Men's Golf Opens Season at Mallard Creek
Sept. 7, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP: Oregon's fall season swings into action at the Northwest Collegiate Classic on Monday, Sept. 10 and Tuesday, Sept. 11 at the new Mallard Creek Golf Course in Lebanon, Ore. This will be the Ducks' first foray to Mallard Creek, which will play to a par-71, 6,693 yardage for the annual college tournament. Teams will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday.
THE FIELD: Oregon's Chris Carnahan is back to defend his individual title won last year at Trysting Tree. The junior from nearby Albany, Ore., fired a 67-67-68-203 to defeat Nevada's Mike Haack by one stroke. Defending team champion Nevada also returns, along with Denver, UC Bakersfield, UC Irvine, Long Beach State, Louisiana-Monroe, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State, San Jose State, Texas-Arlington and Washington State. Individuals from Oregon and Oregon State will also compete.
OREGON PROBABLE STARTERS*
Aaron Byers Sr.-2V Albany, Ore. (Linn-Benton CC)Chris Carnahan Jr.-2V Albany, Ore. (West Albany HS)John Ellis Jr.-1V San Jose, Calif. (Gavilan CC)Brandon Harnden Sr.-2V Portland, Ore. (Lincoln HS)Chris Heniff Sr.-SQ Beaverton, Ore. (Portland State)Mike Sica So.-1V San Francisco, Calif. (St. Ignatius HS)*top five will be determined after a qualifier,the sixth will compete as an individualOREGON INDIVIDUALSBen Auten Jr.-SQ Las Vegas, Nev. (Arizona)Jimmy White So.-SQ Eugene, Ore. (South Eugene HS)
NOSLER QUOTES: 'The best start to a season is a fast start, so I'd like to think we will put ourselves in a position to win. We have a lot of guys from the area who had a chance to play Mallard Creek this summer, so the course won't be entirely unfamiliar to us.'
LAST YEAR'S NORTHWEST CLASSIC: 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 junior Aaron Byers at 11th (208), sophomore John Ellis at 19th (211) and junior Brandon Harnden at 24th (212). As a team, the Ducks finished fifth, 13 strokes behind Nevada.
NOSLER NOTES: Now in his 10th year as head coach of the Ducks is Oregon graduate (1959) Steve Nosler. Nosler has guided the Ducks to the NCAA West Regional six times (1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) and consecutive NCAA Championship appearances (1998 and 1999). The Ducks have recorded six top five finishes in each of the last two years. In 2000-01, Oregon won the Western Intercollegiate, took second at the Husky Invitational and claimed third at the Oregon Duck Invitational. He guided the Ducks to three tournament titles in 1998-99 and a third-place showing at the Pac-10's and a fifth at the NCAA West Regional. Highlighting the 1996-97 season was his being named Pacific-10 Conference 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 top prep players from Oregon's high school ranks. That tradition continues for the 2001-02 season as eight of the 11 players on the roster are state natives, including Chris Carnahan and Aaron Byers of Albany, Jimmy White and Chris Dukeminier from Eugene, Justin St. Clair of Springfield, Kyle Johnson of Bend and Rose City area natives Brian Harnden (Portland) and Chris Heniff (Beaverton).
SIX OF TOP SEVEN RETURN FOR 2001-02: Oregon returns six of its top seven golfers for the 2001-02 season. They include seniors Aaron Byers and Brandon Harnden, juniors Chris Carnahan and John Ellis and sophomores Mike Sica and Jimmy White. In addition, the Ducks return squad members Chris Heniff, a senior who had a great 2001 summer and has positioned himself for a starting nod in 2002, and junior Ben Auten.
WHO'S GONE: The Ducks only lose two letterman from the 2000-01 team, seniors Matt Genovese and T.J. Duncan. Genovese, a Boulder Colo., native ranked fourth on the squad in scoring (74.6) and played in all but one tournament. Duncan, from Carson City, Nev., saw action in four tournaments early in the season. Oregon also loses a pair of squad members, sophomores Tom Connor, who appeared in just one tournament, and Geoff Horton.
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).