Nov. 19, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona director of golf Rick LaRose announced Tuesday that three student-athletes have signed National Letters-of-Intent to attend the school and play golf. Henry Liaw, Ben Marsh and Josh Esler will each report to the school in the fall of 2003.
Liaw, a three-year letterman at Los Altos High School in Rowland Heights, Calif., is widely viewed as the nation's top junior golfer. The 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, Liaw also won four junior world championships (1996, 1998-2000) and was a quarterfinalist at the 2002 U.S. Amateur. He is a three-time American Junior Golf Association Polo All-American. In 1998, Liaw won 18 consecutive Southern California PGA tournaments, and 30 for the season, a feat topped only by Tiger Woods.
Liaw was the Southern California PGA Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998 and the Toyota Tour Cup Player of the Year in 1999. A Canon Cup team member in 2001 and 2002, Liaw has also competed in the Taiwan Open in 1999 and 2000, and was the tournament's low amateur in 2000. He once shot a 58 in a Southern California PGA tour event as a 12-year-old.
"Any recruiting class that includes Henry has to be a great one,"said LaRose. "He's considered the No. 1 junior player in the country, and he'll be able to step right in and be a factor for us and college golf in general. His future is very, very bright."
Marsh, a three-year letterman at Brophy Prep High School in Phoenix, Ariz., is an all-state performer at one of Arizona's top prep programs. A four-time high school individual medalist, March won the 2001 state regional and finished third at the 2001 state championships. As a junior last season, Marsh posted a 35.1 stroke average. He also has three top-10 finishes in AJGA events.
"Ben is one of the top players in the state," said LaRose. "He's a solid player and an outstanding student. His strength is in his short game. He's a just a steady player...very consistent."
Esler, a three-year letterman at Wauconda High School in Wauconda, Ill., is a 2002 AJGA honorable mention All-American. He had two top-five finishes on the 2002 AJGA Tour, including a victory at the Pepsi Little People's and a 10th-place finish at the Western Junior.
"Josh fits in the mold of a Chris Nallen," said LaRose. "He's had good success in junior golf and will only get better. Josh is an unpolished gem. He's a hard worker with great skills."
The Arizona men's golf team, currently ranked eighth nationally, has completed its fall team schedule. The Wildcats open spring competition Feb. 3-4 in Tucson at the PING-Arizona Intercollegiate.