Tap-Ins: Arizona closed the 2005-06 campaign with two team victories, including the NCAA West Regional, five top-five finishes and a berth in the 2006 NCAA Championships ... The national championship appearance was the 24th in school history and the 20th consecutive for the Wildcats ... Not only is Arizona’s NCAA Championship streak the second-longest active streak in the nation, but UA is one of only two schools in the country to qualify for the championships in every season since the regional format was adopted in 1989 ... Other streaks of note that continued in 2005-06 include 28 seasons with a national ranking, 15 seasons with at least one All-American, seven seasons with at least one individual medalist, and four seasons with at least one team win.
The Rankings: The Wildcats closed the 2005-06 season ranked 13th in the final Bridgestone/GCAA Coaches Poll and 14th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index after opening the campaign ranked No. 22 nationally. Individually, junior Henry Liaw finished as the top-ranked Wildcat nationally, checking in at No. 48 on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Classmate Josh Esler came in at No. 113.
Golfer Yr. Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rd. Rounds
Henry Liaw Jr. 71.89 4/3 66 44
Brian Prouty Jr. 73.12 2/1 67 34
Ben Fox Fr. 72.38 2/3 67 34
Josh Esler Jr. 72.97 1/4 68 38
Travis Esway So. 73.37 0/0 68 38
Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . completed his 28th season at the helm of the
Last Time Out: The
Junior Josh Esler’s two-under 70 was the lone bright spot for the Wildcats, who posted its highest single-round total of the tournament on Saturday. The NCAA Championship appearance was the 20th consecutive for the Wildcats, the second-longest active streak in the country.
Esler’s 70 gave him a 72-hole total of six-over 294, which tied him for 48th place. He was the highest-finishing Wildcat in the event.
Ben Fox finished tied for 66th place at 10-over 298. Fox carded a four-over 76 during the final round.
All-America Accolades: Sophomore Travis Esway was named to the Division I PING All-America team, it was announced June 8 by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Esway, a native of
Wildcats at the
David Berganio, Jim Furyk, Chris Nallen, Ted Purdy and Rory Sabatini will all compete for the 106th U.S. Open Championship, June 15-18, at Winged Foot Golf Club’s West Course in
International Flavor: Ben Fox was selected to play in the USA China Friendship Cup, it was announced June 13 by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Fox, a freshman from
Kudos for Knauer: Assistant coach
Two at Twenty:
Select Six: According to championship records,
A Record-Setting Effort: When
In the Red: Arizona’s regional effort in which it posted three consecutive rounds under par in a single tournament marked just the third time this season that the Wildcats were able to accomplish the feat ?- Feb. 22-24 at the John Burns Intercollegiate and April 8-9 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational were the others. UA played the final 36 holes of the regional at 28-under par, a figure that led the 27-team field. Additionally, Arizona’s final-round 275 at the regional was its second-lowest, final-round tally of the year, topped only by a 272 April 9 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational (though both were 13-under-par figures). Not surprisingly, both efforts led the Wildcats to first-place finishes.
More Scoring Feats:
Clutch: By the time Josh Esler stepped to the tee on the 17th hole during the final round of the West Regional on May 20, he knew his team trailed
In the Record Books: Henry Liaw will enter his senior season in 2006-07 ranked third on the Arizona career scoring average list at 71.90 through 123 career rounds played. Liaw also has the chance to join Chris Nallen (2000-04) as the only players in school history to post a scoring average of less than 72.00 in four consecutive seasons. Additionally, Ben Fox’s 72.38 stroke average was the fourth-best by a freshman in
Five Under Par: Led by Josh Esler’s career-best, 10-under 206 total at the West Regional, all five Wildcats posted sub-par tournament totals for just the second time this season (John Burns Intercollegiate). In addition to Esler’s efforts at the regional, May 18-20, Ben Fox’s nine-under 207 was also a career low tournament total.
All-Conference Picks: Three
Academic Pursuits: Junior Brian Prouty and sophomore Trey Denton were recognized with inclusion on the Pac-10 men’s golf all-Academic team. Prouty was a second team selection, while
We’ve Seen This Before, But Only Once: Settling on a lineup proved difficult for the Wildcat coaching staff because so many players saw action. Over the course of 13 stroke play events this season a total of 11 different players have made up the UA varsity lineup. In fact,
Show Us the Way: Junior Henry Liaw is the most experienced Wildcat with 123 rounds played in his three seasons in
A Stabilizing Factor: Practically a fixture in the lineup since his freshman season, junior Josh Esler enjoyed the best statistical season of his career with a 72.97 stroke average to go with five top-20 finishes (two more than his first two seasons combined) and a career-best nine rounds in the 60s. Furthermore, he ranked second on the team with 17 rounds at par or better this year. Esler was
Go Low: Travis Esway’s second-round 68 at the NCAA Championships was
Making a Charge: Freshman Ben Fox made his fourth appearance with the UA varsity as part of the countable lineup at the NCAA Championships. The Studio City, Calif., product has done well to earn the spot, as he ranked second on the team with a 72.38 stroke average and has been within two strokes of par or better in seven of 10 tournaments this season. In eight spring events (25 rounds), Fox’s stroke average falls to 71.88, a figure that is second on the squad since the calendar changed to 2006. Fox carried a 71.59 stroke average over his last 17 rounds played.
Good Timing: Tucson native Brian Prouty enjoyed a solid statistical season in which he amassed career bests in appearances (11), rounds played (34) top-10 finishes (2), low tournament (205/-8), rounds at par or better (14) and low finish (third). In 34 rounds played this season, he has a respectable 73.12 stroke average, but that mark fell to 71.41 over his last 17 rounds played.
And He’s Not Even Playing This Year: Sophomore Tyler Neal earned a spot in the sectional qualifier for the 2006 United States Open Championship after shooting a one-under 71, May 22, in the local qualifier at Tucson Country Club. He claimed one of six spots in the sectional qualifier, which was held June 5 at Columbine Country Club in
A Solid Finish: Under head coach Rick LaRose,