Cal authoring a Jekyll and Hyde season

California junior Stephen Hale won his second college title Oct. 13 at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational.

Some of you may remember the book by Robert Lewis Stevenson titled “Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.” It’s the story about a man with a dual personality – one side good, the other, well, not so good.

It’s a concept we see from time to time even in this day and age, and it’s certainly one that seems to be playing out this season in men’s college golf. Just look at the University of California.

I mean, what is up with these guys? So far they are textbook Jekyll and Hyde team.

Veteran Golden Bears coach Steve Desimone – who in December was among the latest inductees (along with yours truly) into the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame – has to be scratching his head in wonderment. I know I am.

Consider that Cal began the 2010-11 campaign with a dismal 12th-place finish at Olympia Fields back in September. Then the Bears turned things around and placed third at the Windon, followed by victories at the Prestige and the MacKenzie. But they closed the fall with a ho-hum eighth place at the U.S. Collegiate Championship.

They started the spring on a similar note, finishing eighth at the Arizona Intercollegiate, before Dr. Jekyll made his way back out in Hawaii as Cal captured the John Burns Memorial.

Then Mr. Hyde returned as the Bears finished a pretty disappointing ninth at the USC Invitational.

Cal ended the fall No. 19 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, dropped a few notches after Arizona, then climbed to 17th following the win at the Burns. The USC effort leaves the Bears No. 20 in the latest rankings.

Talk about a roller coaster ride.

Now the question – will it be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde showing this coming weekend in Las Vegas when Cal competes against one of the best fields in the country at the Southern Highlands Intercollegiate?

The same holds true down the road at the Arizona State/Thunderbird and Western Intercollegiate. And more importantly, who will show for the Bears in postseason play at the Pac-10 and NCAA regional?

Should be interesting to see how it all pans out for Desimone and the Bears as crunch time draws near.

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