Nov. 4, 2002
On the Tee: The eighth-ranked Arizona men's golf team returns to action at the inaugural Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship, Nov. 8-10, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. ... It is Arizona's final team event of the fall season ... While this is the first-ever event of its kind sponsored by the Golf Coaches Association of America, Arizona did win a pair of match play national championships (1996/2000) under the College Golf Foundation's sponsorship ... A pair of Wildcat individuals (Ricky Barnes/Chris Nallen) will also compete at the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic in El Paso, Texas, Nov. 24-26, in the last UA appearance this fall.
The Rankings: The Wildcats remain ranked in all three major college golf polls. Arizona is ranked eighth in the Precept/CGAA Coaches Poll, 12th in the Golfworld Coaches Poll and 14th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Individually, three UA golfers are ranked in the top 100 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index: Ricky Barnes (23rd), Chris Nallen (27th) and Reid Hatley (98th). 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 Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship: Sixteen of the nation's top men's golf teams will converge on the Dye Course at Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Nov. 8-10 for the inaugural Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship. The format for the championship will be a modified double-elimination team match play team tournament. Each school is guaranteed a minimum of two matches over the three days. The field is made up of the top-16 finishing teams at the 2002 NCAA Championships. First round pairings are as follows (seed): (1) Clemson vs. (16) Purdue; (2) Augusta State vs. (15) Colorado; (3) Texas vs. (14) Tulsa; (4) Minnesota vs. (13) North Carolina State; (5) Arizona vs. (12) Pepperdine; (6) TCU vs. (11) Georgia Tech; (7) Florida vs. (10) Washington and (8) Oklahoma State vs. (9) Toledo.
The Probable Arizona Lineup:
Golfer Yr. Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rd. Events Ricky Barnes Sr. 72.33 2/0 69 3 Chris Nallen Jr. 72.36 3/0 66 4 Reid Hatley Sr. 73.55 1/1 67 4 Blaine Peffley Fr. 74.64 0/0 72 4 Andy Connell Jr. 73.36 1/1 68 4 Nathan Lashley So. 74.75 0/0 71 3
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: Heavy rains canceled the final round of the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate Oct. 15 and Arizona junior Chris Nallen claimed individual medalist honors with a seven-under-par 135 total to win the event by one stroke. Nallen, a native of Blairstown, N.J., carded an opening-round 69 (-2) and followed with a 66 (-5) in the day's second 18 holes to forge a one-stroke lead at 135 (-7) over a pair of players at 136. The sub-70 rounds were the 19th and 20th of his career, and his second-round 66 was one stroke shy of his career low. The win was the second of Nallen's career. He also won the U.S. Intercollegiate, April 21-22, 2001, in Palo Alto, Calif. Nallen's stellar play came on the heels of the worst tournament finish of his career. At last week's Ping/Golfweek NCAA Preview, he shot a three-round 232 (+16) and finished tied for 49th place. His efforts placed the Wildcats in a tie for sixth place at 565 (-3). That total is the team's best 36-hole total of the season by 10 strokes. Clemson won the 12-team event with a 556 (-12) total. Joining Nallen in the top-10 places was UA senior Reid Hatley. The Spokane, Wash., product equaled a career-low with a 67 (-4) in the opening round and finished tied for ninth place at 139 (-3). Freshman Blaine Peffley also placed in the top 30, as his two-round total of 145 (+3) tied him for 27th. Also competing for Arizona was junior Andy Connell, who tied for 35th place at 146 (+4) and sophomore Nathan Lashley, who tied for 46th place at 149 (+7). Arizona was without the services of senior Ricky Barnes, the reigning U.S. Amateur Champion, who is preparing to compete for the United States in the World Amateur Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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.
A J.V. Win: Arizona men's junior varsity golf team won the 49er Collegiate Classic Nov. 1 after posting a final-round of 5-under-par 283 to finish with a three-round score of 869. The Wildcats opened the third round 10 strokes behind day two leader North Texas, but claimed the title as North Texas fell into second place by shooting 297. Junior Andy Connell was the top finisher for the Wildcats as he finished second with a total score of 210. Connell, from Denver, Colo., posted a final-round of 4-under 68 to finish one stroke behind individual medallist Bobby Powers of San Jose State. Senior Brian Woolf and sophomore Kipp Riehle both finished the tournament tied for 15th with three-round totals of 4-under 220. Woolf shot his low round of the tournament by carding a 4-under-par 68. Also competing for the Wildcats was sophomore Nathan Lashley, who shot a seven-over 79 Friday and finished tied for 31st with a total score of 224. Nick Juszczak rounded out the Arizona lineup, finishing tied for 45th place at 14-over-par 230.
Picking Up the Pace: The statistics show that Denver, Colo., native Andy Connell has played very well in four events this season. The junior has a 73.36 stroke average through 11 rounds, including a tie for 14th place (218/+2) bat the season-opening William H. Tucker Intercollegiate and a runner-up finish last week (see above). His stroke average drops to 71.75 if you exclude a three-round 233 (+17) at the rain-soaked Carpet Capital Collegiate, a tournament in which Connell competed with an injured back.
No. 6: The match play format used in this week's Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship allows for each team to bring six competitors to the event rather than the normal five. Sophomore Nathan Lashley punched his ticket after posting a 74.75 stroke average in three fall events. In his last varsity appearance, Lashley carded a seven-over 149 at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate.
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.
A Look Back at the Last Match Play Event: Arizona defeated fifth-seeded Georgia Tech, 3-2, to win the CGF National Intercollegiate Match Play Team Championships, Nov. 12, 2000, in Estero, Fla. The Wildcats, seeded No. 3 in the tourney, defeated UNLV, 4-1, in the semifinals and Northwestern, 3-2, in the first round to advance to the championship final. Reid Hatley, Cody Beyer and Chris Nallen all won matches against the Yellow Jackets to earn Arizona's second Match Play national championship. UA won the inaugural event in 1996.
Arizona 3 Georgia Tech 2 Ricky Barnes 1 up Bryce Molder Reid Hatley 1 up Wes Latimer Cody Beyer 2&1 Troy Matteson Chris Nallen 3&1 Kris Mikkelsen Ben Clark 2&1 Matt Weibring