April 17, 1998
THIS WEEK: April 18-19 Thunderbird Invitational
Host:Arizona State Karsten GC
NEXT WEEK: April 27-29 Pac-10 Championship
Host:California Orinda Country Club
TEEING OFF: The California mens golf team will try to get things back on track this week as the Bears travel to Tempe, Ariz., to compete in the 26th annual ASU Thunderbird/SAVANE Invitational. The tournament, which will take place at Arizona States Karsten Golf Course (par-72, 7,027 yards), will feature 18 teams playing 36 holes on Saturday, April 18 followed by the final round on Sunday, April 19.
CALS LINEUP: Head coach Steve Desimone has selected the following players to represent Cal at this years ASU Thunderbird/SAVANE Invitational:
1997 ASU Thunderbird/SAVANE Invitational: Cal struggled at last years Thunderbird Invitational, finishing in 14th place out of 15 teams at 30-over-par 894. The Bears were led by Dan Coyle, who fired a three-round total of 6-over 222 to finish in a four-way tie for 31st place overall, 13 strokes behind tournament champion Jeff Mixon of Oklahoma (7-under 209). Arizona State, at a combined 10-under 854, won the team title.
THE LAST TIME OUT: The Bears repeated their m.o. of late, posting two solid round of golf on the opening day, only to fad during the third and final round at the 1998 U.S. Intercollegiate. Cals 297-296593 (+25) had the Bears in the hunt in sixth place after the opening day, only six strokes behind tournament leader UCLA. But Cal closed the third and final round with a combined score of 24-over-par 308 to finish at 49-over 901 for the tournament (10th place). UCLA held on for the win, finishing at 25-over 877. Cals top finisher was freshman Adam Ainbinder, who carded a three-round total of 6-over 219 and finish in a two-way tie for eight place. It was Ainbinders second Top 10 finish of the spring as the freshman from Huntington Beach, Calif., also finished in eighth at the UC Irvine Anteater Invitational on March 31. Also in action for Cal were Han Lee (T35th, 12-over 225), Dan Coyle (T61st, 17-over 230), Dan Arroyo (T69th, 19-over 232) and Jay Berkowitz (94th, 25-over 238).
COYLE ON THE SHELF: Cals Dan Coyle, the Bears hottest golfer heading into last weeks U.S Intercollegiate at Stanford, suffered what team physicians are calling a stress reaction in his right hand and will miss this weekends Thunderbird Invitational, Cal head coach Steve Desimone announced Thursday. X-rays were scheduled to be taken of Coyles hand Thursday night and he is listed as questionable for next weeks Pac-10 Championship at Orinda Country Club. With Coyle now out of the lineup, the Bears head to Arizona State without two of their top golfers as Cal previously lost sophomore Dong Yi, an All-Pac-10 second team selection in 1997, with a season-ending wrist tendon injury in early March.
TWO NEW FOR ASU: With Coyle and Yi out of action due with injuries and junior team captain Jay Berkowitz struggling and also not making the trip to Tempe, Ariz., two Bears, Josh Levin and Scott Golditch, will be making their 1997-98 debuts at the Thunderbird Invitational this weekend. Levin, a junior transfer from San Francisco, Calif., was a two-time All-West Coast Conference selection in 1994 and 95 while competing for the University of San Francisco. During his two years at USF, Levin played in the Dons No. 1 position and posted Top 10 finishes at both WCC Championships in which he competed (3rd in 1995, 7th in 1994). Golditch, a junior out of Northridge, Calif., will be making his first tournament appearance of his 2 1/2 career at Cal this weekend. Although Golditch has yet to compete on the collegiate level, he does possess plenty of amateur match play and tournament experience, including shooting a four-round total of 2-over 290 to take ninth place at the 1997 Los Angeles City Amateur Championship last summer.
