May 3, 2012
ORINDA, Calif. - The Cal men's golf program announced its 2011-12 team awards during its annual banquet held at the Orinda Country Club on Thursday evening. Brandon Hagy, Max Homa and Michael Kim shared Most Valuable Player honors to highlight the awards presentation. Hagy also took home the Ben Furth Award for academic and athletic excellence, while Kim was named the team's Newcomer of the Year.
Other to pick up awards on Thursday evening included Jeff Hamm (Coaches Award) and Joël Stalter (Most Improved Player). Second-year `Big C' awards were also given to Stalter and Hagy. Pace Johnson, Keelan Kilpatrick and Kim picked up first-year `Big C' honors.
"It's always a fun night, and it's more fun when you've had a great year and you have great kids," head coach Steve Desimone said. "I can't imagine coaching a team with much better young men than this. They're great students, great athletes and just great guys. They're basically done everything we've asked and then some."
Earlier in the day, Hagy was honored as the men's golfer with the highest GPA (3.761) on the team at Cal's annual Academic Honors Luncheon. Hagy is a business administration major.
The banquet and luncheon came the day after Cal rose to a season-high No. 2 nationally in a poll released by Golfstat.com. The Golden Bears captured the first conference championship in school history last Sunday with a dramatic victory at the Pac-12 Championship at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore.
Cal had trailed third-round leader Oregon by five strokes heading into the final two holes of play on the fourth and final round of the 72-hole event, but Hagy's dramatic 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th green allowed the Bears to force the playoff. Hagy then came back with a 25-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to clinch the victory.
The victory of the 53rd annual conference championship that has been in existence since 1960 was Cal's fifth of the year as the Bears had previously set a school-record with four regular-season wins. Cal has also finished in the top five in each of its 12 events in 2011-12 for the first time in school history.
"One of the biggest reasons we've done so well, is that we've all just jelled together," Hagy said. "We're all really good friends."
Cal will next play May 17-19 in one of six NCAA Regionals. The six possible sites are Ann Arbor, Mich. (University of Michigan Golf Course); Athens, Ga. (University of Georgia Golf Course); Bowling Green, Ky. (The Club at Old Stone); Greensboro, N.C. (Forest Oaks Country Club); Norman, Okla. (Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club); and Stanford, Calif. (Stanford University Golf Course). The fields will be announced May 7.