Men's Golf Ends Season in 9th at NCAA Southwest Regional
May 16, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas - Eric Mina and John Murphy matched each other stroke for stroke for the second straight day with 3-over rounds of 74, but California could not sustain its campaign to lock up a top-5 finish at the NCAA Southwest Regional, ending the Golden Bears' 2008-09 season with a 9th-place finish at The University of Texas Golf Club.
Florida leapt three places to win the event, Texas Tech held on to second and host Texas lost its grip on the top spot but ended safely in third,10 shots ahead of 4th-place Stanford and the final championship qualifier from the Austin region, Michigan.
Texas' Lance Lopez will make the trip to Toledo after winning the individual title in a wire-to-wire performance, firing a 1-over final-round of 72 to end at 4-under, the only under-par score at the conclusion of three rounds.
Starting out Saturday three shots off the top-5 teams that qualify for the NCAA Championship, the Bears played strong on their front 9 and made the turn on the final day with a hold onto 5th place and a slot in the championship in their grasp, but could not seal the deal.
The Bears were tied with the Wolverines to start the day and a two-and-a-half-hour rain delay did not dampen Cal's desire to battle, but the Bears could not keep their hold on the opportunity and it slipped away on the back nine.
Eric Mina's ended his tournament in 10th place after firing four birdies, including one on his final hole of Saturday's final round, which also suffered three bogeys and two double bogeys, one each on the front and back nine.
John Murphy sandwiched two of his four birdies around a double bogey to end the day at 3-over for the day and 8-over for the tournament, good enough for a tie for 12th place.
George Gandranata bogeyed his first hole and could not dip below par during his round, ending the day 6-over and the tournament at +14 (T41).
Stephen Hale had two birdies overshadowed by four bogies and a double bogey as he finished with a final-round 75 to end tied for 54th at 19-over.
Michael Jensen's 9-over 80 on Saturday, making him tied for 65th overall at 24-over, was owed in part to consecutive double bogeys that marred his back 9, with senior sinking a birdie in a bid that, like too many tournaments this spring, the deficit they had dug in the first round was too deep to overcome.
Cal's trip to Austin as the sixth seed marked its 11th NCAA appearance in the last 13 years and the 14th overall regional appearance.
NCAA Southwest Regional Men's Golf Championship (Hosted by Texas)
The University of Texas Golf Club (Par 71, 7,412 yards)
Team Place: 9th (of 13 teams) - after final round
Score: 306-290-300 - 896 (+44)
10. Eric Mina 74-71-74 - 219 (+6)
T12. John Murphy 76-71-74 - 221 (+8)
T41. George Gandranata 77-73-77 - 227 (+14)
T54. Stephen Hale 79-78-75 - 232 (+19)
T65. Michael Jensen 82-75-80 - 237 (+24)
1. Florida 293-287-294 - 874 (+22)
2. Texas Tech 282-296-298 - 876 (+24)
3. Texas 291-285-301 - 877 (+25)
4. Stanford 294-299-294 - 887 (+35)
5. Michigan 301-295-292 - 888 (+36)
6. Lamar 296-298-297 - 891 (+39)
7. UNLV 296-289-307 - 892 (+40)
8. Texas-Arlington 308-290-295 - 893 (+41)
9. California 306-290-300 - 896 (+44)
10. Mississippi State 305-297-299 - 901 (+49)
11. New Mexico State 309-292-308 - 909 (+57)
12. Virginia Tech 302-306-302 - 910 (+58)
13. Jackson State 335-315-342 - 992 (+140)