Bear-ly a Chance To Win
By Torleif Sorenson on 5/28/13
For a college golf team that has no official home course, this is impressive.
The University of California, Berkeley Golden Bear men's golf team won ten of their first 12 tournaments during this 2012-13 season. In addition to those ten team victories, each of the five players wearing the blue and gold this week have won individual tournament victories. Sophomore Michael Kim, age 19, is currently the number one-ranked player in the nation. And, according to some people, they are favored to win the NCAA Championship this week at the Capital City Club's Crabapple Course in Milton, Georgia.
It is impressive to think that Cal golf coach Steve Desimone has come so far with a program he took over on a part-time basis in 1979.
"The first three or four days, I thought, 'This is the dumbest idea ever.' By the fifth or sixth day, I thought, 'What do you have to lose?' And now we're at the top of college golf in the country. We're set in history one way or the other in ways that no other team has succeeded. Now, we have to take the last step, and if we can, we will be in a position that no other school in the history of college golf has been. When you consider the self-funding aspect of it, it makes it even better."After nearly a decade of working two jobs and building the program back from club status, Desimone's annual budget is now $600,000. But that still comes entirely from donations. And the team does not have a formal "home" course; the team practices out of seven or eight different venues, although the Meadow Club in Fairfax is the site of the annual Alister Mackenzie Invitational.
If the experts are right, this will be awfully sweet validation for a program that quite a few collegiate golfers routinely bypass.
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Image via CalBears.com
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