Men's Golf Heads to NCAA Regional at West's No. 5 Seed
May 15, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP: The 22nd-ranked Ducks have earned the West's fifth seed to the NCAA Regional, which will be held Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19 at the 6,885-yard, par-70 Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis, Ore. Oregon State is the host institution. There are three regionals that will be held nationally May 17-19 (the other two are at Oklahoma State and Virginia Commonwealth). The top 10 teams, plus individuals, will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 30-June 2 at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
THE FIELD: In a format new for the 2001 championships, the West and Mountain districts sent their top teams to the West Regional, while the rest of the 27-team field is filled by at-large schools selected from a national pool. Arizona State, led by Eugene native and 2000 U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney, is the West District's top seed and New Mexico is the No. 1 out of the Mountain. This year, the top nine teams from the West earned automatic bids. Following ASU were Pac-10 champion USC, Arizona, Nevada-Las Vegas, Oregon, Pepperdine, Washington, California and UCLA. The Mountain District sent five teams with Brigham Young, San Diego State, Colorado State and Fresno State qualifying behind New Mexico. South Carolina led the at-large group, followed by Wake Forest, Tennessee, Stanford, Nevada, Oregon State, Pacific, Big West champ UC Irvine, Austin Peay, Oral Roberts, Big Sky winner Weber State, MCC champ Detroit and Navy. Of the 27 teams, ten are ranked in the nation's top 25, including No. 4 Arizona State, No. 6 USC, No. 10 Wake Forest, No. 12 BYU, No. 13 New Mexico, No. 14 Arizona, No. 17 South Carolina, No. 22 Oregon, No. 24 Washington and No. 25 San Diego State.
RANKINGS: Oregon is ranked 22nd, in the current (May 9) Mastercard Collegiate Golf rankings. It is the fifth straight week Oregon has made the top 25. Individually, sophomore John Ellis is No. 97.
OREGON PROBABLE STARTERS
John Ellis So.-1V San Jose, Calif. (Gavilan CC)Aaron Byers Jr.-2V Albany, Ore. (Linn-Benton CC)Chris Carnahan So.-2V Albany, Ore. (West Albany HS)Matt Genovese Sr.-2V Boulder, Colo. (Boulder HS)Brandon Harnden Jr.-2V Portland, Ore. (Lincoln HS)
OREGON IN THE NCAA REGIONAL: This is Oregon's fifth straight NCAA Regional appearance and 10th in the last 13 years. In their previous nine appearances, the Ducks have advanced to the NCAA Championships three times, including back-to-back bids in 1998-99 under current coach Steve Nosler. Last year, Oregon tied for 13th with an 866, but was just two strokes shy of making the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive season. Nosler led Oregon to its best ever finish in regional competition back in 1999, when the Ducks, led by Ben Crane, tied for fifth at 875. Crane notched the highest finish in a regional by an Oregon golfer the previous year when he tied for second at 207 in 1998. Of Oregon's 2001 NCAA Regional quintet, only Chris Carnahan and Aaron Byers have postseason experience. Both tied for 52nd in 2000.
Player 2000Aaron Byers 218/T52ndChris Carnahan 218/T52nd
Oregon in the NCAA West RegionalYear Place (score) Top Individual Place (score)2000 T13th (866) Andrew Tredway T35th (215)1999 T5th (875) Ben Crane 12th (217)1998 6th (875) Ben Crane 2nd (207)1997 12th (877) Ben Crane T16th (215)1995 --- Ted Snavely T49th (224)1994 --- Ted Snavely T31st (219)1993 15th (893) Jeff Lyons T45th (223)1992 17th (881) Doug DuChateau T18th (214)1991 12th (888) Troy Tamiya T4th (215)1990 7th (859) Tim Hval T9th (210)1989 11th (881) Chris Holzgang T7th (213)
NOSLER ON THE NCAA WEST REGIONAL: 'We've got to have all five guys come to play. We're not going to be in it if we're relying on just one guy. We're going to have to play at the level we're capable of and if we do that, we should be in a position to give ourselves a chance to advance.'
NOSLER ON TRYSTING TREE: 'You've got to have all five guys staying in play, because the rough is so severe. If three of them are in the hay, that can take you right out of it. You simply cannot play from the rough.'
'Some Northwest teams may not have the advantage that they might normally have because this couse is playing nothing like it did when we were here in the fall. The last time the rough was like this was when OSU hosted the Pac-10s 10 years ago.'
NOSLER ON THIS WEEK'S STRATEGY: 'You can't tell the guys not to be aggressive because you can wind up being too conservative and getting passed like that. But you can't take too many risks either because you simply cannot afford to be off the fairway on this course. Golf is all about evaluating the risks you are taking versus the potential rewards and penalties that could result. I have to rely on each player to make the decisions that are the most intelligent and the ones that are the best for the team.'
'We have a tremendous opportunity here to go on and play at nationals. None of these guys have any idea what an honor and a thrill it is to play at the NCAA Championships. That was the goal at the beginning of the season and we have the ability to achieve that goal right within our grasp.'
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. Mike Sica, a freshman with great potential, also returns after a redshirt season.
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, and 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.
TOP TWO OREGON PREP PLAYERS SIGN WITH DUCKS: Two of the top senior high school players in the state of Oregon signed National Letters of Intent to compete for the Ducks next year. Chris Dukeminier of Eugene's Sheldon High School and North Bend's Kyle Johnson signed with the Ducks during the November period. Johnson was the starting quarterback and an all-state basketball player for North Bend High School, but chose to play golf collegiately. He won the 2000 OGA State Junior Championship. Dukeminier was on Oregon's 2000 Hogan Cup team and won the 1999 district championship for Sheldon. The two should make Oregon an even more talented and deeper team next year as the Ducks will graduate just two seniors (Matt Genovese and T.J. Duncan) this season and lose only one golfer from their top six (Genovese).
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