Cal Up a Spot to Finish 5th at Western Intercollegiate
March 31, 2009
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Three Golden Bears ended their Western Intercollegiate tournaments in the top 20, led by Eric Mina's 67 (-3) on the final day to finish tied for 6th, as California climbed one spot into a 5th-place finish (+45) at Pasatiempo Golf Course on Tuesday. Oregon won the three-round team title at +25 and Oregon State's Diego Velasquez was the top individual finisher with his even-par 210.
Mina kicked off his final round on hole 4 with a birdie and followed that two holes later with an eagle on the par 5, 555-yard 6th hole, putting down three more birdies to finish the event at 215 (+5)
Michael Jensen also started with a birdie on hole 6 and was under par until a double bogey down the stretch put him +1 on the day and +11 overall (T13).
John Murphy had to battle through a triple-bogey 12th hole to end his final round at 77 (+7) and finish tied for 36th (+17).
Stephen Hale ended the event in a tie for 20th, bogeying his first hole but righting the ship enough to end Tuesday's round with a 73 (+3).
Kent Yamane's final-day 83 did not count toward the team's combined score for Tuesday, and his +29 left him in a tie for 73rd.
'We were due to play better, we got some improved play and I was very pleased with some things,' said Head Coach Steve Desimone of the final round. 'Eric had a great tournament; Michael played well, he seems to be regaining the confidence he had earlier in the year; and Stephen Hale worked out some kinks in the last 24 hours.
'Overall we've had a really strong year with three events to go. I still see us situated very well for NCAA Regional competition.'
Coach Desimone cautioned that strong final rounds are not the antidote for missed opportunities earlier in the competitions: 'I give us credit for playing a good round today, but we let too much slip over the first two days. You can't rest for 36 holes, then turn it on and expect miracles to happen We have got to play 3 consistently good rounds and we haven't done that enough.'
The tournament saw its second and third holes-in-one today as Ryan Blackburn of Mercer University hit a knockdown 8-iron six feet beyond the pin on the par 3, 141-yard, 15th hole and watched the ball spin back to the middle of the cup; followed later on the same hole by host San Jose State's Nick Brown, who lofted a high pitching wedge 10 feet beyond the pin and spun the ball back into hole. Michigan State's Graham Baillargeon had a hole-in-one on the 8th hole in round two.
Cal will return home and to begin preparations for the ASU Thunderbird Invitational April 10-11 in Tempe, Ariz.
63rd Annual Western Intercollegiate (Hosted by San Jose State)
Pasatiempo Golf Course (Par 70, 6,511 yards)
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Team Place: 5th (of 18 teams) - after day three
Score: 293-304-288 - 885 (+45)
1. Oregon 290-293-282 - 865 (+25)
T2. Colorado 283-302-288 - 873 (+33)
T2. Fresno State 278-301-294 - 873 (+33)
4. Michigan State 290-297-287 - 874 (+34)
5. California 293-304-288 - 885 (+45)
6. Oregon State 306-292-290 - 888 (+48)
7. Denver 294-295-304 - 893 (+53)
8. Long Beach State 306-306-287 - 909 (+69)
T9. UC Santa Barbara 294-311-305 - 910 (+70)
T9. Pacific 294-307-309 - 910 (+70)
11. Mercer 291-311-309 - 911 (+71)
12. San Jose State 301-310302 - 913 (+73)
13. Saint Mary's 298-315-301 - 914 (+74)
14. Nevada 295-310-310 - 915 (+75)
15. Wyoming 303-319-307 - 929 (+89)
16. Kansas 307-319-304 - 930 (+90)
17. Santa Clara 320-321-316 - 957 (+117)
18. Brown 314-328-319 - 961 (+121)