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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tough weekend in Florida looms for men’s golf

    The No. 64 Arizona men’s golf team limps into the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational held Sunday through Tuesday at the Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Fla., after a slow start to the season.

    Isleworth is the home course of PGA tour star Tiger Woods as well as many other professional golfers.

    UA head coach Rick LaRose said going up against all the teams in Isleworth is the equivalent of the football team playing Michigan, USC, Ohio State, Auburn and Louisiana State all in the same weekend.

    “”It’s going to be a monumental task for us this week,”” LaRose said. “”We have to play the best golf we’ve played this semester.””

    The team is looking forward to the challenge with tempered expectations.

    In addition to playing on a difficult course, the Wildcats will be up against many of the top teams in the country, as 11 of the 18 teams competing rank in the top 25, including No. 2 Florida, No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Tennessee and No. 8 Georgia.

    LaRose will again go with a different lineup, replacing sophomore Ben Fox with senior Josh Esler and redshirt senior Nathan Tyler with junior Creighton Honeck.

    “”We’re just trying to find a lineup that can seem to jell,”” LaRose said.

    It will be the Wildcats third different lineup in three tournaments this year.

    Esler re-joins the team after not traveling to Alabama for the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate two weeks ago. This weekend’s tournament will be Honeck’s first ever on the varsity team after playing two years for Midland Junior College and redshirting last season.

    Joining Esler and Honeck in the lineup will be juniors Travis Esway and Trey Denton and freshman Pedro Oriol.

    Esler was Arizona’s low man in Alabama and is optimistic about the team’s chances in Orlando.

    “”If we just go in and have a positive mental attitude, I think we can play really well,”” he said.

    LaRose said that playing a difficult schedule early in the year is a strategy he has always employed.

    He said his beliefs are similar to that of UA men’s basketball head coach Lute Olson in that challenging your team early so that they can take their lumps will pay off in the end.

    “”It’s not always where you start,”” LaRose said, “”it’s where you finish.””

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