6-over 294 Gives Ducks New Life at NCAA West Regional
May 18, 2001
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The University of Oregon men's golf team fired a 6-over 294, the fifth-best round of the day, and climbed back into the hunt for a top 10 finish and a bid to the NCAA Championships, Friday at the NCAA West Regional.
After a disappointing opening round 302 that left the Ducks tied for 21st and nine strokes out of the top 10, Oregon got a round of even-par 72 from Chris Carnahan and 74s from John Ellis, Brandon Harnden and Aaron Byers to climb seven spots in the standings to 14th place after Friday's second round. More importantly, the Ducks will enter Saturday's final round just four strokes out of the top 10 and six strokes out of the top six.
The Ducks are slated for an 8:42 a.m. tee time off the front nine Saturday.
Following Thursday's round, Oregon coach Steve Nosler figured that his team would need a round in the low 280s Friday. 'I thought we needed to shoot 5- or 6-under par to get back into it, so I didn't think a 294 would do much for us,' Nosler said. 'But we started playing our best golf when we got back in the clubhouse seeing the scores go up on the leaderboard. You just never know with the way this golf course is playing. You can have a five or six stroke swing on one hole.
'We actually played most of the holes pretty well today, but we just did not seem to get much going as far as stringing a couple of birdies together. Time will tell if today's round was good enough.'
Oregon was one only a handful of teams that managed to tame the strong winds and high rough at the 7,060-yard, par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Course. Arizona State continued its march to its third NCAA West title in four years by firing an 11-under 277 Friday. The Sun Devils, who dropped U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney's score - a 2-over 74 - for the second straight day, got a 7-under 65 from tournament leader Matt Jones and a second consecutive 4-under 68 from Jin Park to run their team total to 16-under 560 and led second place UC Irvine by 17 strokes.
The surprising Anteaters shot a 1-under 287 Friday to climb to second at 1-over 577. The Big West champions, a No. 8 seed entering the Regional, got a 3-under 69 From Mike Lavrey and a 2-under 70 from Eric Wang. Arizona carded its second straight 289 and was third at 2-over 578 for the tournament. UCLA and Stanford ended the round tied for fourth at 11-over 587. UCLA had a 298 Friday, while the Cardinal, which trailed ASU by just one stroke after the first round, scored a 303.
Carnahan, a sophomore from nearby Albany, Ore., is 4-over for the tournament with a 76-72-148 total and is tied for 32nd. Ellis and Harnden are tied for 42nd a shot back of Carnahan after posting identical 75-74 rounds. Byers, a junior from Albany, is tied for 60th at 6-over, with Eugene native Quinney, among others, following his 76-74-150 first two rounds.
In the race for the individual title, Jones, at 9-under for the tournament, has a 2-stroke lead on Park, a 3-stroke edge on South Carolina's Kyle Thompson and a 4-stroke advantage over Arizona's Chris Nallen. First round leader John Merrick of UCLA shot a 4-over 76 Friday and is 8 strokes off the pace.
For Oregon, and teams in the surrounding positions, Saturday's round essentially boils down to a shootout for the final five spots. There are 12 teams between the sixth and 17th positions that are within nine strokes of each other. Going into the final 18, Wake Forest leads that pack at 590, followed by Oregon State, Washington and Pacific at 591, South Carolina and Pepperdine at 592, Nevada-Las Vegas and San Diego State at 594, Oregon at 596, Colorado State at 597, USC at 598 and Fresno State at 599.
'We still have our work cut out for us tomorrow,' said Nosler. 'We've probably got to play a little better than we did today to feel good about our chances, but we're still in it. We've got a life.'
NCAA West Regional
Trysting Tree Golf Course
7,060 Yards, Par-72
TEAM SCORES - 1, Arizona State, 283-277-560. 2, UC Irvine, 290-287-577. 3, Arizona, 289-289-578. 4 (tie), UCLA, 289-298-587, Stanford, 284-303-587. 6, Wake Forest, 288-302-590. 7 (tie), Oregon State, 290-301-591, Washington, 290-301-591, Pacific, 298-293-591. 10 (tie), South Carolina, 294-298-592, Pepperdine, 293-299-592. 12 (tie), Nevada-Las Vegas, 294-300-594, San Diego State, 289-305-594. 14, Oregon, 302-294-596. 15, Colorado State, 297-300-597. 16, USC, 298-300-598. 17, Fresno State, 298-301-599. 18, Brigham Young, 296-307-603. 19 (tie), New Mexico, 305-299-604, California, 302-302-604. 21, Austin Peay, 295-310-605. 22, Nevada, 302-307-609. 23, Tennessee, 297-316-613. 24, Detroit, 295-324-619. 25 (tie), Oral Roberts, 312-309-621, Navy, 310-311-621. 27, Weber State, 302-324-626.