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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Men’s golf faces top-seeded Florida in opening round

    In the midst of a disappointing fall season, the No. 64 Arizona men’s golf team heads to Forth Worth, Texas, for this weekend’s Callaway Match Play Championship.

    One of the most prestigious events in college golf, the Callaway championship will feature nearly all the elite teams in the country, as invitations for the tournament are extended to the top finishers at the NCAA championships the year before.

    “”We’ve got our work cut out for us to say the least,”” said UA head coach Rick LaRose.

    The tournament is scheduled for Sunday through Tuesday, but due to the double-elimination format, it could be over earlier if the Wildcats don’t start playing better.

    Arizona finished 13th at the NCAA championships in 2005 but has struggled mightily so far this year, failing to finish higher than 11th in any outing and have been plagued by inconsistent play.

    On paper the Wildcats look to be outmatched and enter the tournament as the lowest seed. UA will face the No. 2 Florida Gators, the tournament’s top seed, in the first round in a match-play format.

    Despite the odds being stacked against them, the Wildcats still believe they have a shot and head to Texas in search of an upset.

    “”If they knew who was going to win, they wouldn’t play it,”” LaRose said.

    The Wildcats are still searching for a leader after losing their top player, would-be senior Henry Liaw, to the professional ranks just two weeks before the start of the season.

    Liaw’s decision to leave school, as well as the wrist injury suffered by redshirt senior Brian Prouty, has left the team scrambling to field a competitive lineup, a lineup that’s been shuffled around in each tournament this year.

    Arizona’s Creighton Honeck, a junior-college transfer, was impressive in his varsity debut last week, finishing in 33rd place. The Austin native is returning to his home state and will be depended on heavily if the Wildcats are going to compete.

    Joining Honeck in the lineup will be junior Trey Denton, sophomore Ben Fox and seniors Josh Esler and Nathan Tyler. Fox is returning to the lineup after sitting out last week with a shoulder injury, while either Travis Esway and Pedro Oriol will travel as an alternate.

    And though the team realizes that Florida is one of the best teams in the country, that doesn’t change their train of thought.

    Said Denton, frankly: “”We’re going to try and beat them.””

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