On the Tee:
The Rankings: The Wildcats are ranked 22nd in the current (May 7) Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and are No. 24 in the April 25 Golf World/Nike Coaches Poll. Individually, senior Brian Prouty is top-ranked Wildcat nationally, checking in at No. 44 on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Four other UA golfers are in the top 200.
Golfer Yr. Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rd. Rounds
Brian Prouty Sr. 72.12 3/0 62 25
Josh Esler Sr. 73.47 0/4 67 34
Nathan Tyler Sr. 72.16 3/2 67 25
Josh Wilks Sr. 72.82 2/2 68 28
Pedro Oriol Fr. 73.73 2/2 68 33
A Look at the 2007 NCAA West Regional:
Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . is in his 29th season at the helm of the
Last Time Out: The University of Arizona men’s golf team shot a final round five-over-par 365 to finish in sixth place at the 2007 Pac-10 Championships at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
As was the case all week, the Wildcats were led individually by senior Nathan Tyler, who finished in a tie for ninth place at three-under 285. Tyler, who was the only Wildcat under par, carded a three-over 75 over the final 18 holes to slip into the tie for ninth place. It was his third top-10 finish of the season and his best finish in three career appearances at the Pac-10 Championships. USC’s Jamie Lovemark captured individual medalist honors with a 19-under 269 total.
Senior Josh Wilks tallied UA’s low round of the day, a three-under 69, and finished in a tie for 24th place at three-over 291. Brian Prouty and Josh Esler finished within one stroke of each other after 72 holes with Prouty tying for 36th place at seven-over 295 and Esler tying for 41st at eight-over 296.
Last Year at the Pac-10 Championship:
The host Wildcats and Gators combined for 46 birdies and three eagles en route to topping the field by 13 strokes. After 54 holes of action,
The regional win was the sixth NCAA regional crown for
On a day in which all five players for both teams finished under par, Arizona and Florida separated themselves from the rest of the 27-team field early.
The top-seeded Gators held a two-stroke lead heading into the last two holes before the Wildcats’ Josh Esler single-handedly closed the gap with an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and a 12-footer on No. 18 to clinch a tie for the team title.
T5. Josh Esler.................... 69-69-68=206 (-10) 1.
T9. Ben Fox........................ 71-68-68=207 (-9)
T18. Henry Liaw.................. 74-66-69=209 (-7) 3.
T22. Brian Prouty................. 69-70-71=210 (-6)
T38. Travis Esway............... 70-73-70=213 (-3) 5.
All-Conference: Seniors Brian Prouty and Nathan Tyler were recognized with all-Pac-10 honors in voting done by the league’s head men’s golf coaches. Prouty was a second team selection, while
Karsten Course Notes: Back in 1998, the last year
Quite a Field: One-third of the NCAA West Regional field is a former national champion. Yes, nine of the 27 teams in the field have won at least one national championship in its program’s history (
A Quicker Solution: On a team where it took 10 stroke play events to settle on a regular lineup, a quick glance at the rounds at par or better statistical category could have expedited the process. Each of the top five players in that category will be in action this week. Nathan Tyler (14), Josh Esler (13), Josh Wilks (12), Brian Prouty (12) and Pedro Oriol (11) all lead the team in that category. Cumulatively, that group has shot par or better in 44.6 percent of its rounds played this season (62 of 139). Individually,
On a Rotational Basis: UA head coach Rick LaRose said of his team earlier this season, “We’ve got a bunch of blue collar guys.” That’s just the way they’ve performed this season ?- with no superstars. In the 12 varsity stroke play events this season, a total of six different players have been the Wildcats’ top finisher. Brian Prouty and Pedro Oriol have three apiece,
Strong Start: Left wrist surgery cost senior Brian Prouty to miss the entire fall season, but he rebounded with a flourish. The
Clutch: Trailing by two strokes with two holes to play in last season’s NCAA West Regional, Josh Esler stepped up and carded birdies on both holes to clinch a tie for the team title. They weren’t your garden-variety birdies either. Esler knocked in an 18-footer on No. 17 and followed with a 12-footer on No. 18. In addition to the pressure that would normally accompany such an effort, Tucson National’s par-4 18th hole played as the most difficult during the regional ?- an average of +0.43 strokes above par for the three-round event. He is also the most-experienced Wildcat in the field with 152 career rounds played.
Finishing Strong: Few Wildcats have shown the ability to close out tournaments as well as Josh Wilks. In his nine appearances this season, Wilks has a final-round stroke average of 71.11, which is the lowest on the team. Of his five rounds in the 60s this season, three have come over the final 18 holes. The senior from
Top of the List: Senior Nathan Tyler was
In His Last Visit: Freshman Pedro Oriol’s last visit to the Karsten Course was a good one, as he tied for 17th place with a 214 total. The two-under tally was a season low for the native of
What’s at Stake: