Cal men’s golf is heading to Pebble Beach, California, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 for the Stanford-hosted Cypress Point Classic, the Bears’ last tournament of the fall season.
The Cypress Point Classic features the Bears’ first Ryder Cup-style tournament of the season, in which the eight teams participating are split in two groups of four for head-to-head style competition.
The tournament hosts some of the best teams in the country, including No. 8 Wake Forest, which, despite its high ranking, just finished ninth at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate tournament. The competition also features host No. 11 Stanford, which tied for third at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate tournament with No. 18 USC, which is another competitor at the Cypress Point Classic. Additionally, No. 14 Georgia, which most recently placed third at the Nike Collegiate Golf Invitational, has a strong record of solid, high-place wins this season.
The Cypress Point Classic also hosts unranked teams UCLA, Alabama and Georgia Tech, all of which received votes but did not make it onto the board. They are sure to look for a victory in this tournament, one of their seasons’ last, to put them up.
Cal, which was ranked No. 11 at the start of the season, plummeted 14 places to No. 25 after three disappointing eighth-place finishes in a row. The Bears’ abysmal last-place finish at their most recent tournament, the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational, caused them to fall completely off the board.
Cal has taken a lot of hits this season, notably because of the loss of some of its best players — juniors KK Limbhasut and Sebastian Crampton are redshirting this season to focus on getting into the Haas School of Business, while sophomore Jamie Cheatham has been out all season due to injury. Sophomore Collin Morikawa, this season’s star, was absent from the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational because he was making his PGA debut.
This tournament, the Cypress Point Classic, is the Bears’ last chance to lift itself up — likely not far enough to actually make it into the top 25, but at least far enough to receive some votes. A strong finish at this tournament — something better than eighth place — could, at the very least, bolster the players’ self-esteem going into next season.
Cal is a new and young team, and this Ryder Cup-style competition is likely not something many of the players have seen before in collegiate golf. This spin on the tournament could change the team’s mindset and break the Bears out of their cycle of low-place finishes.
The team has the potential to really succeed at the Cypress Point Classic; now, it’s just a matter of waiting to see. Cal’s first match will be Monday.
Maya Rao covers men’s golf. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org