U.S. Intercollegiate Sat.-Sun. for Men's Golf
April 16, 2009
STANFORD - CALIFORNIA STILL CLAWING AND SCRATCHING: The final regular-season event of 2008-09 tees off Saturday at Stanford University Golf Course as the Golden Bears seek to set a successful tone for the postseason at the U.S. Intercollegiate.
THE EVENT: The U.S. Intercollegiate takes place at Stanford University Golf Course, which features a 6,727-yard, par-70 layout. First and second rounds will be played continuously on Saturday beginning with a shotgun start. Last year, Cal played perhaps some its best golf of 2007-08, finishing in third place ahead of five ranked teams. Then-junior George Gandranata and then-freshman Stephen Hale led the Bears, both finishing the event at 213 (+3) to tie for 13th place overall. Cal and UCLA were tied for third at 857 (+17). Live scoring will be available at Golfstat.com.
DES SAYS: 'We'd had a pretty good stretch last spring and were on a pretty good roll,' says Head Coach Steve Desimone of where his team was last year at this time. 'Clearly we have not been the same team since. We've been erratic; when we've been good, we've been very good, but when we've been bad, we've certainly been bad. There's been very little in between, and I'm hoping that we can find some middle ground, keep strong play and eliminate some of those down cycles.'
BEAR LINEUP: Cal's lineup (in order, with 2008-09 statistics)
Player YR RDS STROKES AVG LOW TOP FINISHJohn Murphy Jr. 27 1976 73.2 68 2George Gandranata Sr. 24 1779 74.1 69 T7Stephen Hale So. 30 2213 73.8 68 T15Eric Mina So. 30 2199 73.3 67 T3Michael Jensen Sr. 27 1984 73.5 68 T1
LINEUP LOOK: The Cal lineup continues custom with its order emulating the Bears' finish at their last tournament, with John Murphy is in the No. 1 slot, followed by George Gandranata, Stephen Hale, Eric Mina and Michael Jensen.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD: The 17-team field - which includes five individuals in the top 25, five top-25 teams and nine Pac-10 schools - consists of Arizona State, Chico State, Northwestern, Oregon State, Pepperdine, Santa Clara, St. Andrews University (Scotland), Stanford, Washington State, California, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, Oregon, USC, Texas and Washington. 'It's reality-check time,' says Coach Desimone. 'This team needs to make a stand, it needs to put up three good rounds, it needs to compete in an outstanding field. This is very much like an NCAA Regional field here - probably 11 or 12 of these teams will be in the regionals. It's time for us to get in there, mix it up and put some good numbers up in a high-quality field.'
LAST TIME OUT: Unable to sustain the momentum created by a scorching second round, the Golden Bears fell seven spots during the final round of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational and finished 13th at Karsten Golf Course. Junior John Murphy shot a 1-under final round to finish in an individual tie for 7th (-1). Arizona State, with two lineups in the competition, won the event at -4, the only under-par total team score in the event. 'The second round was one of the best rounds of the year. We did just about everything right,' Desimone says. 'Even when we missed greens, we missed them in the right spots. We were able to get the ball close the hole and made our putts. All this despite winds during the last hour and a half that may have been the strongest I can ever remember us playing in. It was blowing 50 mph at times.'
SEEING CARDINAL RED: 'Anytime you tee it up with Stanford, at Stanford, there is that great rivalry between two wonderful schools,' Desimone says. 'It's a great golf course, one we're very familiar with. You would think there are a lot of things working in our favor as we head into this weekend. There's a thing called bragging rights, and one team wants to beat the other. When you tee it up and see Stanford on the other side, it's time to get serious.'
CAL-STANFORD ALUMNI EVENT MAY 4 AT CASTLEWOOD: A combined Cal-Stanford Alumni event will take place on May 4 at Castlewood Country Club, hosted by Cal alumnus Walt Edgerly. It includes a fundraising tournament with proceeds to be shared by both programs. Donating participants will play with Cal or Stanford team members and mingle with the coaching staffs, with net and gross winner prizes, food and hors d' oeuvres, and a silent auction. Contact the golf office at (510) 643-5914 for more information.
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