MARICOPA, Ariz. – Cal sophomore Tanner Hughes (69-70-68 – 207, -9) pulled out a dramatic one-shot victory in walk-off fashion Wednesday at the Saguaro Amateur by draining a nine-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the first amateur event of 2017. Hughes trailed playing partner Daniel Connolly by one stroke heading into their 54th and final hole of the tournament at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club but took advantage of the opportunity to win after Connolly bogeyed the hole.
"I knew it was close to win or tie but I wasn't too clued in as I was taking it one shot at a time," Hughes told Tournament Director Roy Edwards after his victory according to amateurgolf.com. "But based on what everyone was saying I knew the putt meant something, whether it was the tie or the win."
BERKELEY – California garnered the best national team ranking in the Pac-12 Conference when the Golden Bears earned a tie at No. 5 in Wednesday's first Oracle/ITA Ranking of 2017. Five Bears – led by senior Florian Lakat at No. 12 – also claimed singles rankings, and two Cal pairs – including Lakat and Filip Bergevi at No. 2 – are ranked in the New Year's first doubles poll.
Cal – an NCAA semifinalist last spring – is tied with Georgia at No. 5 in the top 25 team poll.
In the first singles poll of the New Year, Lakat, who posted a 7-3 singles record in the fall, senior Andre Goransson (No. 15, 12-4 record), who won the singles crown at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships at Cal, junior Billy Griffith (No. 32, 10-2), senior Filip Bergevi (No. 69, 11-2) and freshman Bjorn Hoffmann (No. 82, 12-3) all earned rankings.
BERKELEY – The California women's tennis team claimed the No. 8 spot in the first Oracle/ITA Ranking of 2017, the ITA announced on Wednesday. The Golden Bears also picked up two singles and two doubles rankings on Tuesday.
Cal (0-0) will begin the New Year with its Cal Winter Invitational from Jan. 13-15 in Berkeley and will open the dual-match portion of the season on Jan. 29 when it hosts Xavier on the first day of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Bears will take on either Missouri or Old Dominion on the last day of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 30 at Hellman. The champion of the four-team event qualifies for the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship.
The Bear Raid, already in search of a quarterback for 2017, now must find a No. 1 receiver.
Chad Hansen, Cal’s top wideout this season, announced Wednesday that he is headed to the NFL.
“Chad played a significant role in our offensive success last season and was certainly one of the top receivers in the nation,” head coach Sonny Dykes said. “He has worked hard to put himself in this position, and I know it wasn’t an easy decision for him to make. We’re certainly going to miss Chad, but I’m excited for him and this opportunity. He has a skill set that will translate well to the NFL.”
Cal can probably withstand the loss of Hansen with six of the team’s top eight receivers coming back. That includes freshman All-American Demetris Robertson, who had 50 catches and seven touchdowns, both second to Hansen for the Bears.