Cal Men's Golf in 21st Place After Day One of NCAA West Regional

May 15, 2008

BREMERTON, Wash. - The California men's golf team had a slow start at the NCAA West Regional Championship on Thursday morning at Gold Mountain Golf Club, finishing the opening day in a tie for 21st place in the 27-team field. However, despite the low finish, the Golden Bears are just six strokes out of the all-important top-10 - the top 10 teams at each of three regionals advance to the NCAA National Championships.

The Pac-10 as a league had a very impressive showing, taking the top four spots after day one. Oregon had an excellent opening round, firing a one-over 289 to hold first place. USC, UCLA and host Washington are all tied for second place, two strokes behind the Ducks. Pepperdine rounds out the top five with a 292 (+4).

'We didn't start very well and we never seemed to get on track,' Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. 'It's hard to know why. We made some of the mistakes that we've made all year. We've been able to overcome them sometimes, but on a great course like this in a really strong field, those mistakes are magnified. We didn't escape today. Fortunately, we are very much within striking distance. We've been a slow-starting team all year and we have seemed to play better as tournaments evolve. I certainly hope that's how it goes. We'll see what happens tomorrow.'

Cal as a team had just six birdies over the front nine as the Bears slipped behind the leaders early. The team improved somewhat on the back nine, connecting on 10 birdies, but still not enough to crack into the top half of the event.

Junior George Gandranata and sophomore Evan Derian were Cal's top finisher, both shooting plus-three 75's on the cool, breezy morning. Gandratana, who has been Cal's most consistent golfer this year, had five birdies, but a pair of uncharacteristic double bogeys in his opening round. Derian had three birdies, four bogeys and one double bogey.

Senior Brandon Beck tallied a 77 (+5) for the Bears, while Cal's standout freshmen, Eric Mina and Stephen Hale both struggled in their debuts on the NCAA stage. Mina had a plus-six 78 and Hale shot an 82 on the day.

The field was broken up into two groups based on seeding for Thursday's round. Cal was part of the morning group, while the afternoon session saw the fog burn off and more sunshine, though the wind picked up as well. The groups will flip-flop for Friday, with Cal's first golfer scheduled to tee off at 12:12 p.m. For Saturday's final round, the teams will tee off based on tournament standings through Friday.

This is Cal's 10th NCAA appearance in the last 12 years as well as the 13th overall regional appearance for the Golden Bears who placed third in the Pac-10 Championships in late April, their best finish since 2000.

NCAA West Regional Men's Golf Championship (Hosted by Washington)
Gold Mountain Golf Club (Par 72, 7,111 yards)
Bremerton, Wash.

Team Place: Tied 21st (of 27 teams) - after day one
Score: 305 (+17)

T49. Evan Derian: 75 (+3)
T49. George Gandranata: 75 (+3)
T85. Brandon Beck: 77 (+5)
T99. Eric Mina: 78 (+6)
T132. Stephen Hale: 82 (+10)

Team Standings:
1. Oregon: 289 (+1)
T2. USC: 291 (+3)
T2. UCLA: 291 (+3)
T2. Washington: 291 (+3)
5. Pepperdine: 292 (+4)
6. St. Mary's: 294 (+6)
T7. Clemson: 295 (+7)
T7. North Carolina: 295 (+7)
9. Stanford: 296 (+8)
10. Texas: 299 (+11)
T11. UCF: 301 (+13)
T11. UNLV: 301 (+13)
T13. San Diego State: 302 (+14)
T13. Texas Tech: 302 (+14)
T13. Kentucky: 302 (+14)
T13. Oregon State: 302 (+14)
T17. LSU: 304 (+16)
T17. Arizona State: 304 (+16)
T17. Florida State: 304 (+16)
T17. Wisconsin: 304 (+16)
T21. California: 305 (+17)
T21. Kansas State: 305 (+17)
23. Oklahoma: 306 (+18)
24. San Diego: 308 (+20)
25. Denver: 309 (+21)
26. Navy: 312 (+24)
27. Columbia: 314 (+26)

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