3-Under Round Vaults Cal to 4th in Conference Challenge Finish
Sept. 1, 2009
RIVERSIDE, Iowa - The Golden Bears ended their first competition of the fall 2009 season on a high note Tuesday at Blue Top Ridge, where California climbed from 8th place to 4th on the strength of solid rounds from the entire lineup to end Golfweek's Collegiate Conference Challenge. Junior Eric Mina was Cal's top individual finisher, with his 1-under total putting him in a tie for 9th place, while newcomer Max Homa had the Bears's best final round with a 3-under 69.
Florida State overcame a 5-shot disadvantage and rumbled to first place with an 8-stroke advantage over host and second-place finisher Iowa.
'You always want to win, but overall I'm just pleased we finished well and had a decent showing,' said Head Coach Steve Desimone.
'We hung tough early and saved the round with some birdies. It's important to play well in the final round and all 5 guys played very respectably today.'
Mina's four bogies tilted his scorecard just above par against his three birdies, while fellow junior Stephen Hale had three birdies on the back nine but suffered a double bogey on the par-4 6th hole to set him back to 1-over on the day, good for an overall tie for 14th.
Homa cruised through most of his third round today with four birdies. His bogey on the par-4 18th put the only blemish on his final round. Fellow newcomer Michael Weaver ended his first Cal competition also in a tie for 30th with a final-round 70 (-1), while Chad Vivolo (T47) delivered a final-round 74 that did not count toward the team's tally on the day.
'It was a good stepping stone, and now we get a chance to settle into a rhythm,' said Coach Desimone of the quick start to 2009-10. 'We had a little stage fright on Sunday and it was a little like an NCAA Regional,' he said about the unique chance to represent the Pac-10 against 14 other conferences.
'I still like the Pac-10's chances,' Desimone said when asked to rate how the Bears fared against the other conferences.The Bears have a two-and-a-half week window to hone their games before resuming competition Sept. 19-20 at the Spartan Golf Classic in East Lansing, Mich., hosted by Michigan State.
Golfweek's Collegiate Conference Challenge (Hosted by Iowa)
Blue Top Ridge (Par 72, 7,505 yards)
Team Place: 8th (of 15 teams) - after final round
Score: 296-288-285 - 869 (+5)
1. Florida State 287-285-281 - 853 (-11)
2. Iowa 288-280-293 - 861 (-3)
3. Coastal Carolina 292-284-290 - 866 (+2)
4. California 296-288-285 - 869 (+5)
5. Baylor 280-295-295 - 870 (+6)
6. Middle Tennessee State 285-294-296 - 875 (+11)
7. Vanderbilt 293-285-298 -876 (+12)
T8. Xavier 290-291-300 - 881 (+17)
T8. Virginia Commonwealth 299-290-292 - 881 (+17)
10. Illinois State 298-294-298 - 890 (+26)
T11. Texas-Arlington 297-297-300 - 894 (+30)
T11. Georgia Southern 306-291-297 - 894 (+30)
13. New Mexico State 297-301-299 -897 (+33)
14. South Florida 310-294-299 -903 (+39)
15. Memphis 302-299-310 -911 (+47)