The Bear Blog just got off the phone with Cal head coach Steve Desimone and here's some of what he had to say about Cal's first day at the 2010 NCAA Championships.
on where the team stands right now at the NCAA Championships
"It's hard to really to get a strong or good feel for the way the first day is going to end up because half the field is still out [on the course], but I would have to say our guys played well. When this day is over, I suspect five-over will be very competitive and put us in a good spot to get back after it tomorrow."
on the team did well and not so well
"We did a lot of things right, but we didn't putt very well. We didn't putt very well during the final round of the NCAA Regional, and we certainly didn't putt very well today. But, we did a lot of other things well, especially around the greens. We had some wonderful short-game shots that saved a number of strokes."
on the course and weather conditions
"The weather was great, it was very warm, even hot and humid. There was very little wind. It picked up a little bit at the end of the day, but if you wanted a really nice day to play golf and you didn't mind a little heat and humidity, it doesn't get much better than this. As for the golf course, it is a fabulous golf course. There's just no letup here. Every tee shot you've got to grind. Once you reach the green, you've got things that are 13-plus on the stem meter. When you're dealing with a course that has these kind of challenges, you better bring your 'A' game. If you don't have the complete package here, your weaknesses are exposed very quickly."
on the event as
"Everything has been great. They have done a fabulous job with the event. The accomodations are great, the people at The Honors Course have been wonderful hosts and the NCAA committee has done an outstanding job. This is the sixth final I've been to and this certainly compares favorably with the other ones."
on his goal for the first round
"My hope and my goal was to get us through today and be competitive, to get through what clearly were some first-year jitters and they hung tough. Eric [Mina] and Stephen [Hale] played great, and Brandon [Hagy] and Michael [Weaver] hung steady. All in all, we're very pleased with what's gone on so far.
on Brandon Hagy's round
"Brandon continues to strike the ball very well. His driver is maybe the best club in his bag right now. He's hitting it long, he's hitting it straight. He's just not missing many fairways. He's putting the ball in play. When you hit it as long as he does, the game gets a lot easier because you're a lot closer to the greens than most of the players you're playing with. It's no surprise that he's making a lot of birdies. When some guys are hitting five irons, and you're hitting sevens or eights, you're just going to have more chances. All in all, it was a really good round for a true freshman. He admitted he had a few butterflies early, but he got them out after the first two or three rounds, and went on to play some really steady golf."
on Eric Mina's round
"The course sets up well for him. He's been hitting it so striaght for so long. He had a lull in the middle of the round, but he also made some really smart and really good plays. He made a couple of putts, a great save on the eighth hole [his 17th hole of the day], when he hit a wonderful bunker shot to about five feet. It's what we've seen all spring and what we saw at the Pac-10's. After his practice round yesterday, he made a comment that the course suited him really well and that he was confident. Obviously, he backed that up today and I don't see any reason that he'll slow down."
on Stephen Hale's round
"Stephen had a bunch of pars in a row but just did not putt very well today. He had half a dozen putts inside 10 feet and couldn't hole any of them. Enevitably, you're going to run into a little trouble out here, and he did. He hadn't banked any birdies to overcome the other side of it, but he did make a nice birdie on the eighth hole [his 17th hole]."
on Michael Weaver's round
"Michael was the same thing [as Stephen Hale]. He hit the ball off the tee well, his approach shots overall were pretty good, but he couldn't hit a putt for his doggone hide today. On the greens he missed, he also had some trouble chipping. He was very frustrated and upset with his short game, and he's over working on it right now, in fact. Those are the shots you have to hit to stay in the round. He didn't play poorly, he just wasn't as sharp as he normally is."
on Max Homa's round
"Max had an amazing round. He was five-over at the turn, then birdied three of the first four holes on his second nine, and it looked like he was back on track, and then just like that he hit one in the water on the seventh hole. He just had one of those stretches where if you're not sharp here, you can easily get into trouble on consecutive holes, and that's exactly what happened with Max."
on the team's schedule before second-round play Wednesday
"We're not off the tee until much later tomorrow, so we will get the opportunity to get some rest tonight after a fun get-together with family members tonight. We're going to have a big Cal dinner tonight and then everyone should be calling it a night by 9 or 9:30 tonight, and I suspect most of these guys are going to sleep in a bit Wednesday. We could use a good night sleep and maybe we'll be a little sharper tomorrow."
on the team's goal for the final two rounds Wednesday and Thursday
"The goal Wednesday is to hold steady and be in position to make a run for the final eight [to advance to match play] on Thursday."