June 4, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona men's golfers Ricky Barnes and Chris Nallen were named first team PING All-Americans by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The duo is the only pair of teammates to appear on the organization's first team.
Barnes, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and Co-Ben Hogan Award winner, earned GCAA PING All-America honors for the fourth consecutive season. He finished 2002-03 with a team-leading 71.66 stroke average in 12 collegiate scoring events and posted nine top-10 finishes. Barnes was Arizona's top finisher in eight events this season, including the Pac-10 Championships (T4th), the NCAA West Regional (3rd) and the NCAA Championships (T6th). In fact, he became the first golfer in Arizona history to register four consecutive top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships. Twenty-three of his 38 rounds this year (60.5 percent) have been at par or better, including 10 rounds in the 60s.
A senior from Stockton, Calif., Barnes was the low amateur at the 2003 Masters with a four-round total of 291 (+3). It was the lowest total by an amateur at the prestigious event since 1998. He was named Pacific-10 Conference Golfer of the Year for the second time in is career on May 1. Barnes also posted a top 20 finish on the PGA Tour, as he tied for 18th place on March 2 at the Chrysler Classic of Tucson with a four-round total of 69-70-68-70=277 (-11).
Nallen, a junior from Blairstown, N.J., earned GCAA PING All-America honors for the third straight season after averaging 71.74 strokes per round. UA's top finisher in seven events in 2002-03, Nallen posted nine top-10 finishes and led the team in appearances (15), rounds played (43), low tournament total, rounds at par or better (27) and rounds in the 60s (12). Thirty-eight of his 40 rounds played in team competition (95 percent) counted towards the team total.
A semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award, Nallen was a first team all-Pac-10 selection for the second year in a row. His 11-under 205 total April 12 at the ASU Thunderbird/Savane Invitational tied for eighth-best on Arizona's all-time scoring list in relation to par.
Barnes' and Nallen's selections mark the 44th time in school history that an Arizona golfer has earned All-America accolades. It also continues an Arizona streak of 12 consecutive seasons with at least one All-America selection.
For their efforts in 2002-03, Barnes and Nallen were also named to the GCAA's PING All-Pacific Region team.