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Collin Morikawa named Pac-12 Golfer of the Year; Cal M. Golf heads to Myrtle Beach Regional

Golden Bears, 2nd seed in the Regional, need to finish in the top 5 as a team to advance

With so many talented seniors, can Cal Men’s Golf have a very special ending to the 2019 season?
Cal Men’s Golf Twitter

It is not that much of a surprise, but nonetheless satisfying that Cal senior Collin Morikawa was named the Pac-12 Golfer of the Year on Wednesday. Morikawa just won the individual title at the Pac-12 Championship recently and have finished in the top 7 individually in every stroke play tournament (he played in 10) this year.

Fellow seniors Sebastian Crampton and KK Limbhasut were named to the Pac-12 First and Second teams, respectively. James Song is named to the All-Freshman conference team as well.

Morikawa is the 2nd Cal Bears to earn the Pac-12 Men’s Golfer of the Year honor. Michael Kim won this award back in 2013. One of the three finalists for the Ben Hogan National Player of the Year award last year, Morikawa should make that short list yet again this year.

In case you missed it, the Golf Channel had this great feature story on Morikawa a couple of weeks ago. Cal fans should be very proud to have Morikawa representing the blue and gold now and forever in the future, when he reaches his potential and become a regular on the PGA Tour.

The NCAA Men’s Golf selection was announced on Wednesday night, Cal Bears are the 2nd seed behind Wake Forest in the Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Regional. The NCAA Regional consists of three rounds (54 holes) where top 4 scores out of 5 players will count toward the team total. Teams will need to finish in the top 5 in each of the 6 regionals to earn one of 30 team spots at the NCAA Championship, to be played on May 24th-29th in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The top individual of each regional that is not on an advancing team will also earn a berth in the NCAA Championship.

The Cal lineup of 5 players should be Morikawa, Crampton, Limbhasut, Song, and sophomore Kaiwen Liu, although Jamie Cheatham could also be in the mix (all 6 played with top 5 counting in the Pac-12 Championship, which had a different format).

The Myrtle Beach Regional, to be played at the TPC Myrtle Beach golf course, will take place on May 13th-15th.

Below is the full list of the 14 teams in this regional alongside Cal. Bracket indicates automatic qualifiers.

  1. Wake Forest
  2. California
  3. Texas Tech
  4. Illinois [Big Ten Conference]
  5. Florida State
  6. UNLV
  7. Oregon
  8. Ohio State
  9. Northwestern
  10. Oregon State
  11. Cal State Fullerton [Big West Conference]
  12. Middle Tennessee [Conference USA]
  13. VCU [Atlantic 10 Conference]
  14. Robert Morris [Northeast Conference]

Cal Men’s Golf has won one NCAA team title back in 2004. This year’s team is certainly good enough to match that feat, which would require (once in the NCAA Championship) both playing well in stroke-play (top 8 finish) and then match-play.

Cal Head Coach Walter Chun had thought that his team could run the table in the spring, although the Bears only won two team titles while placed 2nd in three events, including at the Pac-12 Championship. The very special senior class certainly deserve a special end to their collegiate career; as much as nothing is certain in the game of golf, let’s hope that the collegiate careers of Morikawa and company will extend past the NCAA Regional in two weeks.