Golf: No. 17 Cal Women Head to Stanford for NCAA Regionals

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A golf team can have all of the talent in the world, but if it lacks confidence heading into a tournament then there is no telling what it will shoot.

The No. 17 Cal women's golf team heads into its most important tournament of the year, the NCAA West Regional, oozing with confidence. The 54-hole regional will be played at the par-72, 6,168-yard Stanford Golf Course. Play begins tomorrow and ends Saturday.

The Bears are among 21 teams fighting for the eight spots the region will send to the NCAA Championships.

Cal has qualified for the regional tournament the past two seasons and advanced to the NCAA Championships last season for the first time in the program's history.

This year has been a season of firsts for the Bears. The team won three tournaments, the most ever for the Cal golfers.

Junior Vikki Laing and sophomore Sarah Huarte were named to the All-Pac-10 first team. Senior Anne Walker was named to the second team.

Before this year, the highest honor any Bears golfer had earned was honorable mention.

Some might say there is more pressure than ever on the Bears to qualify for the championships. But coach Nancy McDaniel thinks the opposite.

"I don't think there's any added pressure," she said. "I think that there is more added confidence."

Cal has been on fire, finishing in the top five in its last three tournaments.

The Bears took second at the Peg Barnard Intercollegiate at the Stanford Golf Course less than a month ago.

Cal finished third at the Pac-10 Championships, the highest finish in the history of the program.

At the west regional, Cal will compete against six teams from the Pac-10, including Stanford on the Card's home course.

The field is stacked with some of the best teams in the country-No. 8 Arizona, No. 10 Arizona State, No. 14 USC, No. 15 Pepperdine and No. 16 Washington. Including Cal, nine teams in the field are ranked in the top 25.

Cal knows what it takes to advance to the NCAA Championships. They know they can play well at Stanford Golf Course. If they don't advance, McDaniel said she would be able to describe her feelings in two words: "Extremely disappointed."

Men's Golf Advances

to West Regional

They played the waiting game, and they won. Now they'll have a chance to play the game they're more comfortable with.

The Cal men's golf team qualified for the NCAA West Regional, which will be held May 16-18 at the Championship Golf Course in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Bears are seeded 21st in the 27-team field, the lowest seed among the nine Pac-10 teams. The top 10 finishers at the regional will advance to the NCAA Championships.

Heading into the Pac-10 Championships last month, the Bears were fairly certain they would qualify for the west regional. But a 10th place finish put their NCAA bid in jeopardy.

"When you look at the whole season, you can make a very strong case that we deserve to go," Cal coach Steve Desimone said.

Desimone was one of four coaches responsible for determining which teams qualified for the regional.

The Bears finished 16th at last year's west regional and advanced to the NCAA Championships in 2000.


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