California Golf Shoots Second-Best Round of Day in Arizona

Jan. 30, 2007

TUSCON, Ariz. - The young California men's golf team continued to pull together on Tuesday, posting a minus-six 278 in the final round of the Ping/Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson. The Golden Bears' strong round was the second-best team score of the day and lifted Cal to 11th place in the 16-team tournament, its first event of the spring campaign.

UNLV won the event with a three-round 829 (minus-23), followed by BYU at 833, including a day-three best 277. Arizona was third at 840 while Tennessee (841) and UC-Irvine (842) rounded out the top five. California finished at 865, despite an opening round 301. The Bears final two round total of 564 rated fifth overall in the field.

'I was really proud of the way the guys played,' head coach Steve Desimone said. 'Obviously we struggled in the first round. It would have been easy for the guys to pack it in and go through the motions. But we really played hard. I give the kids a lot of credit for digging in. I was pleased today. That was a little more consistent to what we have been seeing in practice.'

Junior Kent Yamane, a junior-college transfer, was the top performer on Tuesday for the Bears, firing a minus-6 65, matching the best Cal round of the 2006-07 season, despite battling rain throughout the round. His previous best was a 68 at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in the fall. Yamane's round was the second-best individual round of the day as well. He finished the tournament with a plus-one 214 to tie for 30th place.

'Kent did a lot of things right; he was pretty steady and he only put one ball in the desert,' Desimone said. 'He made an eagle on 18 by rolling in a 20-footer. Then he made a 20-footer on two, and had a great save on four out of the bunker before he birdied five, so he had quite a stretch. His short-game was very strong. Those can be round-savers.'

Junior Michael Jensen tied for 39th place with a plus-four 217, while freshman Evan Derian, playing in his first collegiate tournament was just behind at 218. Derian, who did not play in the fall due to a back injury, logged a plus-seven 78 in his opening round on Monday, but came back to connect on back-to-back 70's.

'It was a good start for Evan,' Desimone said. 'Again, that first tournament has a lot of emotion and a lot of uncertainty and he showed more confidence as it wore on. If we can keep his back healthy, he'll be a real contributor.'

Sophomore George Gandranata also recovered well from a slow start. After shooting a 76 in the first round, the product of Indonesia logged a pair of par-71's in the final two rounds to finish at 218, matching Derien. Freshman Andrey Mindirgasov rounded out the Bears' rotation with a 229.

Brian Prouty, from host Arizona, won the event with a 199 (minus-14), while Charlie Beljan from New Mexico and Seamus Power from East Tennessee State each notched 203's.

'Today's round is more what we expect from this team,' Desimone said. 'But we want to be in the top third and playing for the championship [in the last round]. We don't have a lot of experience and we'll have some growing pains to get through. We definitely made some mistakes; but those mistakes will become fewer and fewer.'

The Golden Bears have over two weeks off before returning to action at the John Burns Intercollegiate at Leilehua Golf Course in Wahiawa, Oahu, Hawaii from Feb. 21-23.

'We'll set up our qualifying and try to mimic what we'll see in Hawaii,' Desimone said. 'The golf course there is much more forgiving than this golf course. We'll have to put up some low numbers to be competitive. I'd like to keep the momentum and confidence going over the next two weeks.'

Ping/Arizona Intercollegiate (Hosted by Arizona)
Arizona National (Par 71, 6,900 yards)
Tucson, Ariz.

Team Finish: 11th (of 16 teams)
Score: 301-286-278 - 865

T30. Kent Yamane: 72-77-65 - 214 (+1)
T39. Michael Jensen: 75-70-72 - 217 (+4)
T41. George Gandranata: 76-71-71 - 218 (+5)
T41. Evan Derian: 78-70-70 - 218 (+5)
T72. Andrey Mindirgasov: 78-75-76 (+16)

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