Cal-Alabama in NCAA Match Play Semis Saturday
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/02/2012

June 2, 2012

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PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. - No. 4 seed Cal will face top-seed Alabama in a semifinal match of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship on Saturday at The Rivieria Country Club. The teams tee off from the first hole beginning at 10 a.m. PT. Action from the 10th, 14th and 18th holes will be webcast live at beginning at Noon PT.

The Golden Bears are coming off a dramatic 3-2 victory over No. 5 San Diego State in a quarterfinal match on Friday that marked the first time Cal had ever participated in a NCAA match play event. Joël Stalter clinched Friday's victory for the Bears when he drained a 20-foot downhill birdie putt on the 17th green to secure his match 2 & 1 over Alex Kang. In addition to Stalter's victory from the No. 5 spot in the lineup, the Golden Bears also picked up wins from their No. 3 and No. 4 players Pace Johnson and Michael Kim. Johnson posted a 4 & 3 triumph over Matt Hoffenberg, while Kim defeated Tom Berry, 3 & 1. No. 1 Max Homa and No. 2 Brandon Hagy fell to J.J. Spaun and Colin Featherstone, 4 & 3 and 2 & 1.

Alabama was a 3.5-1.5 winner over No. 8 Kent State in a quarterfinal match on Friday as the Crimson Tide had victories from Thomas (6 & 5 over Kevin Miller), Cory Whitsett (5 & 4 over Kyle Kmiecik) and Scott Strohmeyer (3 & 1 over Taylor Pendrith). Hunter Hamrick split his match with Mackenzie Hughes, while Bobby Wyatt fell to Corey Conners (4 & 2).

Both teams are playing in an NCAA match play event for the first time in school history.

Three of the four match play events Cal has played during head coach Steve Desimone's 33-year career at the school have been in 2011-12. Prior to the NCAA Championship, the Bears finished third at both the Del Walker Match Play Championship (February 27-28) hosted by Long Beach State at the Virginia Country Club in Long Beach, Calif. and the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship (March 18-20) hosted by South Florida at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla. Cal's victory over San Diego State improved the team's overall record in match play events in 2011-12 to 6-2. The Bears defeated Oregon (3.5-1.5) and Oregon State (4-1) at the Del Walker while losing to Washington (4-1). At the Callaway, Cal defeated UNC Wilmington (3-2), Tennessee (4.5-0.5) and Chattanooga (3-2), while losing to Duke (3-2).

In NCAA match play, a total of five points are available for each team match, with one point being awarded for each individual match. The first team to reach three points will be the winner of the match.

Cal reached match play by tying for fourth in the 54-hole stroke play portion of the NCAA Championship that concluded Thursday with a 19-over par score of 871 (295-289-287).

Alabama (285-287-287 - 859, +7) had the lowest score in NCAA stroke play.

The two teams have been in the same stroke play tournament three times in 2011-12 at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational (October 23-25) hosted by Texas Tech, the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters (March 9-11) and the NCAA Championship (May 29-31). Before Alabama finished above Cal at the NCAA Championship, the Bears had beaten Alabama on each of the first two occasions. Cal tied for fourth while Alabama was sixth at Isleworth and finished second compared to the Crimson Tide's tie for ninth at Southern Highlands.

Alabama vs. Cal Lineups - NCAA Championship Quarterfinal Match
The Riviera Country Club - Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Saturday, June 2, 2012 - 10 a.m. PT
Tee Time - (Seed), Name, School, 2011-12 Match Play Record
10 a.m. - (1) Justin Thomas, Alabama, 1-0 vs. Max Homa, Cal, 5-3
10:09 a.m. - (2) Cory Whitsett, Alabama, 1-0 vs. Brandon Hagy, Cal, 6-2
10:18 a.m. - (3) Scott Strohmeyer, Alabama, 1-0 vs. Pace Johnson, Cal, 2-2
10:27 a.m. - (4) Bobby Wyatt, Alabama, 0-1 vs. Michael Kim, Cal, 1.5-3.5
11:36 a.m. - (5) Hunter Hamrick, .5-.5 vs. Joël Stalter, Cal, 3-2
*All Times Pacific

NCAA Championship Match Play Schedule/Results
The Riviera Country Club - Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Quarterfinal Matches - Friday, June 1, 2012
Match 1 - (1) Alabama d. (8) Kent State, 3.5-1.5
Match 2 - (4) Cal d. (5) San Diego State, 3-2
Match 3 - (7) Oregon d. (2) UCLA, 3-2
Match 4 - (3) Texas d. (6) Washington, 5-0

Semifinal Matches - Saturday, June 2, 2012
10:00 a.m. - Semifinal 1 - (1) Alabama vs. (4) Cal
10:45 a.m. - Semifinal 2 - (3) Texas vs. (7) Oregon

Championship Match - Sunday, June 3, 2012
10:00 a.m. - Semifinal 1 & 2 winners
*All Times Pacific

Cal Notes
• It's been a season full of firsts for Cal in 2011-12 as the Golden Bears have won an NCAA Championship match, qualified for NCAA match play, and won NCAA Regional and Pac-12 titles all for the first time in school history. Cal has also posted six wins to double the previous school record and will finish in top-five for the first time in each of its first 14 events.
Max Homa led the team in stroke play average in an extremely tight race with Michael Kim and Brandon Hagy. Homa finished at 71.2 on 2634 shots, while Hagy and Kim were both at 71.4 with 2642 shots. All three shared team MVP honors, earned second-team All-Pac-12 recognition and were named to the PING Division I All-West Region team by the College Golf Coaches Association of America.
Max Homa finish of tied for ninth at the 2012 NCAA Championship is the second highest in Cal history. Homa is also the second consecutive Cal player to finish in the top 10 at the NCAA Championship with Michael Weaver becoming the first when he tied for eighth at the 2011 NCAA Championship.
• Cal is making its eighth NCAA Championship appearance in school history. The Bears were previously in the field in 1995, '98, '99, 2000, '04, '10 and '11. Cal won its lone national title in 2004, with its next highest finish a sixth-place showing in 1995.