Cal men survive playoff for 1st Pac-12 title
Sunday, April 29, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. – It's no surprise the toughest conference in men's college golf – at least this season – went to a playoff before deciding its champion.
California, No. 8 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, finally outlasted No. 7 Oregon in a sudden-death playoff Sunday to win its first Pac-12 Championship in its 50th appearance at the event. The two teams tied at 12-under 1,428 after 72 holes of regulation play at Trysting Tree Golf Club. Oregon, sparked by a 16-under 344 in Round 3, had led Cal by six shots heading into the final round, but the Bears rallied with a 4-under 356 Sunday to Oregon's 2-over 362. It was a school-record fifth victory this season for Cal.
Each team sent out six players in the playoff, with the lowest five scores counting from each squad. The two teams tied with 21 strokes on the first extra hole, the par-4 18th, then went to the par-4 16th, where Cal counted 19 strokes (four pars and Brandon Hagy's birdie) to Oregon's 24 (double bogey, two bogeys and two pars).
Oregon also was seeking its first outright Pac-12 title. The Ducks had won North Division titles in 1976 and '77, when the conference had only eight teams, four in each division. Oregon had to defeat only Oregon State, Washington and Washington State to win those titles, as UCLA, USC, Stanford and Cal played at a different site for the South Division title during those seasons.
Entering the event, the Pac-12 boasted six of the nation's top 12 teams in Golfweek's rankings. No. 5 USC finished third at 8-under 1,432, with No. 3 UCLA another shot back in fourth place. Host Oregon State, ranked No. 54, finished a surprising fifth at 7-over 1,447, just ahead of sixth-ranked Stanford (1,448). No. 12 Washington (1,467) finished a distant seventh.
Stanford's Andrew Yun shot consistent rounds of 68-70-69-68 to win the individual title at 13-under 275, two shots ahead of Oregon's Daniel Miernicki. Oregon's Eugene Wong and USC's Sam Smith tied for third at 9-under 279, followed by Hagy and UCLA's Patrick Cantlay at 280.
The tournament's format counted the lowest 5 of 6 scores from each team daily.