Golden Bears Hold Ninth Place After Day One of John Burns

Feb. 20, 2008

HONOLULU - Stephen Hale continues to excel in his rookie season for the California men's golf team. The freshman opened the John Burns Intercollegiate with a minus-five 67 to tie for fourth place after Wednesday's first-round action. Cal holds ninth place in the 21-team field, just six strokes out of first on the crowded leaderboard at Leilelua Golf Course on the island of Oahu.

'It was a pretty solid opening round,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. 'Obviously Stephen [Hale] played real well. He's been doing well, so no surprise. To stay in the hunt with these really good teams, somebody has to put some numbers up and he did today. Evan [Derian] played a solid round; and George [Gandranata] played a solid round. But we need to make this a five-man activity, need to get the other guys going. Overall, it was a pretty decent start, but we have a lot of golf left.'

Auburn, Arizona and San Diego State are tied for first at 278 (-10). UNLV and SMU round out the top five at 279 (-9). The event continues with the second round on Thursday (teeing off at 8 p.m. Hawaii time) and the final round on Friday.

Hale's 67 included a 34 on the front nine, followed by a 33.

'Stephen had seven birdies and two bogeys today,' Desimone said. 'He was steady all day; he had a couple of unfortunate breaks, otherwise he may have come in a little lower. He always hits the ball well and he made two or three good putts. He has positioned himself well and really carried us today.'

Sophomore Evan Derian, who did not play in the team's spring opener in Arizona, debuted Wednesday, firing a two-under 70 with five birdies to tie for 18th place after day one. Derian averaged a 72.0 in the fall season.

'It was a very solid day for Evan, very similar to how he played in the fall,' Desimone said. 'He played well in qualifying and picked up right where he left off. He left a couple shots out there, but overall a good day.'

Junior George Gandranata, who entered the tournament leading Cal this year with a 71.4 stroke average, continued his consistent play with an even-par 72. Senior Brandon Beck tallied a 75 and freshman Eric Mina notched a 76.

'The course is interesting,' Desimone said. 'The weather is absolutely fabulous; but the course is starting to shorten up a bit cause it's drying out. I think the scores will get lower, so we'll have to putt a little bit better. It will be an interesting couple of days.'

John Burns Intercollegiate (Hosted by Hawaii)
Leilulua Golf Course (Par 72, 6,916 yards)
Honolulu, Hawaii.
Team Place: 9th (of 21 teams)

Score: 284 (-4)

Individuals (through one round):
T4. Stephen Hale: 67 (-5)
T18. Evan Derian: 70 (-2)
T47. George Gandranata: 72 (E)
T83. Brandon Beck: 75 (+3)
T89. Eric Mina: 76 (+4)

Team Standings:
1. Auburn: 278 (-10)
1. Arizona: 278 (-10)
1. San Diego State: 278 (-10)
4. UNLV: 279 (-9)
4. SMU: 279 (-9)
6. Texas A&M: 281 (-7)
6. UTEP: 281 (-7)
8. Fresno State: 283 (-5)
9. California: 284 (-4)
10. Arkansas: 286 (-2)
10. Denver: 286 (-2)
12. Nagoya: 287 (-1)
13. UC Santa Barbara: 288 (E)
13. San Jose State: 288 (E)
15. Long Beach State: 289 (+1)
16. New Mexico: 290 (+2)
17. BYU: 291 (+3)
17. Utah: 291 (+3)
19. Hawaii: 292 (+4)
19. Nevada: 292 (+4)
21. San Diego: 295 (+7)

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