Bears Capture NCAA Championship
June 4, 2004
|NCAA Championship Links|
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HOT SPRINGS, Va. - Led by sub-par rounds by senior Peter Tomasulo and junior Jeff Hood, the Cal men's golf team overcame cold, rainy conditions to capture the 2004 NCAA championship with a six-stroke victory over UCLA Friday at the Homestead Resort's Cascades course.
The Golden Bears' finish capped the greatest season for golf in school history. Not only did the men's team claim its first national title, but the Cal women tied for fourth place at their NCAA Tournament May 22, led by NCAA medallist Sarah Huarte.
The Bear men, who held one-shot leads after each of the first two rounds, fell into third place Thursday, eight strokes behind the Bruins and three shots behind Kentucky. However, Cal quickly made up the deficit Friday, as Tomasulo birdied four of the first five holes and Hood was 3-under after six.
The Bears took the lead just after the turn and were up between one and four strokes most of the rest of the way. Cal's advantage finally reached six strokes when UCLA's Travis Johnson bogeyed the par-5 17th hole. Hood, who was playing with Johnson, parred the 17th and 18th to secure the win.
The Bears' 1-under 279 team score Friday was easily the best score of the day. Texas shot 6-over 286, and every other team in the field finished at 10-over or higher.
'Every second, every minute, every hour of every day, we practice for this day,' said Cal coach Steve Desimone, who just finished his 25th year at the helm. 'We knew this was a great team heading into the year. And at our first team meeting, I told the guys that before the final round, we were going to be in position to win the national championship and that's the only thing we could ask for. To have one round to win the national championship, that's all you can ask for.
'I told the kids [Thursday] that if we played one great round, we'd win the national championship, and lo and behold, here we are.'
Cal entered the 30-team tournament seeded 24th and had never placed higher than sixth at the national championships - a feat the Bears accomplished in 1995 - despite qualifying for regionals each of the last eight seasons.
This year, Cal won two tournaments in the fall - the Mid-Pines Intercollegiate in North Carolina and the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in Marin County - and rose to the No.1 ranking early in the year.
However, the Bears were plagued by injuries much of the spring, particularly to Tomasulo (wrist) and fellow senior Scott Carlyle (back). Without Carlyle in the lineup, Cal took sixth at the Pac-10 championships, and with a refreshed Carlyle in play, tied for seventh at the NCAA regional to qualify for the national rounds.
At NCAA's, Tomasulo and Hood tied for 10th place at 2-over-par 282. Tomasulo's final round of 67 was the second-lowest score of the day, while Hood closed with a 69. In addition, Jesse Ruda and Michael Wilson tied for 33rd place at 290, while Carlyle tied for 50th at 295.
NCAA Men's Golf ChampionshipsThe Cascades at The Homestead, Hot Springs, VAPar 70, 6,679 YardsFourth Round Results (Final Standings)
Team To Par 1 2 3 4 Total1. California +14 279 289 287 279 11342. UCLA +20 289 283 275 293 11403. Arizona +28 292 281 283 292 11484. Texas +29 288 286 289 286 11495. Georgia Tech +31 289 285 287 290 1151T6. Florida +32 285 289 284 294 1152T6. Washington +32 289 282 285 296 11528. Kentucky +35 283 286 283 303 11559. BYU +36 280 290 291 295 115610. Pepperdine +40 295 276 289 300 1160T11. Georgia +41 285 302 284 290 1161T11. Georgia State +41 292 280 297 292 116113. Oklahoma State +44 292 289 289 294 116414. Texas A&M +47 291 292 284 300 116715. Penn State +50 289 291 290 300 1170
Individuals To Par 1 2 3 4 Total1. Ryan Moore, UNLV -13 67 70 64 66 267T2. Bill Haas, Wake Forest -7 70 68 67 68 273T2. Chris Nallen, Arizona -7 69 67 67 70 2734. Michael Putnam, Pepperdine -4 74 65 67 70 2765. Travis Johnson, UCLA -3 69 68 68 72 277
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