Golfers Try For Second Championship of the Season
Sept. 28, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP: Oregon looks to make it two wins in its first two tournaments at the 2001 Husky Invitational Monday Oct. 1 and Tuesday Oct. 2. Teams will play 36 holes Monday and 18 Tuesday at the par-72, 7,035-yard Olympic Course at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash. The last time the event was played at Gold Mountain in 1998, Oregon defeated Stanford in a playoff to win the team title. The tournament is a six play, five count format, as opposed to the usual five play, count four.
THE FIELD: Oregon's John Ellis will try to defend his 2000 Husky Invitational individual title. He defeated Washington's Joe Ramos on the first extra hole for his first collegiate victory when the event was played at Trophy Lake. Defending team champion Pepperdine returns, along with California, Colorado, Georgia Southern, Nevada, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington and Washington State.
OREGON PROBABLE STARTERS
Chris Carnahan Jr.-2V Albany, Ore. (West Albany HS)Aaron Byers Sr.-2V Albany, Ore. (Linn-Benton CC)Brandon Harnden Sr.-2V Portland, Ore. (Lincoln HS)John Ellis Jr.-1V San Jose, Calif. (Gavilan CC)Jimmy White So.-SQ Eugene, Ore. (South Eugene HS)Chris Heniff Sr.-SQ Beaverton, Ore. (Portland State)
NOSLER QUOTES: 'It's a small field, but it's a very good field. We have been playing some very difficult, championship-level courses in preparation for this tournament, but we've still seen some very impressive scores. All of these guys are experienced enough to know the areas they need to work on and overall, I've been pretty pleased with their diligence and intensity in practice.'
LAST YEAR'S HUSKY INVITATIONAL: Sophomore John Ellis, competing in his first varsity tournament as a Duck, won the Husky Invitational by defeating Washington's Joey Ramos on the first playoff hole 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.
RESULTS: Results will be available on-line at www.goducks.com by approximately 7:00 p.m. each night.
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.
NORTHWEST COLLEGIATE CLASSIC RECAP: Playing mere hours after the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, a subdued Oregon squad found a way to concentrate on the task at hand and fired a final round 6-under par 278 to defeat Washington State by 12 strokes at the 6,693-yard, par-71 Mallard Creek Golf Course. It was the Ducks' first outright Northwest win since 1991. Oregon tied UCLA and Washington for the 1998 title. Defending individual champion Chris Carnahan, a junior from nearby Albany, could not defend his individual title, but led the Duck charge with a tournament-low final round of 6-under 65. He finished second at minus-6, two strokes behind champion Sean Deacon of Oregon State. Senior Aaron Byers, another Albany native, matched his best finish as a collegian, tying for third at 3-under following a final round 70, while senior Brandon Harnden recorded his best finish in nearly a year, tying for eighth at 1-under. Sophomore Jimmy White from Eugene had the best tournament of his young career, tying for 12th at even par. Oregon finished with a three-round total of 843, followed by Washington State at 855, Oregon State at 856, Long Beach State at 858 and Texas-Arlington at 861.
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).