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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Golf teams set to tee up for NCAA West Regionals

    At the end of the Pacific 10 Conference Championships in Fairfax, Calif., April 30, two conclusions were drawn regarding Arizona golf teams. First, the No. 13 Arizona women’s golf team would be advancing to the NCAA West Regionals starting tomorrow and ending Saturday at Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Lincoln, Calif. Second, the men’s golf team would not be advancing to the NCAA West Regionals after a sixth-place finish knocked it out of contention.

    The men’s team will not go unrepresented, though, as freshman Tarquin MacManus was selected as one of six players to compete in the regional tournament as an individual, May 15-17 at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Seattle.

    “”It is always nice to have someone there,”” said assistant coach John Knauer. “”It is a major upside for next year’s team.””

    MacManus was slated as the third seed out of those six individuals within the 141-man field, a major accomplishment for the native Australian. MacManus led the Wildcats this year with a 72.51-stroke average throughout the season as well as seven top-20 finishes, three of which were in the top 10.

    More importantly, the selection means the Wildcats will have a presence in the regional for the 22nd consecutive season after the team failed to clinch a postseason berth for the first time since 1986.

    “”What this does for us as a team is gives (MacManus) the experience that he will need to pass off to the young guys next year,”” Knauer said. “”There is no question about it, he is going to be our leader next year.””

    On the other side, the women’s golf team is in a much different situation, as it will be competing in one of the top regions in the country. Placed in the West region, the fourth-seeded Wildcats will have to go up against No. 1 USC, No. 5 ASU, No. 9 Arkansas and No. 7 Oklahoma State which are seeded first, second, third and fifth, respectively.

    “”It’s good for us to be out West,”” said UA head coach Shelly Haywood. “”I believe that the West is the toughest draw, so we’ve got to go out, play well and take advantage of the opportunity.””

    With such tough competition, the Wildcats will need to turn to their strong point, something they have relied on all year long to get to where they are now. Their ability to play as a team and pick each other up has hardly gone unnoticed; it is a necessary component for the team if they wish to compete.

    “”It is something that we have prided ourselves on all year long,”” Haywood said. “”I think that it has worked well for us all year.””

    The Wildcats know this to be true. In their top finishes this year at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown and the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Kane’ohe, Oahu, Hawaii, the team placed second both times, finishing with no more than 27 strokes between the first- and fifth-place team members and no more than 17 strokes between the first- and fourth-place competitors.

    “”It has allowed us to compete this year,”” said senior Alison Walshe. “”There’s always someone there to pick someone up if they fall … We just want to go out there and show that we are competitive.””

    This is the 22nd consecutive season in which the women’s squad will be represented in the regional, an event it has won four times before, but none since 2001. The top-eight teams will move onto the NCAA Championships at the University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course in two weeks.

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