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Men's Golf Release
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/22/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 22, 2002

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On the Tee: With team competition out of the way until spring, a pair of Wildcat individuals, Ricky Barnes and Chris Nallen will close the fall season by competing at the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic in El Paso, Texas, Nov. 25-26 ... It is the third straight year in which Barnes has participated in this invitation-only event and the second consecutive appearance for Nallen ... Barnes won this event back in November 2000 with a record-setting 196 (-17) total ... Arizona opens spring competition Feb. 3-4 by hosting the PING-Arizona Intercollegiate.

The Rankings: The Wildcats remain ranked in all three major college golf polls. Arizona is ranked eighth in the Precept/CGAA Coaches Poll, 10th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and 12th in the Golfworld Coaches Poll. Individually, three UA golfers are ranked in the top 80 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index: Ricky Barnes (23rd), Chris Nallen (24th) and Reid Hatley (80th). That publication also ranked Barnes, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, as the nation's fourth-ranked collegiate player and included junior Nallen in its "50 College Players to Watch" list.

A Look at the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic: Twenty-four of the nation's best college golfers will gather in El Paso, Texas, for the 28th annual Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic. Hosted by the Sun Bowl Association, the 54-hole event will be held at El Paso Country Club, a par 71, 6,781-yard layout. Thirty-six holes are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 25, followed by 18 holes on Tuesday, Nov. 26. A 7:30 a.m. MST shotgun start is scheduled for both days. The following players are scheduled to compete: Matt Anderson (Minnesota), Ricky Barnes (Arizona), Ramon Bescansa (North Carolina), Dustin Bray (North Carolina), Brendon de Jonge (Virginia Tech), Jason Hartwick (Texas), Brad Heaven (Toledo), John Holmes (Kentucky), Ryan Hybl (Georgia), J.J. Jakovac (Chico State), Eric Jorgensen (Michigan State), Shiv Kapur (Purdue), John Kidwell (Oklahoma), James Lepp (Illinois), Brock Mackenzie (Washington), John Merrick (UCLA), Ryan Moore (UNLV), Chris Nallen (Arizona), Chris Noel (Tulsa), Chris Noll (Wesley College), Adam Rubinson (TCU), Justin Smith (Minnesota), Brandt Snedeker (Vanderbilt), Justin Walters (North Carolina State).

The Probable Arizona Lineup:

Golfer    	Yr.	Avg.	Top 10/20	Low Rd.	Events
Ricky Barnes	Sr.	72.33	   2/0   	  69	   4
Chris Nallen	Jr.	72.36	   3/0    	  66   	   5

Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . is in his 25th 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 seven NCAA Regionals, five Pac-10 crowns and three Rolex Match Play titles. In NCAA Championship play, he also has five third-place finishes, a fifth-place and two sixth-place efforts to his credit. Since 1978, his men's teams have won 47 tournaments and produced 39 All-Americans. He is assisted by John Knauer.

Last Time Out: The University of Arizona men's golf team defeated Texas Christian, 3-2, to claim third place Nov. 10 at the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship at the Dye Course at Barefoot Resort. Led by freshman Blaine Peffley, Arizona won at the second, third and fifth positions clinch the match over sixth-seeded TCU and finish third in the field of 16. Peffley, a native of Lebanon, Pa., used a quick start to defeat TCU's Colby Beckstrom, 4 and 3. He won four of the first six holes in the match en route to his third win in the tournament. Peffley, who finished with a 3-0-1 record, was the only Wildcat player to finish the event undefeated. Teammates Chris Nallen and Reid Hatley also came through with wins on Sunday. Nallen defeated David Schultz, 5 and 3, while Hatley downed J.J. Killeen, 2-up, to give fifth-seed Arizona the three points it needed for victory. Senior Ricky Barnes lost 3 and 2 to Adam Rubinson and Andy Connell lost 5 and 4 to Stephen Polanski to close the scoring.

