Feb. 16, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona men's golf team heads to the Aloha state to compete in the John A. Burns Intercollegiate, a three day, 16 team event.
Coming off a second place finish in the Arizona Intercollegiate, the Wildcats will look to earn their first victory of the season. The tournament, hosted by Hawai'i, will be held at the Leilehua Golf Course in Schofield Barracks, O'ahu, a par 72, 6,916 yard course. The 52 holes spread across three days, with a shotgun start of 8 a.m. (HST) Feb. 17, 18 and 19.
The Field: The 16 team field includes: Arizona, Brigham Young, BYU-Hawai'i, California, Denver, Fresno State, Hawai'i, Hawai'i, Hawai'i-Hilo, Hawai'i Pacific, Nevada, New Mexico, Southern Methodist, UC Santa Barbara, UNLV, UTEP and Texas A&M.
The Lineup: Arizona's lineup will include Tarquin MacManus, Rich Saferian, Jonathan Khan, Brad Nicholson and Philip Bagdade. With junior John Kostis still recovering from a back injury, this will be the second consecutive tournament in which Arizona has used this lineup. This marks the first time all season that the Cats will use a lineup that they have previously used. In addition, Tom Conran will enter the event as an individual.
Top Low Low
Player Events Rounds Strokes Avg. 10/20 Round Tourn. < Par
Tarquin MacManus 6 18 1280 71.11 1/2 66 206 (-7) 11
Rich Saferian 5 15 1073 71.52 1/1 66 200 (-13) 7
Brad Nicholson 2 5 358 71.60 0/0 69 216 (+3) 2
Jonathan Khan 5 15 1083 72.20 1/2 67 210 (-6) 7
Philip Bagdade 5 11 808 73.45 0/0 68 143 (-1) 3
Tom Conran* 4 11 816 74.18 0/0 68 212 (-1) 5
* Competing as an individual
Last Time Out: Arizona hosted the Arizona Intercollegiate Feb. 1-2, and finished one stroke out of first place. Cal used a three stroke swing on the 18th hole to overtake the Cats. It was Arizona's best finish since tying for second in the Southeast Regionals last season. Saferian carded a 200 (-13) in the event, winning the individual medal. This marked the first time that an Arizona golfer had finished first in an event since MacManus did it in the aforementioned Southeast Regional.
2009 John Burns Intercollegiate: Arizona picked up its lowest tournament total in relation to par in route to a third place finish in last year's John Burns Intercollegiate. Texas A&M won the event and will look to defend its title this year. Two of MacManus' nine career top-10 finishes have come in this event, including a second place effort last year.
Inconsistent Conran: Of the junior's eleven total rounds played, five of them have been at or under par, a number that ranks fourth on the team. In contrast, he ranks ninth on the team in stroke average at 74.18. This can be attributed to his four rounds played above 77. However, his last four rounds played have been at an average of 71.00, perhaps a sign of consistency from Conran.
Sub 72: Currently, Arizona has three golfers with stroke averages less than 72. No Arizona golfer has finished the season with a sub-72 stroke average since Brian Prouty and Nathan Tyler did it in the 2006-07 season. MacManus' 71.11 average would rank as the sixth lowest average in the Wildcats' history. The other two golfers are Saferian (71.52) and Nicholson (71.60). Khan's stroke average sits just outside that figure at 72.20.
The Big 3: All-American MacManus, all-conference Saferian and Tucson-native Khan lead the Wildcats. MacManus, 2009 NCAA Southeast Regional champion finished his 2008-09 season with five of his last eight rounds played with scores in the 60s. Saferian and Khan finished the 2008-09 season ranked second and third respectively on the team in stroke average. The three have combined for eight of the team's nine top-20 finishes this season, sit in the top four in stroke average while ranking one, two and three, respectively, in rounds played at or under par.
Fall Struggles: Statistically speaking, Arizona has gotten off to slow starts in each of the past three seasons. The team's fall stroke average from a year ago was nearly 16 strokes higher than its spring numbers. The Wildcats also had a higher fall stroke average during the 2007-08 and 2006-07 seasons. Arizona averaged an eighth place finish in four fall events last year, compared to an average finish of just over fourth place during the spring portion of the schedule (nine events). Arizona finished the 2009 fall slate averaging a ninth place finish.
Bagdade's Turnaround: Bagdade worked his way into the lineup in the latter part of last season in culmination to a very impressive freshman year. Bagdade, who finished fifth on the team in stroke average a year ago figured to be a prominent part of this year's team. After being absent from the varsity lineup the first two tournaments, and shooting a 78 (+6) in his first JV event, the sophomore has worked his way back into the varsity lineup after two solid JV events.
New Faces: There are six newcomers this year for the Cats: Freshmen Mike Basco, Juan Pablo Hernandez, Jimmy Kozikowski and Trent Redfern, and transfers Stefan Cox and Miles Thorson. Cox is a junior and Thorson is a sophomore. Cox currently sits sixth on the team in stroke average, while Hernandez has a third place finish to his credit.
Recruiting Abroad: Newcomers Stefan Cox (Essex, England) and Juan Pablo Hernandez (Mexico City, Mexico) bring Arizona's foreign golfer count to five. The other three are: Tom Conran (Ireland), Kenji Hernandez (Mexico City, Mexico) and Tarquin MacManus (Cairns, Queensland, Australia). Walk-on Peter Ireland from Pebble Beach, Calif., receives bonus points just for his surname.