No. 29/35 Cal Competes at Pac-10 Championship Monday-Wednesday

April 25, 2010

Mon., Apr. 26 (7:00 a.m. MST/PDT) - Pac-10 Championship (Tempe, AZ - ASU Karsten Golf Course)

Tue., Apr. 27 (9:00 a.m. MST/PDT) - Pac-10 Championship (Tempe, AZ - ASU Karsten Golf Course)

Wed., Apr. 28 (8:00 a.m. MST/PDT) - Pac-10 Championship (Tempe, AZ - ASU Karsten Golf Course)

Cal will play at the 2010 Pac-10 Championship hosted by Arizona State at the ASU Karsten Golf Course this Monday-Wednesday, Apr. 26-28. The three-day 72-hole event will begin with 36 holes of action on Monday, followed by 18 holes on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Tee times for Monday's first round start at 7:00 a.m. MST/PDT, while the second 18 holes on the first day of action are scheduled to begin at Noon MST/PDT. Tee-off times for the final two days of the event are Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. PDT/MST, and Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. PDT/MST.

The weather forecast calls for warm weather in Tempe during the 2010 Pac-10 Championship with expected highs of 93 on Monday and 94 on Tuesday. The high temperature on Wednesday is expected to cool to 87.

The 2010 Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship can be followed free online via a live webstream video broadcast from the 18th hole of the event provided by the Pac-10. Live stats from will also be suppplied. Links to the webstream broadcast and live stats, while the Bear Blog will be updated during the event, and a recap and complete results at the end of each day's action will be available by visiting

Cal dropped one place in both the most recent Golfweek and Golfstat national rankings to No. 29 and No. 35, respectively. The Bears began the spring ranked No. 30 (Golfweek) and No. 33 (Golfstat). Cal moved as high as No. 16 (Golfweek) and No. 21 (Golfstat) before dropping back to its current spots.

The Pac-10 Championship was first played in 1960 and this year's tournament hosted by Arizona State at the par-71, 7,057 ASU Karsten Golf Course will be the 51st edition of the annual event. All 10 Pac-10 teams are scheduled to participate with five currently ranked in the nation's top 10 and nine in the top 50 (see rankings below). Each team will field six players with the top five scores each day counting towards the team score. USC's 18 Pac-10 titles lead the conference, followed by Arizona State (12), Stanford (7), UCLA (5), Washington (5), Arizona (3) and Oregon (2). Cal, Oregon State and Washington State are still looking for their first conference crowns.

Team (Golfweek, Golfstat)
Arizona (38, 44)
Arizona State (15, 13)
Cal (29, 35)
Oregon (8, 2)
Oregon State (24, 23)
Stanford (4, 1)
UCLA (6, 4)
USC (10, 10)
Washington (5, 6)
Washington State (72, 69)

Cal has never won the Pac-10 Championship in the 50-year history of the event that began in 1960 (the Golden Bears have played in 47 of the 50 events, not participating from 1980-82 when Cal men's golf was not varsity status). The top finish for the Bears came with a second-place showing in 1995. Cal has also been third on four occasions in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2008. Cal's lone individual champion was in 1995 when current PGA golfer Charlie Wi won the event played in Richland, Wash., with a score of 279. Former Cal player Peter Tomasulo shot an 11-under par score of 61 in the first round the last time the event was played at the ASU Karsten Golf Course for a mark that is tied for the fourth-best round all-time in the event and one off the record held by three players.

Cal finished seventh out of 10 teams at the 2009 Pac-10 Championship played at the Seattle Golf Club. Eric Mina (23rd, 73-72-76-72 - 293, +4) is the only player in this year's lineup that played the event in 2009. John Murphy, who is redshirting for the Bears in 2009-10, was Cal's top finisher at the 2009 Pac-10's with a fifth-place finish (69-73-69-72 - 284, -5). Michael Jensen (31st-T, 77-73-75-71 - 296, +8), Stephen Hale (77-75-69-75 - 296, +8), George Gandranata (76-75-74-76 - 301, +13) and Kent Yamane (79-82-79-73 - 313, +25) were the Bears other participants in 2009. Host Washington won the event at the Seattle Golf Club in dominating fashion, finishing 16-under par with a four-round total of 1424 that was 18 strokes better than second-place finisher Oregon. Washington's Darren Wallace won the individual medalist title at 11-under par.

