March 25, 2003
EUGENE, Ore. - A steady rain could not keep the University of Arizona men's golf team from winning its third tournament this spring, as the Wildcats rallied to capture a share of the Oregon Duck Invitational on Tuesday.
Rain began falling midway through the final round and turned into a steady downpour during the tournament's final four holes, but that didn't stop Arizona from erasing a four-stroke deficit heading into the final 18 holes. The Cats posted the lowest round of the day, a two-under-par 286, to claim tournament honors with an 858 (-6) total. Arizona shared first place with second-round leader Washington at 858. Bad weather canceled a possible playoff.
The win marked Arizona's third win this spring. It marks the first time since 1992-93 that the Wildcats have won as many as three tournaments in the same season.
Team leaders Ricky Barnes and Chris Nallen both earned top-six finishes with sub-par final rounds Tuesday. Barnes carded a three-under 69 to finish in third place at 208 (-8). It was Barnes' fifth top-10 finish this season and the 22nd of his career. His eight-under-par tournament total equaled a season low. He fished one stroke behind individual medalists John Ellis of Oregon and Brock Mackenzie of Washington, who posted 207 (-9) totals.
Nallen, who was six under par over the final 36 holes, tallied a final-round 71 (-1) and finished in sixth place at 212 (-4). It was the sixth top-10 finish for Nallen in 10 events this season. Twelve of Nallen's last 13 rounds have been at par or better.
Two other Wildcat golfers also finished in the top 30 places, as seniors Brian Woolf and Reid Hatley finished tied for 23rd and 28th, respectively. Woolf shot a final-round 73 to finish at 220 (+4), while Hatley shot a 76 to finish at 221 (+5). The final member of the UA lineup, Andrew Medley, finished tied for 39th place at 223 (+7).
The 54-hole event was contested at the Eugene Country Club, a par 72, 6,854-yard layout.
The sixth-ranked Wildcats will next be in action March 30-April 1 at the 2003 National Invitational Tournament at Tucson National Golf Course in Tucson, Ariz.
Top Five Teams Top Five Individuals 1. ARIZONA 858 (-6) 1. Brock Mackenzie, Washington 74-60-73=207 (-9) 2. Washington 858 (-6) John Ellis, Oregon 68-69-70=207 (-9) 3. Oregon 867 (+3) 3. Ricky Barnes, Arizona 68-71-69=208 (-8) 4. UCLA 874 (+10) 4. Bjorn Widerstedt, Northwestern 66-74-70=210 (-6) Vanderbilt 874 (+10) 5. Derek Berg, Washington 69-72-70=211 (-5)