Cal Men’s Golf Is Back
BERKELEY – On Jan. 9, Cal men's golf held its first practice of the season, returning to the course as a team for the first time in 305 days.
"I knew I wasn't going to sleep well the night before," Alex and Marie Shipman Director of Men's Golf Walter Chun said. "It's like a kid at Christmas when you know the next day something special is going to happen. So, I was up at 4am, just excited to have some semblance of normalcy, seeing everyone in-person."
One of the people leading the Golden Bears this season will be senior Finigan Tilly, who enters his fifth year with the program. The San Carlos, Calif., native had a pair of top-5 finishes last season, four in the top 20 and he won the California State Fair Championship this past September 7.
"Everyone on the team has been looking forward to getting back into college golf for close to a year now and I can tell at qualifying and practice that there is a strong hunger and eagerness to compete," Tilly said. "I think it's important to channel this desire into hard work and dedication and that's what we're currently doing. It's great to be back on campus as a unit and working together for one goal, and that's to win. This time off has taught me to appreciate all the things that we're able to do, and I'm very grateful to be able to play for such a great university and program. I can't wait to tee it up again as a Cal Bear."
Freshman Aaron Du will be another big piece of the men's golf roster this season. Entering his year season with the Bears, the Beijing, China, native ranked as high as 18th in the Rolex AJGA rankings while at Lake Mary Preparatory High School in Florida last year.
"I'm really excited after a tough year like 2020," Du said. "Everyone has been working really hard on their game during the pandemic. It feels nice to be back and I'm looking forward to a new season...I really do have a lot of belief in this team and I think we can do great things. We need to trust the process, do everything that we can and the result will speak for itself."
Cal will compete in its first tournament of the spring Jan. 25-27 at the Southwestern Invitational in Westlake Village, Calif.
To follow Cal men's golf this season, visit calbears.com, or follow the team on Twitter, and Instagram.