HOT START: In a sport where winning even one tournament is a major accomplishment, the 1997-98 Bears opened the year in an incredible tear, bring home tournament titles from three of the first four competitions they entered. Cal kicked off the year with three-round total of one-over-par 865 to take the Falcon-Cross Creek Invitational, Sept. 12-14. Cal had four golfers finish in the Top 20 with Dan Coyles 3-under-par 71-69-72212 second place total leading the way. Just 10 days later the Bears won their second fall tournament at the Pacific Invitational firing a team total of 15-under 849 to take the title. Dong Yis 8-under-par 73-67-68208 was good enough to place him fourth overall, while Dan Arroyo (66-73-70209) finished in fifth. Cal opened the spring with its third tournament win of the year at the 26th annual International Intercollegiate in Monterrey, Mexico. The Golden Bears, who set a school record in the tournaments opening round with a combined 22-under-par 266, finished with a three-day total of 25-under 839. Cal secured the victory by having all four if its scoring players finish in among the top 25, including three who finished in the top seven led by junior Jay Berkowitz third place three-day total of 10-under-par 206.
AINBINDER ADDING UP: With the loss of second team All-Pac-10 performer, sophomore Dong Yi, true freshman Adam Ainbinder has been force into the Cal lineup and appears to be stepping up to the challenge. During the fall, Ainbinders only appearance for the Bears came in the season-opener at Air Force where he carded a three round total of 13-over 219 (T77th). But this spring, the Huntington Beach product has really begun to blossom, competing in all four spring tournaments to date and posting the teams second-best spring stroke average (73.7). On March 31, Ainbinder had the best placing of his brief collegiate career when fired a 3-over 219 to finish tied for eighth place overall at the UCI Invitational. Then last week at the U.S. Intercollegiate, Ainbinder came back to post his second eighth place finish when he shot 6-over 219, Cals best score of the tournament. Ainbinders lowest three round total of the season came at the International Intercollegiate in Monterrey, Mexico, on Feb. 5-7 where he shot a 1-under total of 215 (T24th). He also posted his a season-low round of 68 at the International Intercollegiate.
MR. CONSISTENCY: If theres a word to describe junior Dan Arroyos play so far this season it would have to be consistent. Owner of the Bears lowest average (72.8 over 24 rounds of play this year), Arroyo has finished in the Top 15 in four of Cals eight tournaments. In fact, Arroyo finished out of the Top 25 for only the second time this year at last weeks U.S. Intercollegiate. Although Arroyo posted his lowest round at the Pacific Invitational (6-under 66), his best tournament may have come at the International Intercollegiate, where he fired three sub-par rounds (67-70-71208) to finish tied for fifth place overall.
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO: Junior team captain Jay Berkowitzs round of 8-under 64 during the opening day of play at the International Intercollegiate was not only the best single round fired by a Bear this year, it was also a school record-low round. Berkowitzs score was instrumental to Cal also setting a school-record low round of 22-under 266 during the same round.
YOUNG GUNS: After playing the 1996-97 campaign with only one senior, the 1997-98 Bears are doing last years squad one better this years team has no seniors. And though this group was thought to be a year away, they are already proving to be a dangerous team that can challenge for the title at any tournament. A peak at the roster shows the Bears with three freshmen, three sophomores and five juniors. A solid foundation for the future for sure.
YI OUT FOR SEASON: The California mens golf team suffered a huge blow in early March when its top player, sophomore Dong Yi of Alameda, suffered a season-ending injury to his right wrist. After undergoing exploratory arthroscopic surgery, doctors discovered a torn tendon sheath. It is the second time this season that Yi has had problems with the wrist. Yi, who had been battling tendinitis during the fall, actually broke a bone in the wrist in December. After appearing to have rehabilitated the injury, Yi recently returned to the links and had hoped to play himself back into the Bears lineup until this latest setback. Yi will petition the NCAA with the hope of receiving a medical redshirt.
HEAD COACH STEVE DESIMONE: Steve Desimone is in his 19th season as the head coach of the Golden Bears. Desimone, a 1970 Cal graduate and former member of the basketball team, led the Bears to a sixth-place finish in the Pac-10 last season. He has taken Cal to four NCAA West Regionals (90, 93, 95, 97) as well as an appearance in the 1995 NCAA championships, when the Bears finished sixth in the nation. Since Desimone has been at the helm, the golf program has produced three All-Americans.