Sept. 10, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz.- The Arizona men’s golf team will tee off the 2009-10 campaign at the William H. Tucker Invitational, hosted by the University of New Mexico.
The tournament will be held at UNM Championship Course, a par 72, 7,591 yard course. Two rounds will be played on Fri., Sept. 11, and the final round will be held Sat., Sept. 12.
The Wildcats, coming off its 22nd NCAA Championships berth in 23 years, return five of their top players from a year ago. Defending national champion Texas A&M headlines a field of 17 teams: Air Force, Arizona, Baylor, BYU, Campbell, Colorado, UNLV, New Mexico, New Mexico State, North Texas, Pepperdine, San Diego State, UT-San Antonio, Texas A&M, Utah, Wyoming and UTEP.
Arizona also opened the 2008-09 season at the William H. Tucker Invitational, finishing seventh in the 16 team field. The team was led by Brad Nicholson, in his first event as a Wildcat. Nicholson finished seven over par and in a tie for 26th. Five Arizona golfers finished in a tie for 37th place. UNLV won the event, and Colorado’s Derek Tolan and UNLV’s Eddie Olson tied for individual medalist honors.
Arizona’s Line Up (2008-09 Stats)
Events Rounds Avg. 10/20 Round
1. Tarquin MacManus 13 40 72.35 5/2 63
2. Jonathan Khan 13 40 73.80 1/1 68
3. Rich Saferian 9 28 73.36 1/2 66
4. John Kostis 7 18 76.39 0/1 70
5. Trent Redfern N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
* Kenji Hernandez 8 21 76.81 0/0 69
* Stefan Cox N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
* Tom Conran 6 15 74.20 1/0 69
*Competing as an individual
The Big 3: All-American Tarquin MacManus, all-conference Rich Saferian and Tucson-native Jonathan 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.
First Timers: Trent Redfern and Stefan Cox will be making their Wildcat debut, Cox competing as an individual. Another first timer is John Kostis, who will be making his first start in the varsity line up. Kostis had a great off-season according to Coach LaRose, in which he qualified for the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur.
Finishing Strong: Arizona looks to keep up the momentum they built in the last few months of the 2008-09 season. Including a run to the NCAA Championships, the Wildcats finished in the top five in five of their final eight tournaments, including four top-three finishes. In the same eight tournaments, ten U of A golfers finished in the top 10 places.
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).
New Faces: There are six newcomers this year for the Cats: Freshmen Mike Basco, Juan Pablo Hernandez, Jimmy Kozikowski and Trent Redfen, and transfers Stefan Cox and Miles Thorson. Cox is a junior and Thorson is a sophomore. Trent Redfern and Stefan Cox will be making their Wildcat debuts this weekend.
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.