No. 25 Men's Golf Looks to Maintain Might at Windon Memorial
Oct. 1, 2009
BERKELEY - CAL BACK AT IT: The Golden Bears (No. 25 Golfstat / No. 30 Golfweek), coming off their first-place showing at the Spartan Golf Classic with Eric Mina winning the individual title and Stephen Hale finishing second, head once again to the Great Lakes region this weekend as Northwestern hosts the Windon Memorial Classic at Skokie Country Club on Sunday and Monday, Oct. 4-5.
THE EVENT: The 13th Windon Memorial Classic runs Oct. 4-5 at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe, Ill., featuring 54 holes divided between two rounds on Sunday and a final round on Monday. Play begins Sunday with shotgun starts at 8:45 a.m. CT. Skokie has a 7,081-yard, par-71 championship layout. Live scoring will be available on Golfstat.com.
DES SAYS: 'We certainly have a little bounce to our step and some confidence,' said head coach Steve Desimone of the team's demeanor following Cal's win at the Spartan Classic Sept. 19-20. 'We've had a real spirited qualifying, and I mean very competitive, with a lot of good play from a lot of guys.' The weather in Glencoe, Ill., 'could be sketchy,' Desimone said, with chances of rain and temperatures in the 50s - 'but no snow.' Desimone has mixed memories of the Windon Memorial, with a second-place finish in 2003 at Northshore Country Club in 'what really was an NCAA Championship-quality field,' fortelling the Bears' national championship they went on to win in the spring. 'That was the first time the players felt we were good enough to win,' he said. It was a different expereince in 2004, the last time Cal played this event. Many of the players from the championship were gone and the Bears struggled to a 13th-place finish at Cog Hill. That takes nothing away from Desimone's love of all the courses to have hosted this event. 'All I know if they have nothing but great golf courses back there,' Desimone said. 'I'm sure Skokie will fit right in with the tremendous group they have.'
BEAR LINEUP: Cal's lineup (in order, with 2009-10 Cal statistics)
Player YR RDS STROKES AVG LOW TOP FINISHEric Mina Jr. 6 418 69.6 67 1Stephen Hale Jr. 6 422 70.3 63 2Michael Weaver Fr. 3 222 74.0 70 T30Curtis Loop Fr. 3 226 75.3 73 T53Evan Derian Jr. 0 NA NA NA NA
LINEUP LOOK: Juniors Eric Mina and Stephen Hale continued to torch the course in qualifying coming off their one-two finish at Spartan Classic and will tee it up first and second for the Bears this weekend. They are followed by two freshmen: Michael Weaver, whom Desimone said 'just exploded back into qualifying with a pair of 64s' after 10 days of sick leave; and Curtis Loop, past of whose repertoire 'clearly is a tremendous putter, and in this game that can cure a lot of ills,' Desimone said. Making his first appearance since 2008 is Evan Derian, a 2008 Pac-10 honorable mention who missed all of last year with back problems. 'It's great to have Evan back in the lineup. He's worked really hard to correct the back issues and his golf game,' said Desiomone. 'It's the best Evan has looked in a year and a half. Lord knows he really earned this. He had to rebuild his golf swing to ease the pressure on his back.'
A LOOK AT THE FIELD: The 15-team field, which includes five top-25 programs, is, in alphabetical order: No. 25 California, No. 21 Coastal Carolina, Eastern Michigan, No. 10 Illinois, Indiana, Kent State, No. 17/19 Michigan, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Old Dominion, Purdue, No. 2/8 Tennessee, Tulsa and UC Davis.
LAST TIME OUT: Cal won the Spartan Golf Classic at The Kingsley Club, with Eric Mina taking the individual title and Stephen Hale coming second with a course-record 63 in his second round. Newcomer Chad Vivolo finished sixth. The Bears held off UC Davis during the final round with a5-under team score and left their mark on the event with under-par performances in all three rounds, shooting 8-under and 5-under in rounds two and three.
CAL SET TO HOST MacKENZIE: The Alister MacKenzie Invitational, hosted by the University of California, takes place Oct. 12-13 at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif. Two rounds on Monday and a final-round Tuesday will be preceded by a College-Am tournament on Sunday. San Diego State returns after winning the last MacKenzie in 2007, joining Cal, which has won three of the past six; 2004 winner Oregon State; 2002 winner Fresno State; Colorado, Colorado State, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, San Francisco, San Jose State, UC Irvine, Washington State and Wisconsin.
GANDRANATA IN USGA MEN'S STATE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: Volunteer Undergraduate Assistant George Gandranata of Emeryville joined two fellow Californians as the state finished tied for 10th at the USGA Men's State Team Championship Sept. 23-25 at The Country Club of St. Albans near St. Louis. A 2008-09 All-America Scholar and Pac-10 Honorable Mention in his final year as a player at Cal, Gandranata fired a 6-over 73-74-72--219. On Aug. 14, he won the 2009 Northern California Golf Association Amateur title at Spyglass Hill.
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