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The Bear Blog caught up with head coach Steve Desimone and top Cal finisher Michael Weaver after the final round of stroke play at the 2010 NCAA Championships on Thursday and here's some of what each had to say.
HEAD COACH STEVE DESIMONE
on the 2009-10 season and the NCAA Championships
"At the end of every season you have that opportunity to reflect. Only one team is going to win an NCAA championship, but we basically achieved all of our goals. Our number one goal was to win [an NCAA title] without a doubt, but when you look back at how young this team is with three true freshmen in the lineup [at the NCAA's], knowing we had won three tournament championships during the regular season, the Pac-10 individual championship by Eric Mina, and setting a goal of making it here to the NCAA's. Sure we're disappointed, but in all honesty we played some pretty good golf [at the NCAA's]. We didn't putt the ball very well, and we made some bad decisions on three or four shots that cost us, but if you asked me to grade this I would give this a B-minus. We didn't have our A-game, but we're 14 or 15 shots from the cut line, and I can tell you that every one of us feels we left an awful lot out there."
on what reaching the 2010 NCAA Championships means to the program
"After getting a taste of this, they want a whole lot more. They can't wait for a year from today, I guarantee that. This event here was a great stepping stone for us. It's something that the guys can really reflect on what went right, what went wrong. Every one of these guys has a real sense of what they need to do to move up, to improve and I can the sense that the coaching staff has right now is let's take a little bit of a break and then let's get started again real soon. I know that the guys agree with us."
on previewing the 2010-11 season
"This year's team brings every one of its players back, which obviously is great news. We redshirted John Murphy, who was our best player in 2008-09, so he'll be back. And we're bringing in arguably one of the top recruiting classes, maybe the top recruiting class, in the country with U.S. Amateur champion Ben An, Joel Stalter from France, who is has been playing in the top spot for the No. 1 boys team in Europe right now, and of course, Tain Lee is coming in. He was the Division III national champion this year and has a good collegiate, but especially a great amateur record. We are adding those three great players to what is already a tremendous lineup. Will expectations be high [next year]? You'd better believe it.
on the performance of freshman Michael Weaver at the 2010 NCAA Championships
"He came to play. The 69 he made today is pretty solid score. He putted very well today. He was the one player that a lot of the putts he missed Wednesday went in today. He hit it really well yesterday, too, but he just couldn't make a putt."
on his round of 69 during Thursday's final round of the NCAA's
"I started really well with birdies on four of my first six holes, and it could have birdied another once, but I missed about a 10-footer on the second hole. I was really hitting the ball well and my putts started finally dropping. I wasn't making a lot of putts my first two rounds, but I made up for that today. It was a little tough during the middle stretch. I bogeyed seven, which is a tough hole. I missed the fairway and had to lay-up, and then the double-bogey on nine was really bad. I hit a really bad shot in the water and didn't get it up and down for bogey. Then I bogeyed the 10th hole when I missed a six-footer for par, but after that I birdied the 12th hole with a 12 or 13-foot putt, hit an eight-footer on the par-four 14th and then made a 14 or 15-footer on 16 for birdie. I was kind of in a groove, hitting the ball really well and making some putts, too, which is always a good combination. Then, I finished off with two pars."
on why he scored lower Thursday than the first two days
"You can hit the ball well and not putt well. Having putts fall was really critical for shooting a lower score today. You have to hit it close, but if you're hitting it close and not making putts, you're still not shooting very low. The putts falling were the difference between today and the first two rounds."
on his experience at his first NCAA Championships
"It was awesome. The course we played at was fantastic. It was in great shape. They treated us really well. The whole tournament atmosphere was really nice. I really enjoyed it. It was a pretty cool experience. I definitely want to make it four years in a row. That would pretty nice, and I think that we're prepared to do that."