Cal Takes Second At USC Collegiate Invitational after Strong Round Tuesday

March 2, 2010

WESTLAKE VILLAGE - Cal bolted up an additional four spots with a second straight strong round of golf on Tuesday to finish second overall at the USC Collegiate Invitational hosted by USC at the North Ranch Country Club. The Golden Bears were in 11th place after the first 18 holes of the event Monday but combined to shoot nine-under par over the final 36 holes, including a five-under par round of 279 on Tuesday that featured three birdies by scoring players on the 17th hole of the day. Cal finished the tournament with a five-under par 54-hole team score of 847.

'Every great team and every great player has to compete,' said head coach Steve Desimone. 'What we're seeing from our guys is that they want to compete.'

Cal's second-place finish and surge over the final two rounds was especially impressive considering a tournament field that featured seven teams ranked in the nation's top 25 and 12 among the country's top 50.

Oregon (279-277-275 - 831, -21) won the event for the first time in school history with a comfortable 16-shot margin over the Bears. Arizona State (282-279-288 - 849, -3) was third two shots behind Cal and followed by Pepperdine (289-276-286 - 851, -1), San Diego (293-280-278 - 851, -1) and USC (283-283-285 - 851, -1), in a fourth-place tie.

'There's no question that some of these teams that we are beating are making designs on a national championship,' said Desimone. 'Logic is pretty clear that if these teams are thinking about that and we're beating them, you would think that maybe we ought to give that some thought, too.'

Chad Vivolo shot even par 71 on Tuesday and finished in a tie for eighth place overall (72-67-71 - 210, -3) to lead the Bears' efforts. Vivolo's round on Tuesday was an up-and-down performance that included three bogeys in the first six holes, but birdies on two of the final four holes that brought him back to even for the day.

The story of the day on Tuesday was the four-under par round of 67 fired by Max Homa in only his second collegiate golf tournament. Homa had six birdies on Tuesday, including each of the final three holes. He finished tied for 16th in the final overall standings at one-under par (75-70-67 - 212, -1) after being tied for 36th following his three-over par first round.

'Great teams have to have contributions from everybody and we certainly had that this tournament,' said Desimone. 'Today's round was very impressive for Max, especially considering this was only his second career collegiate tournament. But, he's known as a guy who always plays in the clutch, and he couldn't have clutched it up more than he did today. That was a great finish, and we needed every one of them.'

Eric Mina also tied for 16th overall at one-under par (72-70-70 - 212, -1) after capping a consistent two-day effort with a second consecutive round of 70. Mina was steady on Tuesday with three birdies, two bogies and 13 pars. He had 13 pars during each of his three rounds in the tournament.

Brandon Hagy continued to rebound from a difficult first round of 79 to score for the Bears for the second straight round with an even-par 71 on Tuesday. Hagy, who finished tied for 57th in the event at 10-over par (79-73-71 - 223, +10), had an eagle, three birdies, three bogeys, a double bogey and 10 pars on Tuesday.

Stephen Hale placed higher than Hagy overall, tying for 32nd place with at three-over par (69-75-72 - 216, +3), although was edged out among the Bears' scorers for the second consecutive round after leading the Bears with a 69 in the opening round. Hale's 72 on Tuesday consisted of birdies on both par fives and three bogeys.James Coré (76-75-74 - 225, +12) also competed in the tournament as an individual and tied for 67th place.

'Good golf teams have to do a lot of things well, but we are doing two things very well in particular,' said Desimone. 'Our short game has really improved and we are also managing the game well and making good decisions. When you start doing those kinds of things, you've got a chance to be a great team. We've beaten some highly-ranked teams lately, and it's pretty clear this is a heck of a golf team.'

Cal returns to action March 8-9 for the Fresno State Lexus Invitational to be played at the San Joaquin Country Club.

USC Collegiate Invitational (Hosted by USC)
Westlake Village, CA - North Ranch Country Club (Par 71, 6,869 yards)

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS (after 2 of 2 days/3 of 3 rounds/54 of 54 holes)
1. Oregon 279-277-275 - 831 (-21)
2. Cal 288-280-279 - 847 (-5)
3. Arizona State 282-279-288 - 849 (-3)
4T. Pepperdine 289-276-286 - 851 (-1)
4T. San Diego 293-280-278 - 851 (-1)
4T. USC 283-283-285 - 851 (-1)
7. Fresno State 282-287-285 - 854 (+2)
8. Stanford 278-292-285 - (+3)
9. UCLA 284-282-291 - 857 (+5)
10. Charlotte 284-288-294 - 866 (+14)
11. UC Davis 291-292-285 - 868 (+16)
12. BYU 286-293-290 - 869 (+17)
13. Oregon State 283-301-285 - 869 (+17)
14. San Diego State 287-295-292 - 874 (+22)

TOURNAMENT WINNER (after 2 of 2 days/3 of 3 rounds/54 of 54 holes)
1. Eugene Wong (Oregon) 65-69-69 - 203 (-10)

FINAL CAL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (after 2 of 2 days/3 of 3 rounds/54 of 54 holes)
8T. Chad Vivolo 72-67-71 - 210 (-3)
16T. Max Homa 75-70-67 - 212 (-1)
16T. Eric Mina 72-70-70 - 212 (-1)
33T. Stephen Hale 69-75-72 - 216 (+3)
57T. Brandy Hagy 79-73-71 - 223 (+10)
*67T. James Coré 76-75-74 - 225 (+12)
*Competing as an individual

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