April 24, 2010
On the Tee: The Arizona men's golf team heads to the 2010 Pac-10 Championships, April 26-28, at Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. ... In seven spring events, UA has a win and three top-five finishes to its credit ... Since joining the league in 1978-79, Arizona has won the Pac-10 title three times (1987, 1991, 2004) and finished second seven times ... The Cats have averaged a sixth-place finish in its last five conference championship appearances ... UA finished fifth the last time Arizona State hosted the Pac-10 Championships in 2000.
The Rankings: The Wildcats are ranked 38th in the current (April 18) Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, and were receiving votes in the most recent (April 7) Golf World/Nike Coaches Poll. Individually, junior Tarquin MacManus was the top-ranked Wildcat nationally, checking in at No. 101 on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Jonathan Khan was next at No. 183.
The Probable Arizona Lineup:
Golfer Yr. Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rd. Rounds Tarquin MacManus Jr. 71.88 3/2 66 33 Jonathan Khan Jr. 72.43 2/4 67 30 Rich Saferian Sr. 72.70 2/2 66 30 Philip Bagdade So. 73.50 0/2 67 26 Trent Redfern Fr. 74.67 0/0 71 15 Juan Pablo Hernandez Fr. 73.79 1/0 69 14
A Look at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships: Held annually since 1960, the Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships will be held Monday-Wednesday, April 26-28, at the Karsten Golf Course, a par 71, 7,057-yard layout in Tempe, Ariz. Seventy-two holes will be played over three days (36 Monday/18 Tuesday and Wednesday) with play scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. PDT Monday, 9 a.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday. Ten teams are scheduled to compete: Arizona, host Arizona State, California, Oregon, State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State. Seven of those teams are ranked in the current Golf World/Nike Coaches Poll. Arguably the toughest test in all of college golf, each team will consist of six players with the low five scores counting in each round. Arizona finished in ninth place last year with a 1,483 (+43) total. Tarquin MacManus tied for sixth place individually at 285 (-3).
Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . is in his 32nd 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 a combined 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 60 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, and the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame on Nov. 23, 2009. He is assisted by Andy Barnes and volunteer Justin Silverstein.
Last Time Out: The Arizona men's golf team entered the final round of competition in the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, April 3, with a two stroke lead; the Cats finished the tournament six-under and tied for fourth place. Third-ranked Washington used a 16-under third round, the low round of the tournament, to earn the come-from-behind win. Arizona was led by Jonathan Khan, who tied for 11th at three-under. The Cats finished in a tie for fourth with two top-five teams, No. 4 Oregon and No. 2 Stanford. In the first two rounds, eight of the 10 rounds played by UA golfers were played at or under par. In round three, no Wildcat recorded such a round. The best round by an Arizona player was a 72 (+1), carded by Juan Pablo Hernandez, who tied for 42nd in the event. Rich Saferian shot a 73 (+2), which dropped him out of the top-20, and into a tie for 24th. Philip Bagdade finished five-over and in a tie for 49th. Tarquin MacManus started the day in the top-20, but shot a 78 (+7) in the third round to drop him into a tie for 57th. Competing as individuals, Trent Redfern finished in a tie for 47th and Kenji Hernandez finished 88th.
Last Year at the Pac-10 Championships: Tarquin MacManus shot a final-round 71 to earn a sixth-place finish at the 2009 Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships in Seattle, Wash. MacManus collected five birdies on the day en-route to his one-under tally and finished the 72-hole event in a tie for sixth place at 285 (-3). He played the final three rounds at a combined eight-under par, a feat topped by only one player in the field. It was the fourth top-10 finish of the season for MacManus, which ties him for the team lead, and was his third under-par tournament total this year. Washington's Darren Wallace claimed individual medalist honors with a four-round total of 277 (-11). Only eight players in the 60-man field finished the event under par. As a team, Arizona finished in ninth place with a four-round total of 1483 (+43). Led by MacManus' efforts, the Cats equaled its low round of the tournament Wednesday, a seven-over 367. The top three players in the UA lineup were a combined six-under par in the final round, but depth proved to be an issue in this event where the five low scores are counted each round towards the team total. Host Washington won the conference title with a four-round total of 1,424 (-18). The Huskies were the only team to finish under par in the event.
Arizona Individuals Team Finish T6. Tarquin MacManus 77-68-69-71=285 (-3) 1. Washington 1,424 30. Rich Saferian 76-78-72-69=295 (+7) 2. Oregon 1,442 T35. Jonathan Khan 75-77-75-70=297 (+9) 3. Arizona State 1,456 T38. Philip Bagdade 71-77-75-75=298 (+10) 4. Stanford 1,457 56. Tyler Neal 83-75-76-82=316 (+28) 5. Oregon State 1,464 58. Brad Nicholson 75-81-84-87=327 (+39) 9. ARIZONA 1,483
Tournament History: The Wildcats enter play this week looking for its fourth Pac-10 men's golf championship. As mentioned earlier, UA captured the league crown in 1987, 1991 and 2004. Similarly, Arizona individuals have been very successful in this event, claiming individual medalist honors eight times since joining the league in 1978-79. Here is the list of Wildcat medalists: Paul Nolen, 1984; Larry Silveira, 1987; Manny Zerman, 1991; Jason Gore, 1993 and 1994; Ricky Barnes, 2001; Henry Liaw, 2004; and Creighton Honeck, 2008.
On Average: 2010 marks Arizona's 32nd appearance at the Pac-10 Championships. In addition to the three championships and seven runner-up finishes, the Wildcats' average finish at the conference championship meet is fourth. UA has placed fourth or better 17 times since 1979.
