No. 21/24 Cal to Play at USC Collegiate Invitational Monday-Tuesday

Feb. 26, 2010

Mon., Mar. 1 (7:30 a.m. PST) - USC Collegiate Invitational (Westlake Village, CA - North Ranch Country Club)
Tue., Mar. 2 (7:30 a.m. PST) - USC Collegiate Invitational (Westlake Village, CA - North Ranch Country Club)

After taking last weekend off, Cal resumes its spring season at the 2010 USC Collegiate Invitational this Monday-Tuesday, Mar. 1-2. The 54-hole event will take place at the North Ranch Country Club with the first 36 holes scheduled to be played Monday and the final 18 set for Tuesday. Shotgun starts are scheduled each day at 7:30 a.m. PST.

Live results from the USC Collegiate Invitational will be available via a link at each day. A recap and complete results will also be available at after the conclusion of play each day.

Cal is currently ranked No. 21 in the nation by Golfweek and No. 24 according to Golfstat. The Bears are down five spots this week in the Golfweek poll and fell two notches on the Golfstat list after tying for third place in their most recent outing Feb. 17-19 at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate hosted by Hawai'i. The Bears had began the spring ranked No. 30 (Golfweek) and No. 33 (Golfstat) but jumped up to No. 16 (Golfweek) and No. 22 (Golfstat) after winning its first tournament of the 2010 spring season Feb. 1-2 at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson.

Cal finished third out of 14 teams the last time the Bears played the USC Intercollegiate in February of 2009, shooting a team score of six-over par 858. Kent Yamane (70-72-70 - 212, -1) was the club's top scorer with an eighth-place finish. Stephen Hale (T15th - 73-71-71 - 215, +2) and Eric Mina (T36th - 73-71-77 - 221, +8) are the two players in the lineup for the 2010 USC Intercollegiate that were among the six golfers that traveled to the event last season. Both Hale (T14th - 81-72-72 - 225, +12) and Mina (T25th, 80-74-73 - 227, +14) also played at the USC Intercolleigate as freshmen in 2008 when the Bears were eighth out of 14 squads. No other members of the team's lineup for the 2010 USC Intercollegiate has played the event before. The Bears' one team victory in the event's 31-year history came in 1990, when Ben Furth was also individual medalist.

The field for this year's USC Collegiate Invitational at the par-71, 6,869-yard North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, Calif., will feature 14 teams, with 12 of the 14 ranked in the Top 50 by either Golfweek or Golfstat and 11 of those 12 ranked on both lists. Stanford, who has won the event two of the last three seasons, leads the way with the nation's No. 2 ranking in both polls and is followed by Oregon (No. 6 GS/No. 19 GW), UCLA (No. 8 GS/No. 11 GW), Arizona State (No. 12 GS/No. 14 GW), Oregon State (No. 15 GW/No. 18 GS), USC (No. 16 GS/No. 17 GW), Cal (No. 21 GW/No. 24 GS), San Diego State (No. 29 GS/No. 30 GW), San Diego (No. 31 GW/No. 31 GS), Pepperdine (No. 46 GW, No. 48 GS), Fresno State (No. 47 GS/No. 48 GW) and Charlotte (No. 50 GW). BYU and UC Davis round out the field.

The Cal men's golf team has won a school-record-tying three regular-season tournaments over its first six events of 2009-10. The Golden Bears captured the Spartan Golf Classic (Sept. 19-20) hosted by Michigan State and its own Alister MacKenize Invitational (Oct. 12) in the fall of 2009. Cal then started the spring portion of its schedule with a victory at the Arizona Intercollegiate (Feb. 1-2). The Bears were also tied for third at its most recent event at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate (Feb. 17-19) hosted by Hawai'i and fourth at the season-opening Golfweek Conference Challenge (Aug. 30 - Sept. 1) hosted by Iowa. The only time the Bears have placed out of the top four at a tournament in 2009-10 was a 12th-place showing at the Windon Memorial (Oct. 4-5) last fall. The Bears have also had a pair of individual medalists this season with Eric Mina winning the Spartan Golf Classic and Stephen Hale taking the Alister McKenzie Invitational.

Cal's lineup (in order, with 2009-10 Cal statistics and national rankings)

PLAYER (SPOT)	YR	RDS	STROKES	AVG	LOW	TOP FIN	GW RANK	GS RANKEric Mina (1)	Jr.	17	1197	70.4	67	1	44	26Brandon Hagy (2)	Fr.	9	648	72.0	67	T16	372	---Chad Vivolo (3)	Jr.	14	1001	71.5	66	6	216	190Max Homa (4)	Fr.	3	222	74.0	69	T30	44*	---Stephen Hale (5)	Jr.	17	1202	70.7	63	1	47	41*not enough rounds to qualify

The Bears' lineup for the 2010 USC Intercollegiate will feature three golfers - Stephen Hale, Eric Mina and Chad Vivolo - who finished in the Top 20 in each of their last two outings at the Arizona Intercollegiate and John A. Burns Intercollegiate. However, Cal remains without its top finisher in Tucson for the second straigt tournament due to illness with the absence of Michael Weaver, who tied for second at the Arizona Intercollegiate. Mina, who will play in the top spot for the second event in a row in Weaver's absence., tied for fifth in Arizona and tied for sixth in Hawaii. Hale tied for ninth in Hawaii after leading the tournament for the first two rounds and tied for 20th in Arizona, while Vivolo was 10th in Arizona and 18th in Hawaii. Brandon Hagy has played in both of the Bears' fall tournaments, finishing tied for 16th in Arizona and tied for 29th in Hawaii. Max Homa has not played since the first event in the fall of 2009, when he finished tied for 30th at the Golfweek Conference Challenge.

DES SAYS (Head Coach Steve Desimone talks about the Bears' third-place finish at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate)
'Overall, it was a pretty good performance at the tournament. We had the lead going into the final round, so I'm disappointed but sometimes it doesn't work out your way and sometimes teams outplay you. It was a little bit of both.'

Cal men's golf has made amazing strides since Steve Desimone (Cal, 1970) began his tenure as head coach in the spring of 1980, evolving from a club sport into one of the elite varsity golf programs in the country in the 1990's before winning the NCAA title in 2004. In the midst of his 31st season at the helm of Cal golf, Desimone is largely responsible for the level of success enjoyed by the program. He was named Golfweek's 2003-04 College Coach of the Year and was presented with the 2004 Grand Master of the Year award by the Northern California Golf Association after leading the Golden Bears to the 2004 national title. Desimone has directed the Bears to 14 NCAA West Regionals (1990, '93, '95, '97, '98, '99, 2000, '01, '02, '03, '04, '07, '08, '09) and five NCAA Championship events (1995, '98, '99, 2000, '04). He was voted Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year in 1987. A member of the Cal basketball team as an undergraduate, Desimone graduated from Cal in 1970.

Associate head coach Walter Chun (Cal, 2001) is in his sixth season on the Bears coaching staff and his first in his current role. Chun, who spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Cal from 2004-09, was named the 2008 Jan Strickland Award winner honoring best assistant coach in the nation.

Director of Golf Operations Curt David (Pacific, 1989) and volunteer assistant coach Gene Bakkum (UC Davis, 2000) are also in their sixth season with the Bears. George Gandranata (Cal, 2010) is in his first season as a Cal volunteer undergraduate assistant coach.

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