The Cal men's golf team won a school-record-tying three regular-season tournaments during its 11 outings in 2009-10. The Golden Bears captured the Spartan Golf Classic (Sept. 19-20) hosted by Michigan State and its own Alister MacKenize Invitational (Oct. 12) in the fall of 2009. Cal then started the spring portion of its schedule with a victory at the Arizona Intercollegiate (Feb. 1-2). The Bears have finished in the top four in seven of the 11 events they have played overall, also taking second at the USC Collegiate Invitational (Mar. 1-2), tying for third at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate (Feb. 17-19) hosted by Hawai'i, placing fourth at the season-opening Golfweek Conference Challenge (Aug. 30 - Sept. 1) hosted by Iowa and fifth at the National Invitational Tournament (Mar. 17-18) hosted by Arizona, in addition to the three tournament victories.

Cal's lineup for the Pac-10 Championship (in order, with 2009-10 Cal statistics and national rankings)

(1) Eric Mina - Jr. - 32 - 2269 - 70.9 - 66 - 1 - 44 - 34
2009-10 Notes: Has the club's lowest stroke average in and is the team's only golfer to have played in all 11 events and 32 rounds ... has been the team's top golfer in six of 11 tournaments, including each of the last two ... victorious at the Spartan Classic and tied for the team lead along with Chad Vivolo with four top-10 showings ... coming off the best round of his career the last time he played when he fired a 66 in the third and final round at the U.S. Intercollegiate on Apr. 13.
Pac-10 Championship History: Has played the event twice, finishing 23rd in 2009 with a five-over par score of 293 at the Seattle Golf Club after tying for 40th with a 13-over par score of 297 when the Bears hosted the event at the Meadow Club in Fairfax in 2008.

(2) Michael Weaver - Fr. - 20 - 1453 - 72.7 - 64 - T2 - 207 - ---
2009-10 Notes: Tied for second at the Arizona Intercollegiate to open the spring schedule before missing a pair of tournaments due to illness ... had a second top-10 finish when he tied for eighth at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational to complete the fall season ... has returned to the lineup for each of the last four events with a top finish of a 24th-place tie at the National Invitational.

(3) Brandon Hagy - Fr. - 18 - 1322 - 73.4 - 67 - T16 - 472 - ---
2009-10 Notes: Played the first four tournaments of the spring and then was out of the lineup for two events before playing the final tournament of the regular season at the U.S. Intercollegiate ... posted the team's second-best score behind Eric Mina when he returned, firing a solid five-over par 215 that included the second-best round of his career with a 69 in the third and final round ... best round of his career came when he shot a 67 during the middle round of the first event of the spring at the Arizona Intercollegiate.

(4) Chad Vivolo - Jr. - 29 - 2104 - 72.6 - 66 - T5 - 277 - ---
2009-10 Notes: Tied with Eric Mina for the team lead with four top-10 finishes this season (National Invitational Tournament, Spartan Classic, USC Collegiate Invitational, Arizona Intercollegiate) ... has the third-lowest stroke average on the team behind Eric Mina and Stephen Hale ... finished a career-best tied for fifth at the National Invitational Tournament.

(5) Evan Derian - Jr. - 9 - 683 - 75.9 - 73 - T65 - 169* - ---2009-10 Notes: Has played in two tournaments with the team, participating in the Windon Memorial and the John A. Burns Intercollegiate ... also played at the U.S. Intercollegiate as an individual and shot back-to-back three-over par 73's in final two rounds.
Pac-10 Championship History: Has participated in the event twice ... played a huge role in the Bears third-place 2008 finish, tying for sixth (284, E) ... tied for 36th in 2007 with a seven-over par score of 295 when the event was held at the Eugene Country Club.

(6) James Coré - RFr. - 8 - 592 - 74.0 - 68 - 41* - ---2009-10 Notes: Top finish is a tie for 22nd at the Windon Memorial when he shot a 10-over par 223, including a one-over par 72 in final round ... had his best 18 holes of his career in the second round of the Alister MacKenzie when he shot a three-under par 68.
*Secondary ranking, not enough rounds to qualify for primary ranking

DES SAYS (Head coach Steve Desimone talks about the Bears)
On how the lineup for the Pac-10 Championship was arrived at
'We went through qualifying this week and cumulative scores over the year going all the way back through the fall and the spring.with those cumulative scores being a combination of tournaments and qualifying. We really looked at two variables - how guys played last week over three rounds and how they had played all year. Those that have played well all year they were obviously going to be automatic, guys like Michael Weaver and Eric Mina, who's had an incredibly great season, and then Chad Vivolo and Brandon Hagy. Then it came down to Evan Derian, Jamie Coré, Stephen Hale and Max Homa for the final two spots. By the time we were done analyizg the numbers at the end of the day, this looks like the best lineup we can put out there right now.'

