Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Ranked Sixth Nationally in Preseason College Golf Poll
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 07, 2000
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Tucson, Ariz. On the heels of last season's third-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the University of Arizona men's golf team opens the 2000-01 season as the No. 6 team in the nation, in rankings released Thursday by the College Golf Foundation.

The Wildcats received a total of 225 votes in the preseason edition of the MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings. Clemson topped the poll with 291 votes, just ahead of No. 2 Georgia (267). Georgia Tech (245), Arizona State (244) and Houston (241) round out the top five.

"Preseason rankings are always based on what you have returning," said head coach Rick LaRose. "We've got our top three guys coming back, so I thought we would be in the top five or six."

Last season, Arizona won two tournaments, including the NCAA West Regional, and placed second four times. After the third-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Wildcats ended 2000 ranked sixth in the country and were the highest ranked Pac-10 Conference team in the final poll.

Individually, sophomore Ricky Barnes is rated as the No. 6 player in the nation. The 2000 Pac-10 and National Freshman of the Year, Barnes finished third at both the NCAA and Pac-10 Championships and ended the season with a 71.04 stroke average. He collected six top-10 finishes in 14 events last season and earned second-team All-America honors.

"We feel like we're in pretty good shape," LaRose said. "Barnes should be that much better this season. It's always nice to be up near the top of the rankings. It's good for the kid's confidence."

The MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings, administered by the College Golf Foundation, are the official rankings of the Rolex Collegiate Tour. The voting is done by a panel of men's collegiate golf coaches. The first regular season poll will be released on Oct. 4.

Arizona opens the 2000-01 campaign Fri.-Sat., Sept. 15-16, at the William H. Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.

Preseason MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings

Rnk Team	  Votes		Rnk	Individual			Votes
1.  Clemson	  291		1.	Luke Donald, Northwestern	300
2.  Georgia	  267		2.	Lucas Glover, Clemson		273
3.  Georgia Tech  245		3.	Bryce Molder, Georgia Tech	264
4.  Arizona State 244		4.	Paul Casey, Arizona State	240
5.  Houston	  241		5.	John Engler, Clemson		232
6.  Arizona	  225		6.	Ricky Barnes, Arizona		231
7.  UNLV	  221		7.	Andy Sanders, Houston		214
8.  Oklahoma St   197		8.	D.J. Trahan, Clemson		202
9.  Texas	  196		9.	Nick Cassini, Georgia		192
10. Northwestern  181		10.	Erik Compton, Georgia		152
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