Golden Bears Collect Fourth-Place Finish at Western Intercollegiate

March 27, 2008

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The California men's golf team registered its third-straight top-five finish on Thursday, posting a fourth-place effort at the 62nd annual Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo Golf Course. Junior George Gandranata paced the Golden Bears on Thursday and overall, finishing at a plus-10 220.

St. Mary's had an impressive finish on Thursday to wrap up the team title at 880 (+40), edging Michigan State and UC Irvine, both of whom tallied 881's (+41). Cal earned fourth place with its final score of 886 (+46). Northwestern tallied an 893 (+53) to take fifth place in the event.

'Conditions were pretty tough and it was cold, but the course was set-up extremely hard,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. 'I can't remember the last time I've seen a golf course set up with hole locations like that. There were six or seven very good teams there and we all paid the price today.

'But I think overall, given the conditions, and with Evan Derian battling illness, a pretty good finish. I would have liked to see us 100 percent for the tournament. Had we played anything close to the way we played the last few, I would have liked our chances [of winning the team title]. But it was a solid finish; again we continue to play good golf, smart golf for the most part. We're still doing a lot of things right.'

Gandranata was Cal's top finisher for the fifth time this year, tallying nine birdies in his three rounds of play. His final round 74 was one of the top rounds of the day on Thursday and helped him finish in sixth place overall at 220. Freshman Stephen Hale finished at 221 (+11) overall, tied for 10th place - the third top-10 finish of his young career.

'It's been a consistent pattern all year with George and Stephen,' Desimone said. 'They've been trading off all year and doing a great job.'

Freshman Eric Mina recorded the top finish of his career, tying for 17th place with a 223 (+13). Senior Braond Beck had a 224 (+14) for the Bears. Sophomore Evan Derian, who was forced to withdraw from the first round due to illness, tallied a pair of 76's to close out the event.

'What I liked was that we got off to the slow start yesterday and battled back,' Desimone said. 'We did that today; but we played steady, relative to other teams. I think we did a good job to hold on to fourth.'

Playing as individuals, freshman Feldman Tan and sophomore Andrey Mindirgasov tallied totals of 231 (+21) and 234 (+24), respectively.

The Golden Bears will be back in action from April 11-13, playing at the Thunderbird Invitational, hosted by Arizona State University.

'We continue to play well and position ourselves well,' Desimone said. 'We just have to keep doing what we're doing, practice hard and keep playing well and we'll be fine.'

Western Intercollegiate (Hosted by San Jose State)
Pasatiempo Golf Course (Par 70, 6,511 yards)
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Team Place: 4th (of 16 teams)
Score: 296-289-301 - 886 (+ 46)

T6. George Gandranata: 73-73-74 - 220 (+10)
T10. Stephen Hale: 73-70-78 - 221 (+11)
T17. Eric Mina: 77-71-75 - 223 (+13)
T21. Brandon Beck: 73-75-76 - 224 (+14)
Evan Derian: WD-76-76

Team Standings:
1. St. Mary's: 289-292-299 - 880 (+40)
T2. Michigan State: 284-283-314 - 881 (+41)
T2. UC Irvine: 298-289-294 - 881 (+41)
4. California: 296-289-301 - 886 (+46)
5. Northwestern: 294-294-305 - 893 (+53)
6. Texas Tech: 298-297-300 - 895 (+55)
7. Colorado: 294-292-312 - 898 (+58)
8. UC Santa Barbara: 293-298-309 - 900 (+60)
9. Missouri: 302-304-298 - 904 (+64)
10. Nevada: 297-295-313 - 905 (+65)
11. Santa Clara: 306-300-301 - 907 (+67)
12. San Jose State: 292-313-307 - 912 (+72)
13. Fresno State: 298-319-296 - 913 (+73)
14. Hawaii: 302-310-303 - 915 (+75)
15. Long Beach State: 308-303-311 - 922 (+82)
16. Columbia: 312-308-306 - 926 (+86)

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