May 13, 2008
On the Tee: Tarquin MacManus was selected to participate as an individual a the 2008 NCAA West Regional, May 15-17, at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. ... That ensures that the Wildcats will have a presence at the regional for the 20th consecutive season, despite the fact that the team did not qualify for the first time since the format was instituted in 1989 ... During the 2007-08 campaign, MacManus led the Wildcats with a total of seven top-20 finishes, including three top-10 efforts. He was UA's top-finishing individual in five of his 12 appearances this year.
The Rankings: The Wildcats are currently ranked 56th in the May 4 Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and are receiving votes in the most recent (April 25) Golf World/Nike Coaches Poll. Individually, freshman Tarquin MacManus is the top-ranked Wildcat nationally, checking in at No. 133 on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Creighton Honeck is next up at No. 193.
The Arizona Individual:
Golfer Yr. Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rd. Rounds Tarquin MacManus Fr. 72.51 3/4 66 35
A Look at the 2008 NCAA West Regional: The University of Washington hosts 54 holes of stroke play over three days at Gold Mountain Golf Club, a par 72, 7,111-yard layout. As the third-seeded individual in the event, MacManus has a tee times 1:23 p.m. PDT from the 10th tee on May 15 and a 9:02 a.m. slot from the first tee on May 16. All told, 27 teams and six individuals fill out the 141-man field. Here is the field listed by seed: 1. USC, 2. UCLA, 3. Florida State, 4. Stanford, 5. Clemson, 6. UNLV, 7. North Carolina, 8. Texas Tech, 9. Central Florida, 10. Arizona State, 11. San Diego State, 12. Texas, 13. Louisiana State, 14. Oregon State, 15. Pepperdine, 16. Oregon, 17. California, 18. Saint Mary's, 19. Kentucky, 20. Wisconsin, 21. Washington, 22. Oklahoma, 23. Kansas State, 24. San Diego, 25. Denver, 26. Navy, and 27. Columbia. Individuals include: 1. Troy Merritt, Boise State; 2. Brian Locke, Loyola Marymount; 3. Tarquin MacManus, Arizona; 4. Jason D'Amore, Loyola Marymount; 5. Nathan Stamey, North Carolina-Greensboro; and 6. Jimmy Lytle, Elon. The top-10 teams and two individuals advance to the 111th NCAA Championships, May 28-31, at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex's Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind. Live scoring of both the West Regional and NCAA Championships will be available at www.golfstat.com.
Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . is in his 30th season at the helm of the Arizona golf program, and in that span has established the Wildcats as one of the nation's elite programs. The only college coach to win both a men's (1992) and women's (1996) NCAA Championship, LaRose's teams have won eight NCAA Regionals, six Pac-10 crowns and three Rolex Match Play titles. In NCAA Championship play, he also has six third-place finishes, a fifth-place and two sixth-place efforts to his credit. Since 1978, his men's teams have won 59 tournaments and produced 47 All-Americans. LaRose, who has coached two U.S. Amateur champions, was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame on Jan. 22, 2003. He is assisted by John Knauer.
Last Time Out: Arizona men's golfer Creighton Honeck claimed individual medalist honors April 30 at the 2008 Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships in Fairfax, Calif.
Honeck, a senior from Austin, Texas, used a birdie-3 on the 10th hole, which was the first hole of a sudden death playoff, to defeat UCLA's Kevin Chappell. Honeck carded a final-round 71 en route to a three-under 281 total for the tournament. He was the only player among the tournament's top-five finishers to finish at par during the final round.
It is the first career victory for Honeck and was UA's third individual medalist this season. It also marks the 64th individual win in school history.
Honeck is the seventh Arizona golfer to win individual medalist honors a total of eight times at the Pac-10 Championships, and is the first since Henry Liaw in 2004.
As a team, the Wildcats tallied a four-under 351, which was the only sub-par round of the day, and finished in sixth place. Over the course of 72 holes, UA finished with a 26-over total of 1,446. Arizona State defeated USC in a one-hole playoff for the team championship.
The Pac-10 Championships use a format that counts the low five scores per round from each six-man team.
Tarquin MacManus finished in a tie for 24th place at eight-over 292. The freshman carded a closing 71, which was his second round at par or better in the tournament.
Nicholas Park tied for 27th place at nine-over 293. He finished one stroke ahead of Mark Lamb, who tied for 32nd place. Lamb's 67 (-4) was UA's low round of the day.
Last Year at the NCAA West Regional: The Wildcats posted a 17-under-par 271, the fourth-lowest round in school history, to finish in sixth place at the 2007 NCAA West Regional at Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona's 17-under day gave the team an 828 (-36) total and possession of sixth place in the 27-team field. The effort clinched a berth in the 2007 NCAA Championships for the Wildcats, which is the program's 21st consecutive appearance. That is the second longest active streak in the nation and is tied for the fifth-longest streak in NCAA history. Additionally, Arizona's 36-under tally was the third lowest tournament total in school history.
South Carolina topped the field with a 44-under total of 820.
The Wildcats' final-round efforts were led by freshman Pedro Oriol, who collected seven birdies on the way to a career-low 66. The Madrid, Spain, native finished in a tie for 14th place at 11-under 205. The 205 total was a career-low for Oriol. Arizona State's Benjamin Alvarado claimed individual medalist honors at 18-under 198.
Josh Esler continued his run of stellar play in NCAA Regional action as he tied for 14th place at 11-under 205. Over the last two seasons, the senior from Wauconda, Ill., is a combined 21 strokes under par in regional play. He carded a four-under 68 to finish with his fifth top-20 finish of the season.