World Champion: University of Arizona men's golfer Ricky Barnes shot a two-over-par 74 Sunday in the final round of the World Amateur Golf Championship to help the United States erase a third round deficit and win the event by three strokes. Barnes' final-round 74 combined with D.J. Trahan's 66 (-6) gave Team USA a total of 140 (-4) for the day and a four-round tally of 568 (-8). The United States trailed France by three strokes heading into Sunday's final round, but France carded a two-over 146 and finished second in the 63-team field by three strokes with a 571 (-5) total. Australia and the Philippines tied for third place at 574, while Austria and New Zealand tied for fifth at 575. No team in the top-20 scored better than the U.S.'s four-under final round tally. A senior from Stockton Calif., Barnes tallied 11 pars and two birdies on the Saujana Golf & Country Club's Palm Course en route to his 74 to finish in a tie for 16th place individually with a 72-hole total of 293 (+5). Australia's Marcus Fraser carded a 281 (-7) total to win the event by one stroke. Trahan's final-round 66 moved him into a tie for 10th place at 291 (+3), while fellow U.S. teammate Hunter Mahan finished sixth at 288 (E). The United States successfully defended its championship and captured the Eisenhower Trophy for the 12th time.

Hall of Famer: University of Arizona director of golf Rick LaRose has been selected for induction into the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Joining LaRose in the Class of 2002 is UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight. The duo will be officially inducted at the GCAA's National Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Sheraton World Resort in Orlando, Fla. To be selected to the Hall of Fame, a coach must be nominated by his peers, and then selected by the GCAA Hall of Fame Committee. Knight and LaRose will become the 70th and 71st members of the GCAA Hall of Fame, which honors a coach for his record on the golf course, as well as his contributions to the game, student-athletes and school.

Played Here Before: As mentioned earlier, this will be Ricky Barnes' third appearance at the College All-America Golf Classic and Chris Nallen's second. Both seem to like the event, as Barnes won the 2000 event with a tournament-record 196 (-17) total and Nallen posted a top-10 finish a year ago. Here is a look at their round-by-round numbers:

Ricky Barnes
Date Tournament Score Finish
Nov. 19-20, 2001 Savane College All-America Golf Classic 71-72-75=218 (+5) 23
Nov. 20-21, 2000 Savane College All-America Golf Classic 63-67-66=196 (-17) 1
Chris Nallen
Nov. 19-20, 2001 Savane College All-America Golf Classic 69-74-70=213 (E) T8

Playing Well: Freshman Blaine Peffley certainly made quite a showing at the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championships, as he was the only Wildcat to go undefeated in the four matches. The freshman from Lebanon, Pa., went 3-0-1 in those four matches to lead Arizona to a third place finish in the 16-team event.

Two Times: Junior Chris Nallen picked up the second win of his career with a 69-66=135 (-7) at the rain-shortened Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate. It lowered his stroke average to 72.36 on the season and moved him into 27th place nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. An Arizona golfer has won at least one individual event in each of the last four seasons.

As a Whole: Despite the fact the Arizona was without the services of reigning U.S. Amateur champion Ricky Barnes, the squad managed to post its two lowest rounds of the season at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate. Bolstered by the play of Chris Nallen and Reid Hatley, who were a combined 10-under par, Arizona carded a season-low 282 (-2) in the first round and a 283 (-1) in the second. The effort lowered UA's countable stroke average to 73.02 this season.

Freshman Sensation: Since setting foot on the Tucson campus, freshman Blaine Peffley has been a fixture in the UA lineup. One of only three players to see action in all four varsity events, Peffley ranks fifth on the team with a 74.64 stroke average. His effort at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate was a season low, as he tallied a 72-73=145 (+3) to tie for 27th place.

Early Signees: Arizona men's golf coach Rick LaRose signed three student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent during the November signing period. The trio, will attend the school and play golf for the Wildcats beginning in the fall of 2003, includes Henry Liaw of Rowland Heights, Calif., Ben March of Phoenix, Ariz., and Josh Esler of Wauconda, Ill.

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