Men's Golf in 9th after First Round at Southern Highlands

March 13, 2009

LAS VEGAS - Navigating the course at Southern Highlands Golf Club for the first time amid a postseason-caliber field of 15 teams, the No. 22 Golden Bears ended their first round at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship in 9th place Friday. No. 4 Clemson leads at -5, two shots ahead of host UNLV. Two more rounds are to follow on Saturday and Sunday.

Senior George Gandranata shot Cal's best opening-day round at +1, sinking one birdie to offset one of his two bogies, including one on the opening 10th hole. Sophomore Stephen Hale also bogeyed 10 as well as 12 to start his day, but recovered with two straight birdies to right the round and end at +3. Junior John Murphy was one stroke better at +2 including four birdies, and co-captain Michael Jensen ended the day at +4.

With the top-4 scores counting in each day's team total, Eric Mina's +7 does not figure into the final tally for the first round.

The Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship, hosted by UNLV, features a 54-hole, stroke-play format, with 18 holes played each day over three days at the Southern Highlands Golf Club, a par-72, 7,510-yard course in Las Vegas, Nev.

Based on Golfweek's March 8 rankings, the field four of the top-5 teams in the nation: No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 USC, No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Clemson. The impressive group continues with No. 6 Florida and No. 10 Georgia Tech followed by four more squads in the top-25, including Cal at No. 22. Host UNLV is currently No. 31 and Arizona rounds out the list of schools in the top 50.

At the 2008 event, the Runnin' Rebels won the team title with a 288-288-293 -- 869 (+5). USC's Rory Hie won the individual title with in a three-way playoff, sinking a birdie on the 18th hole. Hie ended his three rounds tied at -3 with Hudson Swafford of Georgia and Jonas Enander Hedin of Charlotte.

Once again this year, team and individual ties will be broken by sudden death playoff. Play will begin at 8 a.m. PST each day with tee times off No. 1 and No. 10 holes. Live scoring will be available at Golfstat.com.

CALIFORNIA SCORING
Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship (Hosted by UNLV)
Southern Highlands Golf Club (Par 72, 7,510 yards)
Las Vegas, Nev.

Team Place: 9th (of 15 teams) - after day one
Score: 298 (+10)

Individuals:
T17. George Gandranata 73 (+1)
T23. John Murphy 74 (+2 )
T33. Stephen Hale 75 (+3 )
T40. Michael Jensen 76 (+4)
T63. Eric Mina 79 (+7)

Team Standings:
1. Clemson 283 (-5)
2. UNLV 285 (-3)
3. Arizona 287 (-1)
4. Georgia Tech 289 (+1)
5. Florida 290 (+2)
6. Oklahoma State 291 (+3)
7. USC 295 (+7)
8. UCLA 296 (+8)
9. California 298 (+10)
10. Charlotte 300 (+12)
11. Auburn 302 (+14)
12. Georgia 303 (+15)
13. Texas A&M 308 (+20)
14. Arizona State 309 (+21)
15. Texas 312 (+24)

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