Been Here Before: The Wildcats certainly are no strangers to the Karsten Golf Course, having earned a tie for fourth place, April 3, at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, where its six-under 846 team total equaled its third-best tally of the season. Beyond that, all six UA golfers scheduled to compete in the championships has played at least three rounds on the course. All told, the Cats have total 36 competitive rounds and carry a cumulative 72.03 scoring average in those rounds. Individually, here is the UA scoring breakdown at the Karsten Course: Tarquin MacManus, 72.33 (9 rounds); Jonathan Khan, 72.11 (9 rounds); Rich Saferian, 70.67 (6 rounds); Philip Bagdade, 72.67 (6 rounds); Juan Pablo Hernandez, 72.00 (3 rounds); and Trent Redfern, 72.33 (3 rounds).
Making Strides: The 2010 spring season has been one of improvement for the Wildcats, as the squad has collected four top-five finishes in seven starts, including a win March 2 at the Braveheart Classic, and seen its scoring average drop. Arizona's 288.17 stroke average this spring is 1.04 strokes lower than the fall figure (adjusted for two six-man events). On an individual level, UA's countable stroke average in the spring is 72.04.
Atop the Leader Board: Arizona is no stranger to the top of the leader board, both as a team and individually. The Wildcats claimed the Braveheart Classic, March 2, by 20 strokes with an 858 (-6) total. It was the 69th win in program history and the first since October 2007. The 20 stroke separation was the largest margin of victory for UA since Feb. 21, 1992, when the Cats won the John Burns Intercollegiate by 21 strokes. Individually, two Wildcats claimed medalist honors this season, the 65th and 66th wins in program history. Rich Saferian won the Arizona Invitational, Feb. 2, with a 13-under par 200 total, while Tarquin MacManus won the Braveheart Classic with a six-under 210 tally.
The Only Constant is Change: Only three Wildcats - Tarquin MacManus, Rich Saferian and Jonathan Khan - have managed to appear in all 10 varsity stroke play events with sophomore Philip Bagdade appearing in the last seven consecutive. Additionally, Arizona used the same lineup in the first four events of the spring, but has switched things up in the last three appearances, including the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championships. Not coincidentally, the six players scheduled to compete this week, did all appear at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, April 2-3, at the Karsten Golf Course.
Round-By-Round: A quick look at the statistics shows that Arizona is a second round club. Through its 10 stroke play events, the Wildcats' lowest scoring round is the second, with an adjusted average of 285.80. The Cats open play with an average of 288.56 in round one and post a final round average of 291.44. Not surprisingly, Arizona low round of any tournament was registered in the second round seven times, while it's high round appeared in the third five times.
Blooming: Of the six players scheduled to compete in this event for the Wildcats, five have improved scoring averages in spring action when compared to their season-long efforts. The only Wildcat with a higher spring scoring average to date is junior Tarquin MacManus, whose 72.11 mark is just above his overall average of 71.88. The other UA players' spring averages are as follows: Philip Bagdade, 73.22; Juan Pablo Hernandez, 73.18; Jonathan Khan, 72.22; Trent Redfern, 74.18; and Rich Saferian, 72.67.
Looking for No. 1: Arizona heads into the 2010 Pac-10 Championships still looking for a solid, consistent leader. The Cats feature a nice mix of youth and experience in this week's six-man lineup - one senior, two juniors, a sophomore and two freshmen - but no one player has stepped permanently into that No. 1 position. UA played eight tournaments before a player (MacManus) was its top finisher in back-to-back events, a feat he accomplished in three consecutive tournaments, but even those came with a wild fluctuation from six-under to 13-over to one-under par.
Red Numbers: Five times in 2009-10 Arizona finished a tournament under par: one-under 863 at the Wolf Pack Classic in October, 28-under 824 at the Arizona Invitational and 10-under 854 at the John Burns Intercollegiate in February, six-under 858 at the Braveheart Classic in March, and six-under 846 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in April. All told, the Cats registered 14 under-par rounds as a team in 10 stroke play events with the lowest single round, 271 (-13), occurring Feb. 1 at the Arizona Invitational.
Follow His Example: Junior Tarquin MacManus leads the team with a 71.88 stroke average, top-10 finishes (3), rounds in the 60s (9) and rounds at par or better (18). The Cairns, Queensland, Australia, native has been UA's top finisher in five of 10 stroke play appearances, including a win and four additional finishes in the top-20.
Proving His Worth: Wixom, Mich., product Rich Saferian provides a nice boost this spring, collecting three top-20 finishes in seven starts to go with a 72.67 stroke average, which ranks third on the club. His best effort was a victory Feb. 2 at the Arizona Invitational, in which he posted a 68-66-66=200 (-13) for the first win at Arizona. Saferian was the 2007 national junior college champion at Scottsdale Community College.
Count on Him: Jonathan Khan definitely has been steady this year. The junior from Tucson, Ariz., played in every varsity event, ranked third on the team with 13 rounds at par or better and second with a 72.43 stroke average. He has two top-10 finishes, including a seventh-place finish at November's Gifford Collegiate at CordeValle (210/-6) and a tie for fourth place at the Braveheart Classic (216/E). Eighty-seven percent of his rounds played (26/30) have counted towards the team total.
First-Year Phenoms: Juan Pablo Hernandez and Trent Redfern, the UA freshmen scheduled to compete in the 2010 Pac-10 Championships, have performed well in their first year on the collegiate level, posting 73.79 and 74.67 scoring averages, respectively. The duo has combined for one top-10 finish and six rounds at par or better. It is Hernandez's first appearance with the UA varsity and the second such appearance for Redfern, who posted a 3-1 record for the Cats at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship.