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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Challenge ahead for men’s golf at Isleworth Collegiate

    The Arizona men’s golf team began its season with three tournaments in which no ranked teams competed. That trend will end Sunday at the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate Invitational in Orlando, Fla.

    Nine of out of the 18 teams competing in the tournament rank among the nation’s top 25, including five top-10 squads. The field, considered by many coaches to be the toughest of the season, also features seven of the top 15 finishers in last year’s NCAA Championships.

    “”This field could be tougher than the (2008) national championships,”” said redshirt senior Creighton Honeck. “”But we still are not preparing any differently. We have the same attitude as we had entering the Wolf Pack Classic, and we won that. Learning to win like we did will be key for this tournament.””

    The win at the Wolf Pack Classic in Reno, Nev., 11 days ago was the team’s first of the season, following two disappointing finishes.

    “”By playing in those tournaments we tried to get used to winning,”” Honeck said. “”It finally clicked (for us) at Reno.””

    Adding to the challenge of the competitive field is the Isleworth Country Club Golf Course where the tournament will be held. The par-72, 7,544-yard course is often referred to as Florida’s toughest golf course.

    “”Myself and (senior) Trey (Denton) played the course last year, so we know what shots need to be taken on a tough course like this,”” Honeck said. “”We need to learn and practice a bunch of different shots to combat what we’ll have to face.””

    One player who could be a key to Arizona’s success is freshman Tarquin MacManus, who has improved in each of his first three collegiate tournaments, earning his first top-20 finish in the second tournament of the season, followed by his first top-10 finish in Reno.

    “”I just have to go out there and get the job done and capitalize on all the opportunities I get,”” MacManus said. “”There is a lot more pressure playing college golf because you’re playing for your team, your coaches and your university.””

    Honeck said the team, which also includes junior Tyler Neal and freshman Andrew Kelly, must put up a great performance to win a second straight tournament.

    “”All five of us need to go out there and play well,”” he said. “”Every guy has to step up. We all have to play smart and not make any dumb mistakes.””

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