► CAL LOOKING FOR THIRD STRAIGHT PAC-12 TITLE Cal (No. T3 Golf World/Nike Golf, No. 4 Golfstat, No. 5 Golfweek/Sagarin) opens its 2013-14 post-season looking for a third consecutive victory at the Pac-12 Championship. The 55th edition of the event will be hosted by Arizona this Friday-Sunday at The Gallery Golf Club, which will play at par-72 over 7,349 yards. Cal’s first conference title came at the 53rd Pac-12 Championship hosted by Oregon State at Trysting Tree Golf Club in 2012 before the Golden Bears added a second in as many seasons in 2013 at the event hosted by UCLA at the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club. Each of the 12 teams in this year’s field will play 36 holes on Friday, followed by 18 both Saturday and Sunday. Action begins all three days at 7:30 a.m. MST/PDT. Each team will field six players with the top five scores for each round counting towards the team’s total.
Winners – Cal won six of its 11 events during the 2013-14 regular season and has won 24 of its last 37 stroke-play tournaments overall dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign. The Bears have finished in the top five in 36 of those events as well as another four additional match-play events during the period for 40 top-five showings in their last 41 tournaments overall.
Next Win – Another Cal victory this season would give the Bears seven in 2013-14 and the second-most in school history behind the record 12 stoke-play events Cal won in 2012-13.
National Honors Candidates – Seniors Brandon Hagy and JoëlStalter are candidates for national honors in 2013-14, ranking No. 4 and No. 6 respectively on the latest Haskins Award Watch List by Golfweek, which also ranks the duo as No. 6 and No. 16 nationally its latest rankings released Monday. Hagy is also one of 10 national semifinalists for The Ben Hogan Award and both are among five national finalists for the Byron Nelson Award.
Individual Medalists – Hagy and Stalter have both been individual medalists three times in 2013-14. Hagy won outright at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational and Aggie Invitational, while Stalter was victorious on his own at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational and the National Invitational Tournament. The two shared the Arizona Intercollegiate title.
Two-Time Defending Pac-12 Champions – Cal has won team titles each of the past two times the Pac-12 Championship has been played in 2012 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis and in 2013 at the North Course at the Los Angeles Country Club. Hagy highlighted Cal’s win in 2012 when he gave Cal a share of the lead to force a playoff with a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the fourth and final round of competition after Cal had trailed Oregon by five shots with three regulation holes to go. The Bears would go on to win on the second playoff hole for their first ever Pac-12 title with Hagy the top finisher in a tie for fifth. Cal tied an NCAA single-season record with its 10th stroke-play win of the campaign to defend its crown at the Pac-12 Championship in 2013 (the Bears would finish with an NCAA 12 wins in 14 stroke-play events). Max Homa won his first career Pac-12 title and the third in school history as a senior to lead five Bears in the top 15 with three of those in this year’s lineup in the senior trio of Michael Weaver (2nd), Hagy (T11th) and Stalter (T15th).
Cal’s Individual Pac-12 Championship History – Hagy, Stalter and Weaver will each be playing at the Pac-12 Championship for the fourth and final time of their collegiate career, while Keelan Kilpatrick and James Yoon will be at the Pac-12 Championship for the second time and Shotaro Ban his first.
10-Year Anniversary – Cal won its lone NCAA title 10 years ago in 2004, which was also the last time the Bears played at The Gallery Golf Club at the then Pac-10 Championship. Cal was sixth at the Pac-10’s in 2004.
Weather – The weather forecast in the Tucson area during the Pac-12 Championship includes heat and wind. Thursday’s forecast calls for a high of 93 and a low of 60 with winds approaching 20 miles per hour from the south and southwest. On Saturday, the temps come down to a forecast high of 73 and a low of 46 with winds at 20 mph from the southwest. Sunday’s forecast is for a high of 76, a low of 51 and winds approaching 15 mph from the west and southwest. The forecast has no chance of rain.
The Field – The 12-team field for the 2014 Pac-12 Championship features six teams that are in the top 25 of the most recent Golfstat poll. Complete rankings of each team in the field according to the Golfstat, Golfweek and Golf World/NIKE Golf Coaches polls are listed below
► CAL’S 2014 PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP LINEUP Cal’s lineup for the 2014 Pac-12 Championship listed below along with each player’s current Golfstat and Golfweek national rankings, as well as 2013-14 and career stroke-play rounds, strokes and averages.
