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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA finishes in seventh place in Chula Vista

Arizona men’s golf took an early spring break trip out to San Diego for the Lamkin San Diego Classic in Chula Vista, Calif., and the Wildcats finished in the middle of the pack at seventh place on Tuesday. The Wildcats were one of three Pac-12 Conference teams to compete in the event, joining Oregon State and Washington.

The Wildcats were coming off of, arguably, the worst performance as a team last weekend in Tucson for the National Invitational Tournament, when the Wildcats had to deal with tough, windy conditions at Omni Tucson National, and finished in 12th place. A win before spring break would have been ideal for Arizona coach Jim Anderson’s club.

“I feel like we did much better as a team, and we were able to get the shots that we wanted [in] the final round,” Anderson said. “We had some costly mistakes on the first day, which hurt us on the leader board, but we progressed and had a much better final day.”

The two-day tournament contained three rounds. Two of the three rounds were held on opening day, much like the Arizona Intercollegiate spring opener in January. As a team, Arizona has been in a stalemate all season and hasn’t been able to get over the hump to get a team win.

Anderson put the Wildcats in an interesting situation by implementing a younger lineup that consisted of Peter Koo, George Cunningham, Max Donohue and Jake Kreuz. Each player in the lineup, other than Alex McMahon and Ricky Lee, were freshmen.

“I gave our team a new look this week and decided to add four freshmen into our lineup, and I thought our young guys played well,” Anderson said. “All of our guys are extremely competitive, so it didn’t surprise me that [they] played well.”

The Wildcats teed off for the first round on Monday and once again hit a plateau, finishing in sole possession of eighth place. Arizona shot 295 (+7) as a team, and Cunningham was the only player to place in the top 10, being tied for seventh place after shooting a 70 (-2).

Cunningham was strong in the opening round, tallying three consecutive birdies on the back nine, before bogeying the 18th hole during the first round. He also caught a spark in the second round, despite making two bogeys, and ended tied for fourth place at 3-under-par after the second round.

Cunningham would go on to finish the tournament shooting a 2-under-par, which was good for eighth place.

Kreuz has progressed throughout the season and finished the first two rounds tied for 18th place (+1). He earned an eagle on the second hole par 5 on the first round.

“Jake has been great for us all season, and he’s a true competitor, which is why he’s consistently in our lineup,” Anderson said.

Kreuz had costly mistakes on the front nine in the final round, which consisted of a double bogey and three bogeys, but recovered on the back nine with two birdies. Despite picking up the pace on the back nine, Kruez would fall on the individual leaderboard and finish tied for 23rd place at 3-under-par.

“The front nine, I wasn’t getting the shots placed where I wanted them,” Kreuz said, “but I felt like not only myself but the team played good compared to last week.”

The Wildcats will take some time off before traveling to Stanford for The Goodwin on March 26 for a three-day event.

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Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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