June 2, 2012
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 NCAA.com 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
NCAA Championship Match Play Schedule/Results
Semifinal Matches - Saturday, June 2, 2012
Championship Match - Sunday, June 3, 2012