And he clearly was nervous. He settled down in the second round. George has been really steady, making putts and playing great. The rookies keep playing well. Eric is building on his good fall. Stephen leaked a little oil coming in, but overall he's playing well also. And Andrey had a good first round.

'We know where we sit in a great field. Our goal is to get back to even par and see how we finish. We put ourselves in a good position.'

CALIFORNIA SCORING - after two rounds
Arizona-PING Intercollegiate (Hosted by Arizona)
Arizona Ntional Golf Club (Par 71, 6,900 yards)
Tucson, Ariz.
Team Place: T6th (of 16 teams)

Score: (+8 after 33 holes)

Individuals (through one round):
T2. George Gandranata: 69
T24. Eric Mina: 73
T48. Stephen Hale: 73
T65. Brandon Beck: 78
T65. Andrey Mindirgasov: 73

Team Standings (after 33 holes):
1. Tennessee: -15
2. Arizona: -8
3. UNLV: -4
4. East Tennessee State: +2
5. UC Irvine: +6
6. California: +8
6. San Diego State: +8
8. UCLA: +9
9. New Mexico: +16
9. Washington: +16
9. Texas: +16
12. Nevada: +18
13. Arizona (B): +19
14. BYU: +20
15. Georgia Southern: +24
16. Long Beach State: +40

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