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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Men’s golf looking to finish on a high note

    Junior Henry Liaw tees off in the opening round of the National Invitational Tournament at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club in mid-March. Liaw won the Ping/Arizona Intercollegiate Jan. 30-31.
    Junior Henry Liaw tees off in the opening round of the National Invitational Tournament at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club in mid-March. Liaw won the Ping/Arizona Intercollegiate Jan. 30-31.

    It has been a season of slipping down the leader board mixed in with a decent amount of prosperity for the No. 26 Arizona men’s golf team.

    After finishing in fifth place at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships, the team makes its final push into the postseason. But it’s been a weird year of up and downs, said John Knauer, Arizona’s assistant coach.

    “”It’s just a matter of making sure that you are up at the right time,”” he said.

    The Wildcats won the ASU Thunderbird Invitational April 7-8, and junior Henry Liaw won the Ping/Arizona Intercollegiate Jan. 30-31. The team has had 14 top-10 finishes this season and six top-five finishes.

    Now Knauer said the most important thing is that the Wildcats go to the NCAA Championships, as Arizona has the second-longest standing streak of attending the NCCAs in the nation at 19.

    The 2006 West Regionals take place May 18-20, and the Wildcats, who garnered a No. 7 seed, will have a home-course advantage. The tournament takes place at Omni Tucson National. Florida earned the No. 1 seed, and rival ASU picked up the No. 2 seed.

    The top 10 of the 27 teams competing will advance to the NCAA Championships.

    Each place in the tournament has a meaning, with a big difference between finishing sixth and finishing fifth, Knauer said.

    He said the regionals event is like having tournaments within tournaments.

    “”I hate it as a coach,”” Knauer said.

    Knauer said Arizona’s finish at the Pac-10s was less than stellar, and the Wildcats should have come in second but ended up behind teams he said they had no business losing to.

    The Wildcats’ inconsistency showed, as they failed to place a single golfer on the first team of the All-Pac-10 team – only the third year in the last 28 that has happened.

    Knauer said that after Pac-10s, Liaw, who made second-team All-Pac-10, now has a sense of urgency going into the final part of the season.

    “”He needs to have a good showing,”” Knauer said. “”I think it hit home after Pac-10s.””

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