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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Tyler, Wilks tie for 6th to push men’s golf into 3rd-place finish”

    Nathan Tyler
    Nathan Tyler

    After plenty of rest from competition, they came back strong.

    Arizona seniors Josh Wilks and Nathan Tyler led the No. 28 men’s golf team to a third-place finish in the Oregon Duck Invitational yesterday in Eugene, Ore.

    Tyler and Wilks tied for sixth place individually. The event marked Wilks’ first action since Nov. 7 and Tyler’s first since Feb. 23.

    Arizona tied the Ducks for third in the 12-team field by shooting a 3-under 285, bringing the team to an 11-over 875 total. No. 6 USC won the event with a 4-over 868.

    As UA head coach Rick LaRose continues to look for a steady lineup, the individual success of Wilks and Tyler, who each shot a 3-over 219, has arguably complicated his decision-making process.

    But the success of the two Tucson natives wasn’t just a fluke.

    “”The last couple of tournaments, when the team was gone, I went out and I practiced every day from sunup till sundown,”” Tyler said Saturday. “”I feel like my game has improved dramatically over the last couple of weeks.””

    Tyler drained 10 of Arizona’s tournament-high 51 birdies and was 5-under on the four par-5 holes .

    While not competing the last month, Tyler followed the team closely while they were away. He especially followed freshman Pedro Oriol, with whom Tyler said he is “”closer with than most of the guys on the team.””

    When the team was in Las Vegas for the Southern Highland Collegiate Championship, Tyler followed the play-by-play for the final day, March 11, on his computer via golfstat.com, following Oriol in particular.

    “”I was sitting at my computer going nuts. … They had him posted on the 17th hole for 30 minutes,”” Tyler said with a laugh. “”I was sitting in my bedroom just clicking ‘refresh’ a million times trying to find out what he was doing.””

    Oriol shot a 1-under 215 that day, pushing the Wildcats to a third-place finish. At the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational in Statesboro, Ga., March 17-18, he led Arizona again with a 1-over 217 total.

    But Oriol didn’t do as well in the Duck Invitational, tying for 36th with a 10-over 226. His score didn’t affect the team’s finish, as only the top-four scores from each team were tallied.

    Seniors Josh Esler (4 over) and No. 24 Brian Prouty (6 over) rounded out Arizona’s scoring yesterday. Ben Fox (16 over) was the final member of the extended six-man lineup.

    “”(The bigger roster) gives us an advantage because we’re looking for our players that we’re going to be taking into postseason,”” Tyler said. “”What my coach is doing right now is sorting through our players and seeing who’s going to be best for the end.””

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