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ShagBag Cal Makes History, but is Upset in Match Play C


an you be the best team ever, even if you don’t win the title? In college golf, that debate is growing. Wake Forest won


national titles in 1974 and 1975 but fi nished fourth in 1976 despite a nucleus of Jay Haas, Curtis Strange and Scott Hoch. UCLA won 13 of 20 tournaments in 1981-82, but the team led by Corey Pavin and Steve Pate fi nished sixth at nationals. Oklahoma State set the modern record with 10 wins in 1985-86, but Scott Verplank, Brian Watts and the Cowboys took second at nationals. And now there is Cal,


which was knocked out of the semifi nals of the NCAA Championships with a 3-2


match-play loss to Illinois, prematurely ending a truly historic season. Take a look at Cal’s


resume: • Won 11 of its fi rst 13


tournaments • Earned No. 1 seed


after winning 54-hole medal portion of nationals by six strokes • Set modern record


with average margin of victory of 14.75 strokes • Lost its two tourna- ments by a combined four strokes while fi nishing second and third • All fi ve players (senior Max Homa, junior Michael Weaver, junior Joel Stalter, junior Brandon Hagy, sophomore Michael Kim) won an individual title and fi nished ranked


My humble opinion, this is the best college golf team that ever played. -CAL COACH STEVE DESIMONE


10 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2013


in the top 25. • Homa won the individ-


ual national championship. But none of that mat-


tered when Cal and Illinois


Max Homa, winner of


the individual national


championship


were knotted up at 2-2 with one match alive: Homa (fresh off his national title two days earlier) vs. Thomas Pieters, the 2012 national champion. The match went to the 20th hole, where Homa hit his 19th green of the day, only to three-putt from 50 feet to clinch the win for Illinois. “I don’t know


the next time a sea- son like this is going to happen,” said Cal coach Steve Desim- one moments after the match. “Maybe it’s going to happen next year. Maybe it’s not going to happen for another 50 years. But I’ll tell you there’s nothing that happened today that diminishes that.”


USGA Endorses TIME FOR NINE Program


Recent studies sug- gest that Americans are spending from 500 to 1,400 more hours at work per year than their parents did. This trend signifi cantly cuts into the amount of leisure time most adults can enjoy.


With that in mind, the USGA, PGA of America and Golf Digest have endorsed a campaign called “Time For Nine”— a program that encour- ages nine-hole rounds. With promotional sup-


port from the USGA and the PGA of America, Golf Digest will create a list of nine-hole-friendly golf


PHOTO: DAN AVILA


PHOTO: CAL ATHLETICS


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