Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Bears Edge Cats for Arizona Intercollegiate Title
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 02, 2010
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 2, 2010


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TUCSON, Ariz. - After dominating day one of the Arizona Invitational, California had to fight back on the back nine Tuesday to claim a one-stroke victory over host Arizona.

The Wildcats, who trailed Cal by seven strokes heading into the day, got off to a furious start, taking the lead from the Bears and expanding it to as many as five strokes. It was a close race that was eventually decided on the 18th green.

California went a combined six under on the par-5, including an eagle by its number five golfer, Eric Mina, three shots better than Arizona on the final hole. Individual medalist Rich Saferian's birdie putt lipped out, proving to be the difference in the Golden Bears' victory.




Cal shot an 823 (-29) for the tournament, one stroke better than Arizona. Fresno State carded an 838 (-14) to finish third, one stroke ahead of third-ranked Florida at thirteen under. Texas A&M rounded out the top five; the Aggies shot an 841 (-11).


Arizona's Rich Saferian earned the first victory of his Wildcat career Tuesday by three strokes. Saferian, who started the day in third place, shot the best round of the day, a 66 (-5) to claim victory.

Bhavik Patel of Fresno State and Michael Weaver tied for second at 203 (-10). Texas A&M's Jordan Russell finished fourth competing as an individual. Arizona's Tarquin MacManus and Cal's Eric Mina tied for fifth.




All five California golfers recorded top-20 finishes, including three in the top ten, to bring the team to victory. Three Wildcats finished in the top 20.


Saferian's victory was the first time a Wildcat has won an event this season, and it marks the first time UA has claimed individual medalist honors since MacManus won the 2009 NCAA Southeast Regional.

Saferian's 68-66-66=200 (-13) was the lowest tournament of his career and was the first time he played all three rounds under par. This was also the lowest finish of the season for MacManus. The junior, who had five top-10 finishes a year ago, picked up his first this season with his 206 (-7).

Jonathan Khan finished tied for 16th. With their finishes, MacManus and Khan each have two top-20 finishes and one top-10 to their credit this season. This marks the second consecutive tournament Saferian, MacManus and Khan have finished atop the Wildcats' scorecard. The trio claims spots 1-3 in every major statistical category this season. 



In addition to the trio, Arizona also had four golfers finish in the top 40. Tom Conran earned the best finish of the season, tying for 24th. Newcomer Stefan Cox finished tied for 29th, the best finish in his young Wildcat career. Philip Bagdade flirted with the top ten before fading on the back nine; the sophomore finished four over and in a tie for 40th.


The Arizona Intercollegiate was held at Arizona National, a par 71, 6,793 yard course.


Up Next: The junior varsity will head to Silver City, N.M., February 13-14, for the WNMU Cactus Thaw, an event in which the J.V. team finished second in a year ago. The varsity returns to action February 17-19 in the John A. Burns Intercollegiate.


Top Five Teams

1. California                                          269-274-280=823 (-29)

2. Arizona                                            279-271-274=824 (-28)

3. Fresno State                                     284-273-281=838 (-14)

4. Florida                                             281-279-279=839 (-13)

5. Texas A&M                                     283-277-281=841 (-11)


Top Five Individuals

1. Rich Saferian, Arizona                      68-66-66=200 (-13)

T2. Bhavik Patel, Fresno State              69-65-69=203 (-10)

T2. Michael Weaver, California            64-68-71=203 (-10)

4. Jordan Russell, Texas A&M*           66-70-69=205 (-8)

5. Two tied at                                                        206 (-7)


Arizona Finishers

1. Rich Saferian                                    68-66-66=200 (-13)

T5. Tarquin MacManus                        66-73-67=206 (-7)

T16. Jonathan Khan                             73-68-69=210 (-3)

T24. Tom Conran (B)                           68-69-75=212 (-1)

T29. Stefan Cox (B)                             71-74-68=213 (E)

T40. Brad Nicholson                            75-69-72=216 (+3)

T48. Juan Pablo Hernandez (B)            76-71-72=219 (+6)

T51. Peter Ireland*                              70-73-78=221 (+8)

T53. Kenji Hernandez (B)                    73-73-76=222 (+9)

T58. Trent Redfern (B)                         76-72-77=225 (+12)

T68. Alvin Cheung*                              83-76-73=232 (+19)

77. Miles Thorson*                              85-82-89=256 (+43)

78. Brian Walker*                                86-90-85=261 (+48)  

* Competed as an individual

(B) Competed as a member of Arizona's "B" team                   





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