Bears Just Miss, Finish Third at Windon Classic

Photo: Eric Mina and the rest of the Cal men's golf team finished third at the Windon Memorial Classic. The Bears just missed the top spot, finishing only two strokes behind Michigan.
Victoria Chow/File
Eric Mina and the rest of the Cal men's golf team finished third at the Windon Memorial Classic. The Bears just missed the top spot, finishing only two strokes behind Michigan.

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Struggling to make key putts down the stretch, the Cal men's golf team finished third at the Windon Memorial Classic in Glenview, Ill.

The tournament saw three teams separated by a single stroke at the top of the final leaderboard. Michigan, the winner, finished a mere two shots ahead of the Golden Bears.

Cal, which struggled during the first 18 holes of the two-day 54-hole tournament, fired a scorching 11-under par 273 team total in the second round to put them at second place going into yesterday's final 18. Despite tough scoring conditions and heavy winds, sophomore star Max Homa shot a brilliant 6-under par 65 in the second round to set the Bears for a run at the title.

"I didn't do anything really differently, to be honest," Homa said. "I just had a couple bad breaks and knew that if I kept going, things would turn around"

However, missed putts and poor course management doomed the Bears on the final day of play.

"Good decisions weren't being made," coach Steve Desimone said. "You want to set yourself up for a chance to win heading into the final nine holes, but we did not hit the ball well today and didn't convert enough putts."

Desimone noted that clutch putting and capitalizing on opportunities was an issue throughout the week.

"We could have gone much lower on Sunday (during the second round)," Desimone said. "We went low, but a lot of putts weren't dropping and we missed a lot of opportunities."

Homa was a force for Cal, shooting a three round total of 2-under par and finishing tied for fourth individually.

"I certainly feel like I played my 'A' game this weekend," Homa said. "My ball striking was good, and I feel that I am more well rounded as a player."

Another key factor to the Bears' high finish was freshman Byeong-Hun An's stellar play. The Windon Memorial Classic was just the second collegiate event in An's career, though he certainly played like a seasoned veteran.

"I played better than I did last week and I was more accurate, but I still made a ton of mistakes," An said. "Three-putts, missed greens here and there, they add up so I just have to keep practicing."

An finished tied for sixth with a 1-under par total while defending Pac-10 individual champion senior Eric Mina finished tied for 36th.

Desimone had nothing but praise for An's second collegiate performance.

"Since this is his second event, he has done nicely adjusting to collegiate golf," Desimone said. "The college game is much different than amateur or junior competition, and it is certainly not an easy transitionto make."

"I only had 2-3 days going into this last tournament," An said. "I didn't have much time to get my game back."

Desimone emphasized that course management and decision-making in pressure situations will determinine the lineup for the next tournament.


Aaron Lee covers men's golf. Contact him at [email protected]

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