Par-Five Struggles at Windon Memorial Put Cal in 12th Place
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Category: Sports > Spring > Golf (Men's)
The Cal men's golf team retreated from the arduous conditions of Skokie Golf Club after finishing in 12th place Monday at the Windon Memorial.
Aside from redshirt freshman James Core, who carded the team's best round of the event with a 72, the Bears struggled at the 54-hole tournament under severe conditions and competitive pressure.
"We just didn't get it done," coach Steve Desimone said in an interview with Calbears.com.
Desimone and the squad came into the tournament with high hopes after they shattered the field two weeks ago at the Spartan Classic with a first-place finish. In the Bears' three rounds in Glencoe, Ill., they produced 23 birdies compared with 93 bogies.
The bogies that damaged Cal's chances came on the par-fives, the holes on which players can be most aggressive and often have the best chance of carding birdies.
However, instead of taking advantage of their length off the tee, the Bears made only three birdies collectively on the par-fives in the first round of the event.
Had each Cal golfer produced one more birdie on these holes, the team would have finished three spots higher.
Junior Eric Mina recorded seven bogies en route to a final-round 77 and an overall finish of 12-over to tie for 30th, while Stephen Hale ended two strokes behind Mina at 14-over.
Junior Evan Derian, in his first tournament back from a season wrought with back injuries, played solidly in Monday's final round with a 74 following a second-round 84, and ended the event tied for 65th at 20-over. Freshman Curtis Loop finished in a tie for 74th at 24-over.
The Bears' putting woes-last season's primary Achilles' heal-returned for the team at the Windon Memorial. Core led the way with nine birdies over the span of three rounds, and Mina contributed four birdies.
This weekend's struggle to make birdies may have revealed a new hurdle for the Bears: confidently trusting their technique as well as their feel on the greens.
Executing on the greens, it seems, is a product of confidence. Hopefully for the Bears, they will make the necessary adjustments before hosting the Alister MacKenzie Invitational that begins Oct. 12 at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif. If not, Cal golf fans can likely expect a repeat of last year-a trend of inconsistent putting.
The greatest golfers of all-time have often been praised for two aspects of their game: their putting and their execution on par-fives. These two factors were game-changers this weekend.
In round one alone, among the five Cal players only three birdies were produced on the par-fives.
Contact Will Leivenberg at [email protected]
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