Men's Golf Hits the Islands

Feb. 13, 2001

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WHAT'S ON TAP: One of the strongest fields of the season awaits Oregon at the Taylor Made Invitational, Thursday, Feb. 17 through Saturday, Feb. 19 at Waikoloa, Hawaii. Oregon will be trying to solidify a bid to the May 17-19 NCAA regionals by going head-to-head against six of the top 13 teams in the West region. Teams will play one round of the 54-hole tournament per day at the par-72, 6,594-yard Waikoloa Kings & Beach Golf Course.

THE FIELD: Seven of the nation's top 20 teams will be at the Taylor Made Invitational, including No. 3 Georgia Tech, No. 5 USC, No. 8 Brigham Young, No. 16 (tie) San Diego State, No. 16 (tie) Texas, No. 18 Oklahoma and No. 19 Texas Christian. In addition, seven of the top 13 teams in the West region are among the field, including USC (third), Pepperdine (fourth), Arizona State (fifth), Oregon (seventh), Washington (ninth), UCLA (12th) and UC Santa Barbara (13th). The remainder of the 23-team field includes Arkansas, Hawaii, Hawaii-Hilo, Nagoya, Nevada, Oregon State, Rhode Island, San Francisco, Southern Methodist and Texas A&M.

OREGON PROBABLE STARTERS

Aaron Byers	Jr.-1V	Albany, Ore. (Linn Benton CC)John Ellis	So.-TR	San Jose, Calif. (Gavilan CC)Chris Carnahan	So.-1V	Albany, Ore. (West Albany HS)Brandon Harnden	Jr.-1V	Portland, Ore. (Lincoln HS)Matt Genovese	Sr.-1V	Boulder, Colo. (Boulder HS)

NOSLER QUOTES: 'We had some good competition in our qualifying rounds, so hopefully that will carry over to the tournament. This is a very good field and we have a chance to have a good showing against the teams we will be competing against for a bid to regionals.'

RESULTS: Results will be available online at www.goducks.com at approximately 8:00 p.m. each night.

PING-ARIZONA INTERCOLLEGIATE RECAP: Aaron Byers shot a final round 3-under 68 to tie for fifth at the Ping-Arizona Intercollegiate, played Jan. 29-30 at the 6,776-yard, par-71 Raven at Sabino Springs Golf Course. It was a career-best finish for Byers, a junior from Albany, who finished with a 3-under 210. As a team, the Ducks finished ninth at plus-22, but missed a top six finish by just three strokes. Sophomore John Ellis shot a 1-over 214 to tie for 15th.

FALL FLASHBACK -- PALM DESERT RECAP: Oregon closed out the fall season with a ninth-place finish Nov. 6-7 at the Prestige at Palm Desert in Palm Desert, Calif. Chris Carnahan and Aaron Byers were the top finishers for the Ducks, tying for 29th at 6-over par 222. As a team, Oregon was in a position to rally for a top five finish after rounds of 292 and 288. But a final round 299 left UO in ninth at 879, 24 strokes back of first place Northwestern's 855.

PEPPERDINE INVITATIONAL RECAP: The Ducks salvaged a fifth-place finish thanks to a final round 72 from Brandon Harnden and a 73 from Chris Carnahan Oct. 9-10 at the Pepperdine Invitational. Harnden and Aaron Byers tied for 13th overall at plus-7, while Carnahan tied for 20th at 10-over. John Ellis tied for 25th at 11-over. The Ducks rallied with the third-lowest score of the final round (298) to climb three spots and run their string of regular season top-five finishes to nine straight tournaments.

HUSKY INVITATIONAL RECAP: Sophomore John Ellis, competing in his first tournament as a Duck, won the Husky Invitational by defeating Washington's Joey Ramos on the first playoff hole Sept. 25-26 at Trophy Lake Country Club in Port Orchard, Wash. Ellis shot a one-over 217 to help Oregon finish second at 1108, besting six other Pac-10 teams, including Washington (1115), UCLA (1122), Washington State (1127), California (1127), Oregon State (1133) and Stanford (1136). Pepperdine won the tournament with a 1103. Brandon Harnden had his best finish as a Duck, tying for fifth at 220. Chris Carnahan (222) and Matt Genovese (224) also finished in the top 20.

NORTHWEST CLASSIC RECAP: Sophomore Chris Carnahan won the first tournament of his college career by shooting a 7-under par 203 at the Northwest Classic Sept. 11-12 at Trysting Tree in Corvallis, Ore. Carnahan shared the lead after two rounds and then shot a 68 on the final day to win the tournament by a stroke. Senior Matt Genovese had his finest day as a Duck, tying for fifth at minus-4. The senior from Boulder, Colo. had just one top-30 finish in eight career tournaments prior to the Northwest Classic. Three other Duck golfers also finished in the top 25, including Aaron Byers at 11th (208), John Ellis at 19th (211) and Brandon Harnden at 24th (212). As a team, the Ducks finished fifth, 13 strokes behind Nevada.

NOSLER NOTES: Now in his ninth year as head coach of the Ducks is Oregon graduate (1959) Steve Nosler. Nosler has guided the Ducks to the NCAA West Regional five times (1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) and consecutive NCAA Championship appearances (1998 and 1999). During the 1999-2000 season, Nosler guided Oregon to six top-five finishes (eight top-10), including a second place finish at both the Husky Intercollegiate and the Oregon Invitational. The Ducks also claimed fourth at the Pacific-10 Championships. He guided the Ducks to three tournament titles in 1998-99 and 10 top-five finishes, including a third-place at the Pac-10's and a fifth at the NCAA West Regional. Highlighting the 1996-97 season was his being named Pac-10 coach of the year in a vote by his peers.

HOMEGROWN TALENT: Dating back to Peter Jacobsen and continuing with Ben Crane, the success of Oregon's golf program has always been rooted in attracting the top prep players from Oregon's high school ranks. The 2000-01 season is no exception as seven state natives are on the roster including top golfers Chris Carnahan and Aaron Byers of Albany, prep phenom Jimmy White and Tom Connor from Eugene and Rose City area natives Brandon Harnden (Portland), Chris Heniff (Beaverton) and Geoff Horton (Tualatin).

WHO'S BACK: Oregon returns five lettermen from 1999-2000, including the No. 2 golfer of a year ago, sophomore Chris Carnahan. Senior T.J. Duncan had the squad's fourth-best scoring average a year ago, while junior Aaron Byers was fifth, junior Brandon Harnden was sixth and senior Matt Genovese was seventh. The Ducks also return sophomores Tom Connor and Geoff Horton who saw limited action in 1999-2000. Byers, Carnahan and Duncan all played in the 2000 West Regional.

WHO'S GONE: The Ducks lost seniors Ryan Lavoie and Andrew Tredway to graduation. Lavoie, who led Oregon in scoring average, played in all 13 tournaments last season, while Tredway appeared in 11 and ranked third in scoring average. Sophomore Ford Montgomery also did not return to the squad. The walk-on played in just two tournaments last year.

WWW.GODUCKS.COM: Web surfers can find golf releases and results on the University of Oregon Athletic Department website (www.goducks.com). The Pac-10 Conference also maintains a web site featuring information on all of its member schools (www.pac-10.org).

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