April 24, 2006
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Mon.-Wed.Apr. 24-26 at Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship, Big Horn C.C., Palm Desert, Calif. All Day
CAL TEES OFF AT PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIP: California, the 2004 NCAA champion, travels to the 47th annual Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship, Monday-Wednesday, April 24-26 at the par 71, 7,009-yard Big Horn Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif. Thirty six holes will be played Monday, followed by a third round on Tuesday and a final round Wednesday. Cal will be paired with UCLA. This season, the Golden Bears have been paced by junior Michael Wilson, who has been Cal's top finisher in five of the Bears' 11 tournaments, winning the inagural CordeValle Collegiate back on Nov. 1, and most recently placing sixth at the Callaway Golf Invitational Mar. 14, and tying for eighth at The Western Intercollegiate (played at the Pasatiempo Golf Course) with a two-round score of 143, Mar. 28. Wilson is the lone returner from the Bears' 2004 NCAA championship squad. The Bears will feature a young line-up at the Pac-10's with one junior, two sophomores and three freshmen.
WILSON LEADS BEARS: Wilson has the distinction of competing in all 31 rounds for the Bears this season. Wilson was the individual champion of the inagural CordeValle Collegiate on Nov. 1, shooting a 10-under 206 (69-70-67) and helping Cal to a third-place finish. He was named the October, 2005 Pac-10 Golfer of the Month. In 2003, Wilson was the Pac-10 Co-Freshman of the Year and second-team All-Pac-10, and in 2004, a key member of the Bears' NCAA championship squad. The other player to compete in all 31 rounds this season is freshman George Grandranata, who has the team's best stroke average (73.7), and helped Cal to the 2005 Alister MacKenzie title, tying for 10th with a two-under 211. Besides winning the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, other team highlights for the Bears is a fifth place finish at The Falcon Invitational, Sept. 11; a third place finish at the CordeValle Collegiate, Nov. 1; and fifth place tie at the Callaway Golf Invitational Mar. 14.
BEARS' PAC-10 TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Cal has yet to capture a Pac-10 title, despite winning the 2004 NCAA championship. The Bears' highest finish was second in 1995. Last season, Cal placed eighth and was led by sophomore Brandon Beck (tied 5th 282, -2) and then freshman Michael Jensen, who tied for seventh with a one-under 283. Jensen was a 2005 honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection and tied for 11th at this year's ASU Thunderbird Invitational with a three-under 210. In 1995, the Bears' Charlie Wi was the Pac-10 individual champion, and in 1986-87 Cal coach Steve Desimone was selected as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. The Bears have had 27 All-Pac-10 selections since 1986-87.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD: This year's field features five Pac-10 teams ranked in the Golfweek Top-30 - No. 5 UCLA, No. 8 Arizona State, No. 24 Arizona, No. 28 USC and No. 29 Washington. Stanford is No. 45, Washington State is No. 83, California is No. 94, Oregon is No. 115 and Oregon State is No. 119. Individually, UCLA's Erik Flores is ranked No. 9, Alejandro Canizares of Arizona State is ranked No. 12, Stanford's Rob Grube is ranked No. 14, UCLA's Daniel Im is ranked No. 22, Niklas Lemke of Arizona State is ranked No. 33, Washington's Alex Prugh is ranked No. 35, Benjamin Alvarado of Arizona State is ranked No. 40, and USC's Taylor Wood is ranked No. 49. Washington captured last year's title in a tie-breaker over Arizona State (371-353-351-350 - 1425), and the Huskies Erik Olson won the individual title (70-69-68-69 - 276) by one stroke over Arizona's Nathan Lashley. 2006 results can be found on www.pac-10.org or www.golfstat.com.
HEAD COACH: Steve Desimone: The Cal men's golf program has made amazing strides since the spring of 1980. It went from a club sport in the early '80s, to one of the elite golf programs in the country in the 1990s, to national champions in 2004. Head coach Steve Desimone, now in his 27th year at the helm of Cal men's golf, is the man largely responsible for the level of success enjoyed by the program. Desimone 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 NCAA golf title. Over the years, Desimone has directed the Bears to 11 NCAA West Regional berths and five NCAA championship events ('95, '98, '99, '00, `04). He was voted Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year in 1987. A member of the Golden Bears' basketball team as an undergraduate, Desimone graduated from Cal in 1970. He took golf at Cal from a club sport in the early 80's to one of the preeminent programs in the country.Desimone is joined by assistant coach Walter Chun (second year, Cal '01) and administrative assistant Curt David (second year, Pacific, '89).
BEARS' PAC-10 LINE-UP: Cal's lineup (in order) for the Pac-10s is listed below. Player YR 05-06 RNDS STROKES AVG LOW TOP FINISH G. Grandranata Fr. 31 2286 73.7 68 T10 Freddy Wolfe So. 13 976 75.1 71 T29 Romain Payet Fr. 16 1191 74.4 70 T19 Michael Jensen So. 22 1660 75.5 66 T11 Michael Wilson Jr. 31 2297 74.1 67 1 Larry Wong Fr. 23 1747 76.0 69 T22