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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    W-golf takes fourth place in league championships

    The 2009 women’s golf Pacific 10 Conference Championships was quite the loaded tournament during the weekend.

    The core competition was not for first place; instead, the true contest came down to the Wildcats’ fourth-place finish.

    The top-three finishing teams took their respective titles by a long shot, but Arizona clung onto its finish by a mere three strokes to beat out California, as the Wildcats posted a score of 884 on the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, Calif.

    “”I thought we’d be a little more competitive with the other three teams in the Pac-10 that are ranked higher than us,”” said UA head coach Shelly

    Haywood. “”We just never really got off to a great start.””

    ASU took the tournament, followed by USC and UCLA. ASU finished at even par, USC finished 9-over-par and UCLA went 12-over-par. These teams were clearly in a league of their own as Arizona, the next closest competitor, finished 32-over-par for the competition.

    “”I’m a little disappointed,”” Haywood said. “”I thought we could play a little better actually.””

    The Wildcats are a relatively young team, Haywood explained, and although there can be no excuses, this may have contributed to some of the mental mistakes that cost the team.

    “”We had to count two triple bogeys on Saturday, and anytime you have to count a triple that’s definitely mental,”” Haywood said.

    Although the Pac-10s didn’t go quite as the team had planned, a few Arizona players finished out with respectable scores overall.

    “”Nikki (Koller) started out our number-five player, but ended up being our number one. She had some pretty good rounds and shot even (on Sunday). Amanda (Wilson) shot even (on Sunday) and that was nice.

    Alejandra (Llaneza) shot 1-over (in the final round),”” Haywood said.

    With the conclusion of this weekend’s competition, Arizona has shifted its attention to the upcoming regional conference at ASU’s golf course.

    “”We will stay in the West Regionals and we’ll be playing at ASU in a couple weeks, which is good because we only have to go a couple hours up the road,”” Haywood said. “”We just played there a few weeks ago, so the girls are really familiar with the course.””

    All in all, the Pac-10s just weren’t Arizona’s to take, but there is still hope for the near future.

    “”I’m not one to play for fourth place. If we’re going to go play I want to be playing for the title, and that just didn’t happen this week,”” Haywood said. “”We’ll just have to regroup and get ready for regionals.””

    Men’s squad to take its shot at Pac-10s

    It’s crunch time in the world of collegiate golf.

    The Arizona men’s golf team is set to take part in the 2009 Pacific 10 Conference Championships this week in Seattle, Wash., against some fierce competition.

    Eight of the 10 teams in competition are ranked among the nation’s top-50 squads – USC (3), Stanford (4), Washington (5) ASU (16), UCLA (17) California (32), Arizona (36) and Oregon (46).

    Although the obstacles could be overwhelming, the team still holds high hopes.

    “”It’s as strong as any tournament in the country, including the NCAAs, and you have to play your very best to do well,”” said UA head coach Rick LaRose.

    The Wildcats will have to utilize six players in the tournament, something they haven’t done so far this year, and LaRose said that will test the depth of his squad.

    “”We don’t have any of the top players,”” LaRose said. “”… We need to do a blue-collar job and have everybody play their best.””

    Freshman Philip Bagdade, sophomores Tarquin MacManus and Rich Saferian, junior Brad Nicholson and senior Tyler Neal are set to compete at the 6,836-yard, par-72 Seattle Golf Course.

    “”They’ve been working very hard on their game and you are what you are, you’ve just got to make the best with what you’ve got,”” LaRose said. “”Hopefully they’ll play to their strengths and avoid their weaknesses and have a good tournament. They’re all capable of playing very well, but we need to have everybody play well.””

    Competition tees off with two rounds on Monday and will continue through Wednesday afternoon.

    If Arizona can pull together anything like its 2008 performance, the 2009 Pac-10s may yield a respectable finish. Arizona’s Creighton Honeck took home the individual Pac-10 crown last year, but there doesn’t appear to be a leader like Honeck on this year’s UA team.

    “”Tarquin is our best player, he really needs to step up and lead the boys a little bit,”” LaRose said. “”Tyler is our only senior and he has his moments where he plays very well and he certainly is capable.””

    If the team can follow his prime example, this could be the morale boost for the upcoming regional competitions May 14-16.

    “”Golf is a funny deal, some weeks you really got it and some weeks you don’t,”” LaRose said. “”…We’ll get through (the) conference (tournament) and this is going to be a building block going into NCAA regionals.””

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