Men's Golf Heads to 55th Annual Western Intercollegiate
March 30, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP: The 55th annual Western Intercollegiate in Santa Cruz, Calif., which is the oldest collegiate golf tournament west of the Mississippi, kicks off a full month of tournaments for the Oregon men's golf team. The Ducks open the month Monday, April 2 and Tuesday, April 3 at the 6,445-yard, par-70 Pasatiempo Country Club. San Jose State is the host school. Following the Western Intercollegiate, Oregon wil compete this month in the Thunderbird Invitational (14-15), U.S. Intercollegiate (21-22) and Pac-10 Championships (27-29). Oregon freshman Mike Sica will be making his varsity debut following his round of 2-under 70 in the Oregon Duck Invitational and a great performance in last week's qualifier.
THE FIELD: Oregon and Stanford are the highest-ranked teams going into the Western Intercollegiate, with the Cardinal ranked No. 31 and the Ducks right behind at No. 32. The rest of the 18-team field includes No. 34 San Diego State (which won last week's Oregon Duck Invitational), No. 37 Washington, No. 39 Pepperdine, No. 41 Kansas, No. 45 Nevada, No. 46 California, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Fresno State, Hawaii, Long Beach State, Ohio State, Oregon State, Pacific, San Jose State and Santa Clara.
OREGON IN THE WESTERN INTERCOLLEGIATE: Oregon has a long tradition with the Western Intercollegiate and has more individual winners of the tournament than any other school. That list includes Peter Jacobsen, Cam Martin, Ted Snavely and Doug DuChateau. Last year, Oregon finished fourth with an 859, 21 strokes back of Fresno State's record 838. Individually, Ryan Lavoie tied for third at 209, while Chris Carnahan tied for 14th at 214.
OREGON PROBABLE STARTERS
Aaron Byers Jr.-1V Albany, Ore. (Linn-Benton CC)John Ellis So.-TR San Jose, Calif. (Gavilan CC)Matt Genovese Sr.-1V Boulder, Colo. (Boulder HS)Chris Carnahan So.-1V Albany, Ore. (West Albany HS)Mike Sica Fr.-RS San Francisco, Calif. (St. Ignatius HS)
NOSLER QUOTES: 'You look at the trophy of the Westen Intercollegiate and it's a who's who of golf. There's probably 25 or 30 Ryder Cup players who have won this tournament. It is as a demanding golf course as we will play. It's not long, but proper club selection and course management is essential. You really have to concentrate on shot selection and playing the ball below the hole.'
RESULTS: Results will be available online at www.goducks.com at approximately 8:00 p.m. each night.
OREGON DUCK INVITATIONAL RECAP: Aaron Byers shot a career-low 66 in the opening round and hung around the leaderboard to post his best finish as a Duck -- tying for third at 2-under par 214 at the March 26-27 Oregon Duck Invitational, played at the 6,854-yard, par-72 Eugene Country Club. John Ellis was also in the top 20, tying for 16th at 220, while Matt Genovese tied for 23rd at 223. As a team, Oregon finshed third, nine strokes behind San Diego State and eight back of Washington. The Oregon 'B' squad got a couple of good rounds from its freshmen. In his first competition as a Duck, Mike Sica shot a 2-under 70 in his opening round, while Jimmy White closed with an even-par 72. White tied for 36th overall at 225, while the 'B' team took 13th of 17 teams.
CLEVELAND SOUTHWEST INVITATIONAL RECAP: Rain shortened the Los Angeles-area tournament to two rounds and the Ducks struggled to a 10-place finish, shooting a 606 March 5-6 at the 6,815-yard, par-71 North Ranch Country Club. Arizona State won the tournament with a 581. It was Oregon's lowest finish of the year, but the Ducks were only six strokes out of the top five. Aaron Byers and Matt Genovese were Oregon's top finishers, tying for 40th at 10-over 152.
TAYLORMADE WAIOKOLOA RECAP: Four Ducks finished in the top 25 as Oregon had its best showing of the 2000-01 season, finishing fourth at the TaylorMade Waikoloa, played Feb. 15-17 at the par-72, 6,594-yard Kings & Beach Golf Course in Hawaii. John Ellis tied for 10th with a 77-76-71-224, while Chris Carnahan tied for 19th with a 76-76-75-227 and Brandon Harnden (76-79-73-228) and Matt Genovese (79-77-72-228) tied for 24th. The Ducks shot a 308-305-291 for a 904 total that was just 11 strokes behind Texas' 893. Oregon's score was better than five teams ranked in the top-20: No. 3 Georgia Tech (923), No. 5 USC (914), No. 8 Brigham Young (916), No. 16 San Diego State (940) and No. 18 Oklahoma (913).
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 NCAA 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. Freshman Brad Mombert left the team after the fall quarter. The redshirt freshman played in two tournaments.
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).