Bears' Fall Season Ends in the Rough With Eighth-Place Finish

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The No. 13 Cal men's golf team finished the fall schedule of this season on a disappointing note, placing eighth at the U.S. Collegiate Championship in Alpharetta, Ga.

The Bears faltered throughout all three days of the 54-hole tournament, and found themselves left in the middle of the pack as host No. 17 Georgia Tech swarmed the field with a three-day total of 28-under par to claim its first title of the season.

Despite the fact that the Yellow Jackets had all but wrapped up the title heading into the final round with a 17-stroke lead, Cal had a chance to climb up the leaderboard with a strong finish.

However, while Georgia Tech was putting on a clinic, the Bears struggled, shooting a 7-over par 295 to finish 12-over par for the tournament. Pac-10 rivals UCLA and USC finished second and fourth, respectively.

"We certainly didn't putt very well in this tournament, and unlike during most of the fall where we had a couple of guys each tournament that really played great we just didn't have that this tournament," coach Steve Desimone said.

"We didn't play poorly, we just didn't have the 'A' game we've had the last couple of months."

Senior Stephen Hale led the Bears in scoring for the tournament, shooting rounds of 72-73-73 to finish with a share of 17th place in the individual standings at 2-over par.

Freshman Ben An, who started the final round tied at 11th, had difficulty finding his game on the course, stumbling with a 3-over par 75 to finish 3-over par and tied for 20th.

Senior Eric Mina also finished with a share of 20th place. Sophomore Max Homa has been one of the integral parts to Cal's success during the fall stretch; however, Homa never got into rhythm in Alpharetta, finishing 7-over par for the tournament and tied for 33rd.

Fellow sophomore Michael Weaver finished tied for 44th.

Junior James White of Georgia Tech claimed medalist honors, shooting 12-under par for the tournament.

The Bears, who will not play again until the Spring schedule begins on Jan. 11 in Arizona, came into this week seeking t third straight win.

Despite the bittersweet finish to its fall season, Cal was able to find success in two first place finishes and a third place finish.

"We'll take a couple of months off and work on the things we need to work on, then when we come back it will be a sprint to the finish," Desimone said.

"We've got a chance to be in the mix, and I like those chances."

The tournament victories should propel the team into a promising Spring season.

The play of both An and Homa give Desimone's squad a young nucleus that will make them a favorite once Pac-10 play arrives in the Spring.


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

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