Men's countdown: No. 1 California
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
We are counting down the top 30 men's teams heading into the fall college season.
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No. 1 California
2012-13 Golfweek ranking: 1
Go-to guy: Junior Michael Kim
Season outlook: What the Golden Bears accomplished last season – 11 victories in 14 starts – might be something never witnessed again in men's college golf. That, of course, makes last season a tough act to follow, except for one thing: California came up short at the NCAA Championship, being upset in the semifinals by Illinois. That alone might be enough to keep head coach Steve Desimone’s squad extra focused. Only Max Homa was lost to graduation from last year's starting five at NCAAs.
The returnees are familiar names, led by consensus national Player of the Year Michael Kim, who won three times as a sophomore. Joining him is a trio of talented, experienced seniors in Brandon Hagy, Joel Stalter and Michael Weaver, all of whom were Golfweek second-team All-Americans.
Even after their top four, the Bears have plenty of depth. Senior Pace Johnson, who redshirted last season, joins sophomores James Yoon, Shotaro Ban and Keelan Kilpatrick, plus redshirt freshmen Cameron Shaw and Andrew Morgan, in the mix for playing time at the No. 5 spot, which come spring could be key to the Bears' title hopes.
– Lance Ringler