Visit the 2013-14 roster online at CalBears.com for links to complete player and coach bios; ^Rankings last updated: Golfstat (4/22/14), Golfweek (4/21/14); *Ranking for those golfers who have not played in minimum number of rounds to be eligible for regular rankings
A national player of the year candidate at No. 6 on the Haskins Award watch list who is also one of five finalists for the Byron Nelson Award, while having been on the watch list for The Ben Hogan Award
Has been individual medalist three times in 2013-14 (Alister MacKenzie Invitational, National Invitational Tournament, Arizona Intercollegiate shared with teammate Brandon Hagy), in the top two four times, the top five on five occasions and the top 10 six times
Won Pac-12 Men’s Golfer of the Month honors in February of 2014 for the second time in his career after posting a 69.80 stroke average over his first five rounds of the spring
Has been an individual medalist a team-high five times in his career, adding wins in 2012-13 at the Arizona Intercollegiate (shared with Michael Kim) and John A. Burns Intercollegiate to his three victories this season
Has a 71.59 stroke average on the season and 71.73 for his career that are both second among active players on the team to Brandon Hagy
Participated in four of six events on the spring schedule including each of the last three and finished in the top 18 in three of the four events, tying for 17th at both the Arizona Intercollegiate and National Invitational Tournament as well as tied for 18th at the Western Intercollegiate
Will play in the No. 2 spot at the Pac-12 Championship, his highest position in the lineup in 2013-14
Played in five 2012-13 spring events, registering a 73.19 stroke average as he earned Cal’s Freshman of the Year honors
Has been in the top 26 in each of his last five tournaments, including the top finish of his career when he tied for eighth at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate and was Cal’s top finisher
In the lineup for the sixth consecutive tournament after having played only once from the spring of 2012 through the fall of 2014, redshirting in 2012-13 and participating only at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in the fall of 2013
A national player of the year candidate at No. 4 on the Haskins Award watch list who is also one of five finalists for the Byron Nelson Award and one of 10 semifinalists for The Ben Hogan Award
Selected to Team USA for the 2014 Palmer Cup after being ranked No. 6 in the final Palmer Cup Ranking
Has finished in the top five in 10 of his last 13 events and the top 10 in all but two of those 13 tournaments
Has been an individual medalist three times in 2013-14 (Jack Nicklaus Invitational, Arizona Intercollegiate, Aggie Invitational) and four times in his career, also winning the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in 2012-13
Has a career-best and team season-best 70.53 stroke average that is ranked 15th nationally
Cal’s only player to have played in all 11 of the team’s events in 2013-14
Has three top-10 finishes and been tied for 17th or better in seven of 11 events in 2013-14
Was on watch lists for the 2013-14 Byron Nelson Trophy and The Ben Hogan Award
The only Cal golfer to ever play at the Masters while currently on the collegiate team and only the second golfer in the history of the sport to play in the Masters, Palmer Cup, U.S. Open and Walker Cup in the same calendar year in 2013
6 – Shotaro Ban (5-10, 155, So., 1L, San Jose, CA/Archbishop Misty HS)
Pac-12 Championship History – None
In the lineup for the second consecutive event after having not previously played as a member of the team since a career-best sixth-place finish at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational during the team’s third tournament of the fall last September
Did play in two consecutive events prior to returning to the lineup as an individual, which included the second-best finish of his career and his second top-10 showing this year when he tied for eighth at the Aggie Invitational
Participated in the team’s first three events of 2013-14, adding a tied for 12th showing at the Saint Mary’s Invitational and a tied for 27th finish at the Gopher Invitational to his sixth-place finish at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational
► DES SAYS On experience at the Pac-12 Championship “One thing that really helps us is four of the players who are on the winning team last year are back in the lineup and we very much look ready to play. There is no doubt about it that experience is a major factor here.”
On the post-season “The stakes are higher. There is more pressure when you come down the back nine of any major conference championship a and the Pac-12 is best conference in the country.”
On winning Cal’s first Pac-12 Championship in 2012 and the way in which it was won “It just brings a smile to my face. The putt Brandon [Hagy] made on the final hole of regulation was one for the ages.”