Cal Returns to Men's Golf Action in Hawaii

Feb. 16, 2007

The California men's golf team returns to the links on Wednesday with first round action from the John Burns Intercollegiate at Leilehua Golf Course in Honolulu. The three-round tournament will wrap up on Friday, which each days' rounds beginning with 10 a.m. (Pacific) shotgun starts. Live tournament scoring is not available.

The Golden Bears opened the PING/Arizona Intercollegiate slow, shooting a 301 on day one, but rebounded with rounds of 286 and 278 to climb to 11th place in the 16-team field. Cal's round three score was the second-best round of the day. The 564 over the last two rounds was the fifth-best effort in the tournament. UNLV won the event with an 829.

The young Bears were led at the PING/Arizona event by junior Kent Yamane, a junior-college transfer. Yamane fired a 65 in the third round to lift his three-round total to 214 (+1) to finish tied for 30th. 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.

Following Cal's excellent day two performance at the PING/Arizona Intercollegiate, head coach Steve Desimone said, 'Today's round is more what we expect from this team. 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 23-team tournament features six programs ranked in Golfweek's Top 30, led by No. 6 UNLV, No. 14 Brigham Young and No. 15 Texas A&M. Other teams in action include Arizona, Arizona State, host Colorado State, Denver, Hawaii, UH-Hilo, New Mexico and SMU.

BEARS' LINE-UP (with 2006-07 Stats): Cal's lineup (in order, with 2006-07 statistics) for the John Burns Intercollegiate is listed below.

Player Cl. Fall Rounds Strokes Avg. Low Top Finish
Kent Yamane Jr. 12 873 72.8 68 T10
Michael Jensen Jr. 15 1084 72.3 68 8
Evan Derian Fr. 3 218 72.7 70 T41
George Gandranata So. 15 1079 71.9 67 T5
Michael Wilson Sr. 15 1095 73.0 67 1

Junior college transfer Kent Yamane, who had an outstanding final round in Arizona, moves into the top lineup slot for the Golden Bears in Hawaii. Junior Michael Jensen is at No. 2 while freshman Evan Derian hopes to continue on his success after back-to-back 70's in Arizona. Sophomore George Gandranata has been as consistent as any of the Bears since the start of the fall campaign while Michael Wilson, the lone senior on the squad, returns to action this week.

The Golden Bears played five fall tournaments, highlighted by a victory in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational (second year in a row winning the event). George Gandranata led the team with a 12-round average of 71.7 while Michael Jensen was just behind at 72.2. Junior Brandon Beck had a solid fall with a 72.4 over nine rounds and Michael Wilson averaged a 73.0, including the individual title at the MacKenzie. Newcomer Andrey Mindirgasov was impressive in his debut, averaging a 73.1, including a low round of 67 at the MacKenzie.

The Cal men's golf team, led by freshman George Gandranata, who finished with a three-round score of 210 (68, 70, 72), placed 14th at the John Burns Intercollegiate at the Leilehua Golf Course in Wahiawa, Oahu. The Golden Bears had an eight-under-par final score of 856 (289, 282, 285). Other Bear finishers included junior Michael Wilson with a three-under 213 (72, 69, 72) and sophomore Freddy Wolfe had a plus-15 231 (76, 78, 77).

The Golden Bears are expected to be led by a senior, a junior and a sohomore in 2007. Michael Wilson, the senior, has won a school-record three individual titles in his career and is the only Bear remaining from Cal's 2004 NCAA Championship squad. Junior Michael Jensen averaged a 72.2 through 12 rounds in the fall and sophomore George Gandranata led the Bears with a 71.7 average in the fall. Wilson won the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in October, opening with a blistering 65 and wrapping up the title with a 67 and a 70. Jensen led the Bears at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational at -4, while Gandranata logged a pair of 67's at the MacKenzie.

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