Arizona Individuals Team Finish
T14. Josh Esler........................... 71-66-68=205 (-11) 1. South Carolina........ 820
T14. Pedro Oriol.......................... 70-69-66=205 (-11) 2. UCLA...................... 822
T31. Brian Prouty.......................... 70-70-68=208 (-8) 3. Arizona State......... 824
T43. Nathan Tyler......................... 71-70-70=211 (-5) USC........................ 824
T76. Josh Wilks............................ 75-71-69=215 (-1) 5. Vanderbilt............... 826
6. ARIZONA............... 828
Who's Not Here: By virtue of a 83-85-2 cumulative record this season, Arizona did not qualify for the NCAA Regional for the first time since the format was instituted in 1989, snapping a streak at 19 consecutive appearances. Only Arizona State, Clemson, Oklahoma State, UNLV, North Carolina , and USC remain as the only six schools to appear in all 20 NCAA Regionals. Arizona's streak of 21 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances has ended as well. Prior to this season, it was the second-longest active streak and equaled the fifth-longest streak in NCAA history.
Individually Speaking: Aside from Arizona's six NCAA Regional championships as a team -- 1989, '91, '92, '93, 2000, '06; second most in NCAA history behind Clemson's seven -- the Wildcats have been almost as successful in terms of individual medalists at the Regional. UA golfers have won this event five times: Robert Gamez, 1989 (206/-10); Harry Rudolph, 1992 (201/-15); Manny Zerman, 1993 (211/-5); Ricky Barnes, 2002 (210/-6) and Chris Nallen, 2004 (211/-5).
A Horse to Pull the Cart: Arizona head coach often says that in order to be successful, any college golf team needs a horse to pull the cart...a guy that go low and set up the rest of the guys in the lineup. Freshman Tarquin MacManus quickly became that guy for the 2007-08 Wildcats. A native of Cairns, Queensland, Australia, was in the lineup from day one and was one of just three players (Honeck/Neal) to appear in all 12 varsity events (35 rounds) for the Wildcats. Along the way, he led the team in stroke average (72.51), top-10 finishes (3), top-20 finishes (7 total), low round (66) and low tournament in a varsity event (208/-8). As mentioned earlier, he was the top-finishing Wildcat in five of 12
All-Conference: MacManus was one of two Wildcats to earn all-Pac-10 Conference honors in voting released by the league's head coaches on April 29. MacManus, a second team selection, was joined by Creighton Honeck, who was a first team honoree after winning individual medalist honors at the Pac-10 Championships on April 28. It was the first time that either player had been so honored by the Pac-10 Conference.
Slowly Sinking: Though his scoring average is a respectable 72.51, Tarquin MacManus has been even better this spring, as his scoring average has fallen to 71.91 over 22 rounds. In that span, he's posted 12 rounds at par or better, including seven rounds in the 60s, finished under par in four tournaments and been UA's top finisher three times. Furthermore, MacManus has six under-par tournament totals this season, two more than any other Wildcat on the roster.
Proving His Worth: Here is a statistic that tells just how good Tarquin MacManus was in 2007-08 for the Wildcats. Of his 35 rounds played this season, 34 counted towards the team total...that's a 97.1 percent success rate. Not only was he in the lineup, but putting forth scores that contributed to the team total. By comparison, Chris Nallen, Arizona's last first team All-American, only managed a 95.0 percent figure (38 of 40) during his senior season in 2004.
Top Six: Entering the NCAA West Regional, Tarquin MacManus' stroke average ranks as the sixth-best figure for a freshman in school history. To date, only the following players have bettered MacManus' efforts on the course as a Wildcat freshman.
Arizona Freshman Single-Season Scoring Average (Min. 18 rounds played)
Avg. Player Year Rnds Strokes
71.04 Ricky Barnes 1999-2000 43 3055
71.81 Chris Nallen 2000-01 37 2657
71.90 Henry Liaw 2003-04 40 2876
72.38 Ben Fox 2005-06 34 2461
Time For Adjustments: As mentioned above, Tarquin MacManus leads the Wildcats with a 72.51 stroke average, but when breaking his scoring by round, the numbers show that the Australian is one that likes to move during the second round of a tournament. Over the course of his 12 starts, MacManus posts a 72.83 scoring average during the first round of an event, which is 0.32 strokes higher than his season scoring average. His second-round average plummets to 71.00, or 1.51 strokes lower than his season average, while his third round average is 73.82, or 1.31 strokes higher than his season average. How good is he in the second round? Five of his nine rounds in the 60s came in the second round.
It Didn't Take Long. . . for MacManus to establish himself as a pivotal member of the Wildcat lineup. Aside from being in the lineup for all 12 events, MacManus was the top-placing UA team member in the second event of the season, a tie for 14th place at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate (220/+4), and he has been UA's top finisher five times. Furthermore, the 5-foot-10 freshman has been Arizona's first or second finisher in nine of 12 events in 2007-08.
Making Them Count: Tarquin MacManus has a team-leading total of seven top-20 finishes this season, including three top-10 efforts. Over the last eight seasons, only three Arizona players (accomplished a total of seven times) have tallied more top-20 efforts than MacManus' seven: Ricky Barnes (8 in 2001; 8 in 2002 ;10 in 2003), Chris Nallen (11 in 2002; 12 in 2003 ; 11 in 2004) and Henry Liaw (8 in 2004).
Up Next: Tarquin MacManus will need to be one of the top-two finishing individuals to qualify for the NCAA Championships, May 28-31, in West Lafayette, Ind.