Cal Men's Golfers Excel in Summer Action
Aug. 6, 2008
BERKELEY - The California men's golfers, fresh off an exceptional 2008 campaign, have continued their strong play with excellent individual performances throughout the summer. Most impressive is the fact that four returning players will compete in the 2008 U.S. Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C., from Aug. 18-24. Cal has never had as many as four players qualify in its history.
Senior George Gandranata, sophomores Stephen Hale and Eric Mina and junior Andrey Mindirgasov all advanced via sectional qualifiers in July to the U.S. Amateur. Gandranata fired a 71-64 - 135 to advance at The Club at Irish Creek (Kannapolis, N.C.); Hale was the co-medalist at Fort Washington (Fresno, Calif.) with a 69-70 - 139; Mina was the winner at the Yale Golf Course (New Haven, Conn.) with a 69-67 - 136; and Mindirgasov was a co-medalist at Peninsula (San Mateo, Calif.) with a 68-74 - 142.
In addition, junior Evan Derian won the Costa Mesa City Championship by six strokes with a 65-66 - 131.
'It's been a great summer for the program,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. 'It's been a lot of fun watching our current and former players doing some great things. This is the first time we've ever had four players qualify for the U.S. Am. It's hard to know for sure, but we may be the only team in the country with this many current players in the event. The U.S. Am qualifying is consistent with the good play we have seen from everyone all summer - most recently Evan's win at the Costa Mesa City against some very good players. This bodes very well for the upcoming season and the future.'
The current Cal golfers are not the only Golden Bears excelling this summer. Former All-Americans Charlie Wi and Peter Tomasulo have been making noise in the professional ranks. Wi is playing in his first PGA Championship this weekend at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan. In 20 events this year, eh has finished in the top 25 nine times and has a career-best stroke-average of 70.71. Tomasulo currently ranks 12th on the Nationwide Tour Money List. The top 25 players on the Money List earn a coveted PGA Tour card for the following year.
'We have Charlie Wi playing in his first major tournament and building on his solid year from last year,' Desimone said. 'And Peter Tomasulo is positioning himself on the Nationwide Tour to make the PGA Tour. That would be the first time Cal has had two players with PGA Tour cards.'
Cal, which advanced to the NCAA Regionals this past spring for the 10th time in the last 12 years, posted a third-place finish at the 2008 Pac-10 Championship - the Golden Bears' best finish since 2000 in the event. Five of the team's top six golfers return for the 2008-09 season, as well as former all-conference selection Michael Jensen, who redshirted the 2007-08 campaign.