California Takes Seventh at USC Collegiate Invitational

March 6, 2007

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - Freshman Andrey Mindirgasov shot an even-par round on Tuesday to lead the California men's golf team to a seventh-place finish at the USC Collegiate Invitational on North Ranch Country Club's 6,900-yard course. Mindirgasov tied for 15th in the event with a plus-three 216 overall.

Stanford captured the team title by firing a 248 (-4) over the 72 holes. USC was in second place (853, +1), while, Tennessee (868, +16), UCLA (870, +18) and BYU (873, +21) rounded out the top five. The Golden Bears finished in seventh place with an 880 (+28), just behind Coastal Carolina (978, +26).

'They have this course set up very tough,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. 'It is very firm with very fast greens, treacherous, quick, tough hole-locations. It was a tough mix. Not only that, it may have been the best field we have played in all year. We continue to compete with some of the best teams in the country. We took a big step towards NCAA Regional competition by beating some teams in our district. I was pleased with the way the guys fought through all three rounds. Those are positive signs.'

Mindirgasov was plus-two after the front nine on Tuesday, but then connected on three birdies with just one bogey on the back nine to come in at even par. In the opening round, the freshman had fired a two-under 69.

'Andrey got off to a slow start [on Monday], but he kept digging,' Desimone said. 'That 71 today was a really solid round looking at the other scores. He managed his game well and he managed his emotions well. You have to do both of those things to be successful in this game.'

Sophomore George Gandranata was the next top finisher for the Bears, tallying an eight-over 221 in the three rounds. Junior Kent Yamane had opened the event with a first-round 70, but slipped to a nine-over 222 to finish tied for 39th place.

Junior Michael Jensen finished with back-to-back 74's to close at 225 (+12) while freshman Evan Derian notched a 230 (+17).

USC's Rory Hie won the individual title with a minus-five 208. Brian Locke from Loyola Marymount was second at 210 (-3).

'We'll go back to qualifying on Thursday and we'll see who's ready to play,' Desimone said. 'Weather permitting, we should have three or four qualifying rounds before our next tournament. We are clearly getting better; I like our direction. I hope we continue to make more strides into the latter part of the season.'

Cal returns to action on Mar. 19-20 at the Western Intercollegiate, hosted by San Jose State.

USC Collegiate

(Hosted by USC)
North Ranch Country Club (Par 71, 6,900 yards)
Westlake Village, Calif.

Team Place: 7th (of 15 teams)
Score: 288-297-295 - 880 (+28)

T15. Andrey Mindirgasov: 69-76-71 - 216 (+3)
T33. George Gandranata: 74-72-75 - 221 (+8)
T39. Kent Yamane: 70-75-77 - 222 (+9)
T47. Michael Jensen: 77-74-74 - 225 (+12)
T61. Evan Derian: 75-80-75 - 230 (+17)

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