On the Tee: Arizona opens play at the 2006 NCAA West Regional, May 18-20, as the host at Omni Tucson National Golf Club in Tucson ... The Cats didn’t have far to travel, as the course is about 15 miles from campus ... This is the fourth time that Arizona has hosted the West Regional (1992, 1994, 1999) ... UA appears in an NCAA Regional for a record 18th consecutive season ... Arizona is one of seven schools nationally to appear in every regional since the format was adopted in 1989 ... The Wildcats have four top-five finishes and one team victory this season, which came April 9 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational.
The Rankings: The Wildcats opened the 2005-06 season ranked 22nd nationally and are currently ranked 25th in the current (April 27) Bridgestone/GCAA Coaches Poll and No. 26 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Individually, junior Henry Liaw is the top-ranked Wildcat nationally, checking in at No. 54 on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Classmate Josh Esler comes next at No. 163.
A Look at the 2006 NCAA West Regional: The
Golfer Yr. Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rd. Events
Henry Liaw Jr. 71.86 4/2 66 13
Brian Prouty Jr. 73.37 2/1 67 9
Josh Esler Jr. 73.32 0/4 68 11
Ben Fox Fr. 72.44 1/3 67 9
Travis Esway So. 73.55 0/0 69 11
Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . is in his 28th season at the helm of the
Last Time Out: The
Brian Prouty was the only Wildcat to shoot par in the final round.
UCLA won the event with an even-par 1,420 total, 12 strokes in front of runner-up
Junior Henry Liaw was
Last Year at the NCAA West Regional: The Wildcats tallied a final-round, four-over-par 284 and jumped into a tie for eighth place at the NCAA West Regional, May 19-21, in
After a horrid second round, which saw the team post a 16-over-par total and put its qualifying efforts in jeopardy, Arizona rebounded nicely by posting the four-over 284, and qualified safely with a three-day total of 863 (+23).
Once again, senior Nathan Lashley set the pace for the Wildcats, as he finished in a tie for second place after a final-round 69 (-1). His three-under 207 total was three strokes off the pace set by Stanford’s Rob Grube, who fired a final-round 65 (-5) to claim individual medalist honors at six-under 204.
UA sophomore Henry Liaw finished in a tie for 22nd place with a four-over 214 total, while fellow classmate Josh Esler and freshman Travis Esway finished tied for 56th place at nine-over 219 and tied for 80th place at nine-over 219, respectively.
T2. Nathan Lashley.................. 66-72-69=207 (-3) 1. UNLV....................................... 846
T21. Henry Liaw........................ 71-72-71=214 (+4) 2.
T56. Josh Esler.......................... 72-75-72=219 (+9) 3.
T80. Travis Esway.................. 75-77-72=224 (+14) 4. UCLA....................................... 857
T107. Kipp Riehle....................... 74-77-77=228 (+18)
Seventh Heaven: Since the NCAA adopted the current three-regional format in 1989,
Individually Speaking: In the 17-year history of the NCAA Regional, five
A Considerate Host: 2006 marks the fourth time that
1994 UNLV (849/-15) 4th (866/+2) Edward Fryatt, UNLV (207/-9)
All-Conference Picks: Three
You Can’t Tell the Players Without a Scorecard: Settling on a lineup has been difficult for the Wildcat coaching staff because so many players have seen action. Over the course of 11 stroke play events this season a total of 11 different players have made up the UA varsity lineup. In fact,
The Ex(perience) Factor: UA golf fans can hope that experience won’t be too big of a factor when the NCAA West Regional begins on May 18 because the Wildcat lineups features a total of 12 rounds of NCAA Regional experience, and all of those reside with two players (Henry Liaw and Josh Esler, six each). At least 40 percent of the UA lineups will be making its regional debut this week. Perhaps playing at home will serve as an equalizer.
Not Much in the Way of Statistical Fluctuation: As mentioned above,
No Surprise There: Junior Henry Liaw is the most experienced Wildcat with 116 rounds played in his two-plus seasons in
A Stabilizing Factor: Practically a fixture in the lineup since his freshman season, junior Josh Esler is enjoying the best statistical season of his career with a 73.32 stroke average to with four top-20 finishes (one more than his first two seasons combined) and a career-best six rounds in the 60s. Furthermore, he’s tied for second on the team with 12 rounds at par or better. In nine career competitive rounds played at Omni Tucson National, Elser has a 73.00 stroke average.
Making a Charge: Freshman Ben Fox makes his third appearance with the UA varsity as part of the countable lineup at the NCAA West Regional. The Studio City, Calif., product has done well to earn the spot, as he ranks second on the team with a 72.44 stroke average and has been within two strokes of par or better in six of eight tournaments this season. In six spring events, Fox’s stroke average falls to 71.81, a figure that trails only Henry Liaw (71.73) since the calendar changed to 2006. Fox carries a 71.20 stroke average over his last 10 rounds played.
Good Timing: Tucson native Brian Prouty is enjoying a solid statistical season in which he has amassed career bests in appearances (9), rounds played (27) top-10 finishes (2), low tournament (205/-8), rounds at par or better (10) and low finish (third). In 27 rounds played this season, he has a respectable 73.37 stroke average, but that mark falls to 70.90 over his last 10 rounds played.
A Top-10 Finish... would give