Golden Bears Travel to L.A. for USC Collegiate Invitational

March 2, 2007

The California men's golf team will play its first in-state tournament of the spring on Monday and Tuesday, competing at the USC Collegiate Invitational, formerly known as the Ashworth Invitational. The 30th annual event will be played at the North Ranch C.C. in Westlake Village, Calif., on North Ranch's par-71, 6,900-yard course. The first 36 holes will be played Monday with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. and 18 more holes will be contested on Tuesday, at 7:15 a.m. off the 1st and 10th tees. Live stats throughout each day will be available at

Junior Michael Jensen had his fourth career top-10 finish to lead the California men's golf team to an 11th-place finish at the John Burns Intercollegiate men's golf tournament at the Leilehua Golf Course in Hawaii from Feb. 21-23. Freshman Evan Derian and sophomore George Gandranata each finished at 219 for the Bears, tying for 52nd overall. Junior Kent Yamane fired a 72 in the final round to complete his recovery from a tough opening round. His 145 over the final two rounds was tied for the second-best on the team, though his opening 82 dropped him to a final total of 227. Senior Michael Wilson finished with a three-round 225.

After Cal finished in the top half of the field at the competitive John Burns Intercollegiate in Hawaii, head coach Steve Desimone said, 'We competed and I am proud of the guys, but we were close to doing something special and didn't get it done. There were a lot of great teams right near us and they edged us by a couple of shots. We're closing the gap, we're doing some good things, but this is not where we should be. We have to play smarter golf. We're doing a lot right, but we're still throwing too many shots away.'

The 15-team tournament field includes USC, Stanford, Coastal Carolina, UCLA, Loyola Marymount, California, Washington State, Oregon State, Oregon, Pepperdine (last year's champion), Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech, Tennessee and BYU.

BEARS' LINE-UP: Cal's lineup (in order, with 2006-07 statistics) for the USC Collegiate Invitational is listed below.

Player Cl. 06-07 Rounds Strokes Avg. Low Top Finish
Michael Jensen Jr. 18 1294 71.9 68 8
George Gandranata So. 18 1298 72.1 67 T5
Evan Derian Fr. 6 437 72.9 70 T41
Kent Yamane Jr. 15 1100 73.3 65 T10
Andrey Mindirgasov Fr. 15 1079 71.9 67 T5

Junior Michael Jensen moves to the top slot in the Bear lineup for the upcoming USC Collegiate. Jensen was very impressive with three below-par rounds in Hawaii last week, finishing at a six-under 216 to tie for eighth place. Sophomore George Gandranata continued his solid performance and is at 72.8 after two spring tourneys. Freshman Evan Derian has also been impressive since returning to the course from back problems. Junior college transfer Kent Yamane struggled in the opening round in Hawaii, but finished 73-72 and hopes to carry that success into Monday. Freshman Andrey Mindirgasov returns to the lineup this week after not playing in the last tourney.

The Golden Bears have been a regular comeptitor at the USC Collegiate Invitational, formerly known as the Ashworth Invitational. Cal's best effort in the event came in 1990 when it took the championship behind All-American Ben Furth, who won the inidividual title. The Bears did not compete in the event in 2006. In their last appearance, in 2004, the Bears were led to a fifth-place finish by Peter Tomasulo, who tied for second in the event.

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 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.

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