Men's Golf: Poor Par 5 Play Hampers Cal

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In golf, par 5s offer some of the best opportunities for collecting birdies and eagles. But not getting into position for birdies and eagles is about the same as not getting any baserunners in baseball.

Such was the case for the Cal men's golf team.

The Bears finished sixth at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, Calif. with a six under-par 858.

Golfers completed 36 holes Monday, while the remaining 18 holes were played yesterday at the par-72, 7,000 yard Reserve at Spanos Park Golf Club.

UCLA dominated the tournament, shooting a 34 under-par 830 to win by 16 strokes over Coastal Carolina.

The Bruins' 15 under-par 273 on Tuesday bested their second round score of 277, which had been the previous low round of the tournament.

"My hat goes off to UCLA. They played great," said Desimone.

Junior Pete Tomasulo paced Cal, firing three sub-par rounds to finish at 210 and in a tie for 11th place.

"I was pretty disappointed. Everyone was disappointed," said Tomasulo, who led the Bears at the Reserve for the second straight year.

Junior J.R. Ruda, who won this tournament in 2000, shot a 68 Tuesday and ended up tied for 19th.

Cal opened the tournament sluggishly, shooting back-to-back rounds of 288 Monday to tie for 11th place. By that time, UCLA already had a six-shot lead over Coastal Carolina and a 17-shot edge over the Bears.

"We made plenty of birdies, but too many mistakes," said Tomasulo. "The course was playing pretty easy."

Cal recovered in the final round, shooting 282 to move five spots up the leaderboard.

Freshman Michael Wilson, who won his collegiate debut in North Carolina, made up for his less than stellar rounds on Monday by shooting a 71 yesterday to match the sub-par rounds of teammates Tomasulo and Ruda.

Sophomore Jeff Hood shot a 73 in the final round, the only Cal golfer to shoot over par on the last 18 holes.

Despite solid play yesterday, the lingering memory of this tournament for the Bears will be their play on the longest holes.

"I cannot remember a tournament where we played the par 5s worse," said Desimone. Cal golfers hit a number of aggressive shots on that went astray on par 5s, leading to penalty strokes and missed opportunities for birdies and eagles.

"UCLA did a fabulous job on the par 5s," said Desimone.

Tomasulo, the team's captain, echoed his coach's feelings.

"We hit a lot of bad shots on par 5s," he said. "Other than that, we probably played as well as anybody."

Coastal Carolina's Alvero Velasco shot a pair of 68s and a 69 to win individual honors. His 11 under-par score of 205 was the best winning total at the invite since 1991.

Even with a disappointing finish in Stockton, Desimone is confident that his team can rebound.

"We'll regroup and get ready for Saticoy, it's a very good course for us," he said, referring to the layout Cal will play when they compete in the Pepperdine Intercollegiate in two weeks.


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