On what he wants to see out of his team at the Pac-10 Championship
'You look at where we were a year ago with John Murphy, Michael Jensen, George Gandrata, two young guys in Eric Mina and Stephen Hale, and we knew that this was going to be a transitional year. The hope was, and we believe we've accomplished it, that we would by the end of the season have gone through enough positive and strong successful tournaments that some of the younger guys that we are really banking on now were ready to step up and play major college golf. For the most part this year, they have done exactly that. No question we have had a lull here over the last three or four weeks, but I can smile when I say that we've had a very good week of playing and qualifying heading into the Pac-10 Championship, probably the best we've had in the last six out seven weeks. I think we've got a little bit of optimism as we head into the tournament.'

On the competition and qualify of teams in the Pac-10
'Right now we have seven of the top 23 teams in the country with both us and Arizona knocking on the doorThey are also knocking on the door. Washington State has also had a pretty good year and I think if the NCAA Regional selections were to be made right now that all 10 teams would be selected. I think all of the other coaches would agree with me that this is the strongest the conference has ever been. I think nine teams think they realistically have a shot of winning the Pac-10 Championship and making some real strides at the NCAA Championship. It would not surprise me in the least to see three of four Pac-10 teams advance to match play at the NCAA Championship, see a couple in the finals and one to be crowned champions.'

On Cal's history and memories at the Pac-10 Championship
'No question how strong this conference has been over the years. We had some pretty decent success in the 90's and we finished third here in 2008. Playing and competing in the Pac-10 Championship is a very special time. It's a wonderful event with all 10 teams there. You see all the banners and you know all the teams, you know how good the competition is. You just know that you're proud to be a part of the conference and the Pac-10 Tournament.'

On having played at the ASU Karsten Golf Course earlier this spring
'I'm not sure how much of an advantage it really is. I think nine of the 10 conference teams played there earlier this month at the Thunderbird Invitational. I will say though that most of the conference teams are more heavily-laden with veterans and experienced players who played the course more frequently than we have. I believe that three of the five guys that represented us at the Thunderbird Invitational were playing the course for the first time. I can tell you that the ASU Karsten Golf Course is a fairly unique expeirence with a set of reasonably easy to holes to play, but also a very difficult set of five or six holes, especially three or four holes with lots of water. I think it was an enlightening expeirence for us, and I do think we will pick up a little more experience than other teams because of our lack of inexperience there in the past. We're still a little behind the eight ball because neither Jamie Coré or Brandon Hagy have played at ASU.'

Cal men's golf has made amazing strides since Steve Desimone (Cal, 1970) began his tenure as head coach in the spring of 1980, evolving from a club sport into one of the elite varsity golf programs in the country in the 1990's before winning the NCAA title in 2004. In the midst of his 31st season at the helm of Cal golf, Desimone is largely responsible for the level of success enjoyed by the program. He was named Golfweek's 2003-04 College Coach of the Year and was presented with the 2004 Grand Master of the Year award by the Northern California Golf Association after leading the Golden Bears to the 2004 national title. Desimone has directed the Bears to 14 NCAA Regionals (1990, '93, '95, '97, '98, '99, 2000, '01, '02, '03, '04, '07, '08, '09) and five NCAA Championship events (1995, '98, '99, 2000, '04). He was voted Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year in 1987. A member of the Cal basketball team as an undergraduate, Desimone graduated from Cal in 1970.

Associate head coach Walter Chun (Cal, 2001) is in his sixth season on the Bears coaching staff and his first in his current role. Chun, who spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Cal from 2004-09, was named the 2008 Jan Strickland Award winner honoring best assistant coach in the nation.

Director of Golf Operations Curt David (Pacific, 1989) and volunteer assistant coach Gene Bakkum (UC Davis, 2000) are also in their sixth season with the Bears. George Gandranata (Cal, 2010) is in his first season as a Cal volunteer undergraduate assistant.

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