No. 24/28 Cal Returns to Action at Thunderbird Invitational Friday and Saturday

April 1, 2010

Fri., Apr. 2 (7:30 a.m. PDT) - Thunderbird Invitational (Tempe, AZ - ASU Karsten Golf Course)
Sat., Apr. 3 (7:30 a.m. PDT) - Thunderbird Invitational (Tempe, AZ - ASU Karsten Golf Course

THUNDERBIRD INVITATIONAL NEXT UP FOR CAL
After being out of action for just more than two weeks over spring break, Cal returns to the links for the Thunderbird Invitational hosted by Airzona State this Friday-Saturday, Apr. 2-3. The two-day 54-hole event will take place at the ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. The first 36 holes are scheduled to be played Friday with the final 18 set for Saturday. Play begins each day at 7:30 a.m. PDT/MST.

LIVE RESULTS AND RECAPS
Live results from the Thunderbird Invitational will be available via a link from CalBears.com both days of the event. A recap and complete results will also be available at CalBears.com after the conclusion of play each day.

CAL FALLS TO NO. 24 AND NO. 28 IN RANKINGS
Despite a fifth-place showing at the National Invitational Tournament in its most recent event March 17-18 and a strong final round in the event, Cal has dropped three places in both the Golfweek (No. 24) and Golfstat (No. 28) national rankings. The Bears began the spring season ranked No. 30 (Golfweek) and No. 33 (Golfstat) but have been as high as No. 16 (Golfweek) after winning its first tournament of the 2010 spring season Feb. 1-2 at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson. Their highest position in the Golfstat rankings this season is No. 21.

CAL'S THUNDERBIRD INVITATIONAL HISTORY
Cal will be looking to improve its showing in the Thunderbird Invitational in 2010 with the Golden Bears recording a top 10 finish in the event only once in the past five seasons since the team won an NCAA title in 2004 (the Bears were seventh that year). The team's lone top-10 finish in the last five years came with a ninth-place showing in 2008 when three current Cal golfers (Evan Derian, 24th-T; Stephen Hale (31st-T) and Eric Mina (36th-T) had strong outings. Hale and Mina also played in the event in 2009 but fell to a tie for 53rd and tie for 62nd, respectively as the Bears dropped to 13th. John Murphy, who is redshirting the 2009-10 campaign for the Bears, tied seventh at the event in 2009. Host Arizona State has won the event each of the last two seasons, seven of the last 11 years and 15 times in the tournament's 37-year history. Cal has never won the event. Arizona State's Stephan Gross won the 2009 individual title.

THE EVENT
The Thunderbird Invitational has been held annually since 1973. The field for this year's event at the par-71, 7,057-yard ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. will feature 16 teams, including all 10 Pac-10 squads and a total of nine clubs ranked in the top 25 nationally by both Golfweek and Golfstat. The field consists of Arizona, host Arizona State (#8 Golfstat, #11 Golfweek), BYU, Cal (#24 Golfweek), Colorado State, Denver, Oregon (#4 Golfstat, #15 Golfweek), Oregon State (#25 Golfweek), San Diego State, Stanford (#2 Golfweek, #2 Golfstat), UC Irvine, UCLA (#6 Golfstat, #7 Golfweek), UNLV (#9 Golfweek, #10 Golfstat), USC (#12 Golfweek, #14 Golfstat), Washington (#3 Golfstat, #6 Golfweek) and Washington State. Each team will field five players with the top four scoring.

2009-10 CAL MEN'S GOLF RECAP
The Cal men's golf team won a school-record-tying three regular-season tournaments during its five outings 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 have finished in the top four in seven of the nine events they have played overall, taking second at the USC Collegiate Invitational (Mar. 1-2), tied for third at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate (Feb. 17-19) hosted by Hawai'I, fourth at the season-opening Golfweek Conference Challenge (Aug. 30 - Sept. 1) hosted by Iowa and fifth at the National Invitational Tournament (Mar. 17-18) hosted by Arizona, in addition to the three tournament victories. The only times the Bears have placed out of the top five at a tournament in 2009-10 have been a ninth-place finish at the Fresno Lexus Classic (Mar. 8-9) and a 12th-place showing at the Windon Memorial (Oct. 4-

BEAR LINEUP
Cal's lineup for the Thunderbird Invitational (in order, with 2009-10 Cal statistics and national rankings)

(SPOT) PLAYER - YR - RDS - STROKES - AVG - LOW - TOP FINISH - GW RANK - GS RANK
(1) Chad Vivolo - 23 - 1656 - 72.0 - 66 - 5T - 199 - 179
2009-10 Notes: Has finished in the top 10 four times this season (National Invitational Tournament, Spartan Classic, USC Collegiate Invitational, Arizona Intercollegiate), including two of his last three events and was a career-best tied for fifth in his most recent outing at the National Invitational Tournament ... will be playing in the top slot for the first time at Cal.

(SPOT) PLAYER - YR - RDS - STROKES - AVG - LOW - TOP FINISH - GW RANK - GS RANK
(2) Max Homa - Fr. - 12 - 879 - 73.3 - 67 - T16 - 228 - ---
2009-10 Notes: Has come on strong in the spring, playing in three of the team's five events and finishing as high as tied for 16th at the USC Collegiate Invitational after playing just once in four tournaments last fall ... has finished each of his four events strong this season, shooting a combined 12-under par in his four final rounds this season and going under par each time.

(SPOT) PLAYER - YR - RDS - STROKES - AVG - LOW - TOP FINISH - GW RANK - GS RANK
(3) Michael Weaver - Fr. - 14 - 1008 - 72.0 - 64 - T2 - 109 - 112
2009-10 Notes: Tied for second at the Arizona Intercollegiate to open the spring schedule before missing a pair of tournaments due to illness ... has returned to the lineup for each of the last two events ... also tied for eighth at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational to complete the fall season.

(SPOT) PLAYER - YR - RDS - STROKES - AVG - LOW - TOP FINISH - GW RANK - GS RANK
(4) Stephen Hale - Jr. - 20 - 1418 - 71.4 - 63 - 1 - 73 - 65
2009-10 Notes: Has the team's second-lowest stroke average behind Eric Mina ... one of the club's two players along with Mina to have played in all nine events and 26 rounds in 2009-10 after leading the 2009-10 club with 40 rounds played ... won the Alister MacKenzie Invitational and also has top-10 finishes this season at the Spartan Classic (2nd) and John A. Burns Invitational (9th-T).

(SPOT) PLAYER - YR - RDS - STROKES - AVG - LOW - TOP FINISH - GW RANK - GS RANK
(5) Eric Mina - Jr. - 26 - 1847 - 71.0 - 67 - 1 - 56 - 39
2009-10 Notes: Has the club's lowest stroke average in 2009-10 and is of only two golfers along with Stephen Hale to have played in all nine of the team's events and each of its 26 rounds ... was victorious at the Spartan Classic and ties for the team lead along with Chad Vivolo with four top-10 showings ... coming off his toughest performance of the year when he finished tied for 40th at the National Invitational Tournament.

DES SAYS (Head coach Steve Desimone talks about the Bears)
On the recent spring break
'We got a chance to recharge. All good teams play well at this point in the season, so we want to start peaking now and playing our best golf to gain momentum going into the offseason. It's time to go play.'

On what he wants to see out of his team
'We want to develop consistency and play well down the stretch.'

On his team's potential
'Anytime a team has all five guys put their best golf together, you have a chance to be in the hunt. It's very possible for us to do that and go out and make a great run.'

COACHING STAFF
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.

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