April 26, 2010
TEMPE - Cal is tied for seventh at the end of the first day of action Monday at the 2010 Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship being hosted by Arizona State and played through Wednesday at the ASU Karsten Golf Course. Eric Mina is in the hunt for individual medalist honors at nine-under par after half of the scheduled 72 holes have been completed. The Bears shot a six-under par score as a team (347-357 - 704), with Mina's score of 133 (65-68) leading the way four shots behind tournament leader Jesper Kennegard (63-66 - 129, -13) of Arizona State.
"Eric has done this all year," said Cal head coach Steve Desimone. "He knows how to play the game. He keeps the ball in play, he's been putting well and his short game is solid. When you do that, you're going to be very competitive and have a chance to win. He's been in that position almost the entire year."
"It's a good feeling," said Mina about his position on the leaderboard. "There's a lot of golf left, and I just want to go out there and continue to execute my game plan and stick to what I've been doing well. I really don't want to get too caught up in the score. I really just want to pay attention to each shot and focus on that."
Stanford (330-345 - 675, -35) leads the event by 13 strokes at the halfway mark and is followed by host Arizona State (337-351 - 688, -22), USC (340-349 - 689, -21), Washington (338-352 - 690, -20), UCLA (340-353 - 693, -17), Oregon (351-352 - 703, -7), Oregon State (355-349 - 704, -6), Cal, Arizona (351-358 - 709, -1) and Washington State (361-361 - 722, +12).
"It was a beautiful day," said Desimone. "You really couldn't ask for better scoring conditions. Obviously some teams took real advantage of that, especially Stanford. Hats off to them, they played lights out."
Mina's opening-round 65 was a career-best and fresh off his previous career-best of 66 in the final round of his most recent outing at the U.S. Intercollegiate a little less than two weeks ago. Mina fired six birdies during the round and made par on the other 12 holes. Four of the birdies came on par-four holes, one on a par-five and the other on a par-three. He started his second round with a birdie on the par-four first hole before suffering his first bogey of the day on the par-four third. He finished the front nine of his second round with six straight pars then caught fire on the back nine, making birdies on four of the first six holes before giving a shot back with two bogeys and a birdie on the final three.
"I had a game plan today and I stuck to it," said Mina. "I played strategically aggressive and made sure I knew when I wanted to go at the flag and when I wanted to go away from it. I played pretty well and executed my game plan. I missed a couple of puts here and there but overall it was a really solid day and a good way to start."
Hagy birdied the second through fifth holes on the front nine of his career-best opening round 66 and was still four-under when he made the turn after adding a bogey on six and another birdie on eight. He played the back nine one-under par with two birdies on 11 and 14, and a bogey on 12. The first nine holes of his second round 70 were up and down, starting with a birdie on one, before a bogey on three, a birdie on four, a bogey on six, birdies on seven and eight, and a bogey on line. He steadied on the back nine with a total of seven pars, to go along with a birdie on 14 and a bogey on 16.
"I played the par-four holes really well today and made some birdies," said Hagy. "I didn't get too far out of position all day. I just kind of kept it around the hole and made some putts when I could. The competition here at the Pac-10 Championship is the best in the country. All these teams are really solid and it feels good to be up there competing."
Weaver's first round included an eagle on the par-five 14th hole and four birdies, but three bogeys brought him back to a two-under par 68. He was three-under with three birdies and seven pars through the first 10 holes of his second round and was still at three-under after a bogey on 11 and a birdie on 15, before a double-bogey on 16 and a bogey on 18 made him settle for an even-par 71.
"We had three guys that played really well today, but those three guys need some help," said Desimone. "We didn't take advantage of some of the opportunities we had and we certainly gave some shots away around the greens that we really should have converted on. Before you know it, instead of chasing Stanford with a bunch of other teams, you get down back where we are tied for seventh and trying to make a run at the top five. It would be a whole lot more fun making a run at Stanford and being a little bit closer."
The 72-hole tournament continues with 18 holes both Tuesday (9 a.m. MST/PDT) and Wednesday (8 a.m. MST/PDT).
Pac-10 Championship (Hosted by Arizona State)
TEAM STANDINGS (after 1 of 3 days/2 of 4 rounds/36 of 72 holes)
TOURNAMENT LEADER (after 1 of 3 days/2 of 4 rounds/36 of 72 holes)
CAL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (after 1 of 3 days/2 of 4 rounds/36 of 72 holes)