Cal Hopes to Wash Away Par-5 Woes at MacKenzie Invite

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Among all the sports in all the world, golf remains distinctively authentic for its cathartic, serene appeal-even when it's raining.

Current weather forecasts call for a 40-percent chance of showers on Monday and 100-percent on Tuesday as the Cal men's golf team hosts the Alister MacKenzie Invitational at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif.

"We hope to get the whole tournament in," coach Steve Desimone said.

Rain or shine, the Bears are seeking redemption for last week's gloomy 12th-place finish at the Windon Classic in Glencoe, Ill.

Cal struggled to execute on par-5s and was baffled when reading the speed of the greens, two integral components to the team's success at the Spartan Classic two weeks ago.

"The course was very difficult and much different from those we had played," Desimone said. "The momentum never quite got going our way, but we have high expectations for the MacKenzie."

The momentum already seems to be building in favor of the Bears, as junior Eric Mina was awarded the honor of Pac-10 Player of the Month in September. Mina's fall season thus far appears unrivaled, with a 69.6 stroke average in the ninth month.

"I am very pleased with Eric and believe he deserves this accolade," Desimone said.

Mina's most impressive feat came at the Spartan Classic, where he fired a 10-under (67, 67, 69) to win the event.

In addition to Mina, Stephen Hale, Chad Vivolo and Michael Weaver will be competing in the field this week. Fifteen teams will compete at the Invitational, including San Diego State, the winner of the event in 2007. Cal has won the Invitational three of the past six years.

Spirits appear high as Cal heads into the MacKenzie, but the "experience factor," as Desimone calls it, has left a cloud of mystery hanging over the Bears' future. Aside from Mina, Hale and a revived Evan Derian -- who was injured all of last year -- the Bears acquired six new players this year. While these most recent recruits are considered part of one of the most talented recruiting classes in the country, they are inexperienced.

Hopefully for Cal, the fall season will provide the younger players with various opportunities to learn how to effectively battle under the pressures of collegiate golf.

Live scoring of the Alister MacKenize Invitational will be available at


Contact Will Leivenberg at [email protected]

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