Men's Golf Finishes 7th at The Prestige
Oct. 14, 2008
LA QUINTA, Calif. - Unable to make further headway in Tuesday's final round of action at The Prestige, California battled to a final standing of 7th on the Greg Norman Course at PGA West. Texas Christian held onto its top spot from Monday and won the event as the only team to finish under par after three rounds. Eric Mina ended tied for 15th with his plus-1 final round (+5 overall) to lead the Golden Bears as Cal ended its fall competition optimistic for spring.
'Plus-4 today, plus-5 yesterday afternoon - we dug ourselves a pretty big hole and we just couldn't get out of it,' said head coach Steve Desimone. 'The teams that putted well are the teams that raced up the leader board, and unfortunately we didn't make a lot of putts. And we weren't the only team; there were a lot of other teams that had coaches bemoaning the same thing.'
Cal stayed glued to the seventh spot on a final day that yielded little movement among the top eight teams, with only Michigan falling back from sixth to 12th. Washington leapt from 11th to a final finish of fifth on the merits of its team total of 276 in the final round, the best by two strokes over tournament winner Texas Christian's 278.
Eric Mina led the Bears with his plus-1 final round of 73 to finish tied for 15th among individuals (+5). On a day when every Cal player suffered some bogies, Michael Jensen was the only Bear not to bogey the 18th hole, ending his Prestige in a tie for 21st (+8). George Gandranata ended his final round three shots better than either of his Monday rounds to finish tied for 25th (+9). John Murphy birdied holes one and two on Tuesday en route to his second plus-2 74 and a tie for 39th (+13), while Stephen Hale shaved five shots from his score for the second consecutive round to end up tied for 55th (+15).
'This doesn't dampen what we've done in the fall,' Desimone said, referring to his team's top-three finishes in its previous three outings. 'What was surprising was, for the first time all year, yesterday morning all five guys struggled at once. One of the hallmarks of this so far is it's had great balance. We've always had three, four, five guys in every round. The conditions were very difficult and it was all too easy to get off to a ragged start. We just couldn't get anything going.'
Summed up Desimone, 'This is Oct. 14. The real question is, what kind of team are we going to have when we get to May 14? That's what it's all about. Yes, we have things to work on, make no mistake about that, but it's been one of the best falls we've had in the last eight to 10 years. I like the way things are setting up for the spring.'
The Prestige (Hosted by UC Davis and Stanford)
Greg Norman Course at PGA West (Par 72, 7,156 yards)
La Quinta, Calif.
Team Place: 7th (of 16 teams)
Score: 312-293-292 - 897 (+33)
T15. Eric Mina 77-71-73 - 221 (+5)
T21. Michael Jensen 78-72-74 - 224 (+8)
T25. George Gandranata 76-76-73 - 225 (+9)
T39. John Murphy 81-74-74 - 229 (+13)
T55. Stephen Hale 82-77-72 - 231 (+15)
Team Standings:1. TCU: 294-289-278 -861 (-3)
2. UC Davis: 306-280-285 - 871 (+7)
3. Stanford: 297-292-290 - 879 (+15)
4. UCF: 303-295-284 - 882 (+18)
5. Washington: 310-303-276 - 889 (+25)
6. Pepperdine: 300-298-298 - 896 (+32)
7. California: 312-293-292 - 897 (+33)
T8. Northwestern: 308-298-294 - 900 (+36)
T8. Michigan State: 327-290-283 - 900 (+36)
10. Notre Dame: 307-301-293 - 901 (+37)
11. Colorado: 306-303-296 - 905 (+41)
12. Michigan: 310-292-306 - 908 (+44)
13. Kentucky: 309-310-291 - 910 (+46)
14. Florida Southern: 302-315-295 - 912 (+48)
15. Pacific: 317-305-299 - 921 (+57)
16. Rice: 322-302-302 - 926 (+62)