On the Tee:
The Rankings: The Wildcats are ranked 22nd in the current (April 16) Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and are unranked in the April 4 Golf World/Nike Coaches Poll. Individually, senior Brian Prouty is top-ranked Wildcat nationally, checking in at No. 33 on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Four other UA golfers are in the top 200.
Golfer Yr. Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rd. Rounds
Brian Prouty Sr. 71.81 3/0 62 21
Josh Esler Sr. 73.40 0/3 67 30
Nathan Tyler Sr. 72.33 2/2 67 21
Josh Wilks Sr. 72.83 2/2 68 24
Pedro Oriol Fr. 73.59 2/2 68 29
Creighton Honeck Jr. 73.33 1/1 67 24
A Look at the 2007 Pac-10 Championships: Held annually since 1960, the Pac-10 Men’s Golf Championships will be held Monday-Wednesday, April 23-25, (practice round April 22) at Eugene Country Club, a par 72, 7,033-yard layout in Eugene, Ore. Seventy-two holes will be played over the three days (36 Monday/18 Tuesday and Wednesday) with twosomes scheduled off the first and 10th tees at 8 a.m. PDT Monday. Ten teams are scheduled to compete:
Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . is in his 29th season at the helm of the
Last Time Out: UA claimed fifth place at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, April 15, after carding an even-par 288 in the final round. The Wildcats registered a three-day total of 852 (-12), to finish eight strokes behind tournament winner
Senior Josh Wilks and freshman Pedro Oriol tied for 17th with a 214 (-2) total. Wilks carded a two-over par 74 to close the event, while Oriol carded a two-under par 70 to finish as the only Wildcats in the top-20.
Senior Nathan Tyler posted his lowest score of the tournament, a two-under par 70, on Sunday to finish in a tie for 23rd place. The
Last Year at the Pac-10 Championship: The Wildcats shot a 13-over-par 368 in the fourth round and finished in fifth place at the 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Championships at the Canyons Course at Bighorn Golf Club.
Brian Prouty was the only Cat to shoot par in Wednesday’s final round.
UCLA won the event with an even-par 1,420 total, 12 strokes in front of runner-up
Junior Henry Liaw was
UA’s Brian Prouty posted an even-par 71, the Cats’ low round of the day, and moved into 13th place at 287 (+3).
T8. Henry Liaw.................. 70-73-69-72=284 (E) 1. UCLA........................ 1420
12. Ben Fox........................ 72-69-70-75=286 (+2) 2.
13. Brian Prouty................. 74-72-70-71=287 (+3) 3.
T23. Josh Esler.................... 71-74-72-75=292 (+8) 4. USC.......................... 1442
T33. Travis Esway............... 73-75-72-76=296 (+12) 5.
T46. Nathan Tyler................. 74-81-72-75=302 (+18)
Top Heavy: UA head coach Rick LaRose brings a lineup to the Pac-10 Championships that includes four seniors and a junior in its six-man lineup. Don’t play the experience card too fast, as that group of upperclassmen has a total of 24 rounds of experience at the Pac-10 Championships. Senior Josh Esler leads with 12 rounds of experience and a 73.33 stroke average in three prior appearances with a best finish of eighth in 2004. Senior Nathan Tyler is next with eight rounds of experience and a 75.75 stroke average. His best finish was a tie for 33rd place in 2004. Senior Brian Prouty finished 13th at last year’s Pac-10 Championships, which was his lone appearance. His three-over 287 finish at Big Horn equates to a 71.75 stroke average. Senior Josh Wilks, junior Creighton Honeck and freshman Pedro Oriol makes their Pac-10 Championships debut on Monday.
Weren’t We Just Here?: Five of the six golfers to represent
Peaking: The spring season has seen
Finding a Rhythm: Fortunately, the Pac-10 Championships allow for a six-man lineup. It gives the Wildcats another man to choose from. It took 10 stroke play events for UA to settle on a five-man rotation. The rotation of Prouty, Esler, Tyler, Oriol and Wilks has been in effect for the last three tournaments. Prior to March 26, there was change aplenty in the UA lineup. Of the
Maybe It Was That Simple: Look no further than rounds at par or better to see who makes up the UA lineup, as each of the top five players in that category will be in action this week. Josh Esler (12), Brian Prouty and Nathan Tyler (11), and Josh Wilks and Pedro Oriol (10) all lead the team in that category. Cumulatively, that group has shot par or better in 45.4 percent of its rounds played this season (54 of 119). Individually, Prouty and Tyler lead the way with a 52.4 percent success rate of reaching or breaking par (11 of 21).
Leadership By Committee: UA head coach Rick LaRose said of his team earlier this season, “We’ve got a bunch of blue collar guys.” That’s just the way they’ve performed this season ?- with no superstars. In the 11 varsity stroke play events this season, a total of six different players have been the Wildcats’ top finisher. Brian Prouty and Pedro Oriol have three apiece, while Wilks, Tyler and Honeck have one each.
On His Shoulders, or Perhaps His Wrist: Left wrist surgery cost senior Brian Prouty to miss the entire fall season, but he rebounded with a flourish. The
Mr. Experience: He might be one of three seniors in the Wildcat lineup, but Josh Esler is leaps and bounds ahead of his teammates in one category: experience. The Wauconda, Ill., enters the Pac-10 Championships with 148 career rounds played, or 42 more than the next closest Wildcat (Tyler). In those 148 rounds played,
Coming On Strong: Few Wildcats have enjoyed the kind of stretch that Josh Wilks is currently riding. In his last four appearances, the senior from
A Steadying Influence: Through five appearances this spring, senior Nathan Tyler has been nothing if not steady in amassing a 71.67 stroke average. In those tournaments,
Step Right Up: Freshman Pedro Oriol has come a long way since the fall to play his way into the regular lineup. The native of Madrid, Spain, posted a 75.13 stroke average in three fall events, but has shaved 2.13 strokes off that this spring...lowering the mark to 73.00 in his last seven appearances. All four of his top-20 finishes, including two top-10 efforts, have come since February. He was just selected to represent the European team in the 2007 Palmer Cup matches.
Like Popeye: Much like the spinach-fueled cartoon hero, the