Men’s golf places 10th after first day

Lance Madden

At the end of the first round of the CordeValle Collegiate men’s golf tournament hosted by UCLA on Monday, one thing stood out in UA head coach Rick LaRose’s head.

“”We’re not very good,”” he said.

The Wildcats are in 10th place of 12 teams after hitting a 26-over-par 386 in the opening round of Arizona’s final fall tournament.

Sophomore Tarquin MacManus led the Wildcats with a 3-over-par 75 performance. Freshman Philip Bagdade (5 over) – who is playing in his first collegiate varsity tournament – sophomores Jonathan Kahn (5 over), Roberto Galleti (9 over), and junior Brad Nicholson (4 over) rounded out the scoring for Arizona.

Senior Tyler Neal hit an 11 over, but only teams’ top five scores are counted.

“”We’re a little short on talent right now, and we need to keep getting some better players,”” LaRose said. “”We’ve got a few guys. Tarquin MacManus certainly is a pretty good player. Kahn can play at times. Our senior is not getting the job done right now, and I think he’s a better player than that.””

The Wildcats sit 29 strokes behind No. 4 USC, which led the tournament at 3 under, Monday, causing UA assistant coach Andy Barnes to say the Wildcats are out of the running to win the tournament.

“”I wish I could put a positive light on it, but obviously it’s kind of hard,”” Barnes said. “”When we’re playing bad, as coaches, sometimes it’s hard to stay positive.””

The Wildcats got a slow start on the CordeValle Country Club, a par 72, 7,169-yard course, which features 4-6 inch rough and fast greens, LaRose said. And that’s not to mention the wind and rain the athletes must play through as well.

Arizona hit 20 over on the front 9 in the first round, with 14 bogeys and five double bogeys.

“”We went out, got off to a bad start and everything snowballed,”” Barnes said.

LaRose said in order for the Wildcats to do better in today’s round, someone needs to pull the wagon and road blocks in the form of ultra-high scores that can’t exist.

“”We’ve got a lot of learning to do,”” LaRose said. “”I think the bright spot of the whole day (Monday) was Philip Bagdade.

“”We just had two very poor scores and we had to count one of them, and that’s what really hurt us. You just can’t count guys shooting in the 80s. You shoot in the 80s, you need to find something else to do.””

The Wildcats’ production as of late sticks out to LaRose, who has been coaching the Wildcats for more than two decades.

The team finished 14th of 18 teams (45 over par) in Florida last weekend and 14th of 15 teams (40 over par) in Long Beach, Calif., on Oct. 16-17.

“”The last two tournaments we’ve had probably the two worst team scores I’ve ever had in all the years I’ve been coaching,”” LaRose said. “”I’m not real happy about it but we are who we are, and we’ve got who we’ve got, and we’re going to have to make the best of what we’ve got.””