Sun Devils Grab the Lead After Three Rounds at Pac-10 Championships
April 27, 2004
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona State sophomore Alejandro Canizares fired a six-under 66 Tuesday to help the Sun Devils build a nine-stroke lead after three rounds of the 2004 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Golf Championships at The Gallery at Dove Mountain.
Canizares' third-round tally was the low of the day and proved to be the difference as Arizona State separated itself from the 10-team field, posting a four-under-par total of 356. The Sun Devils' 54-hole total stands at 1,076 (-4), nine strokes ahead of tournament-host Arizona (1,085), UCLA (1,087) and Washington (1,106).
Defending champion UCLA made the biggest move of the day, as the Bruins carded an eight-under 352 to shave four strokes off its deficit entering the round. Led by Travis Johnson (68/-4) and defending individual medalist John Merrick (69/-3), UCLA used four rounds at par or better to post just the fourth under-par team total of the tournament.
Entering the third round with a share of the lead, Arizona failed to capitalize on some good scoring opportunities that kept the team in second place. Chris Nallen's struggles highlighted the Wildcats' efforts as a team. The senior from Hackettstown, N.J., carded five birdies on the first seven holes of the back nine to get to one-under on the day before posting back-to-back double bogeys on holes 17 and 18.
The Sun Devils seek its 12th Pac-10 championship since joining the league in 1978-79 and its first since 2000.
The Gallery continues to provide a stern test as just nine players are below par heading into Wednesday's final round. Canizares, the 2003 NCAA individual medalist, and teammate Chez Reavie share the third-round lead with seven-under 209 totals. UCLA's Johnson and Arizona's Henry Liaw are tied for third place two strokes back at 211 (-5).
The Pac-10 Championships conclude Wednesday at The Gallery at Dove Mountain, a par 72, 7,435-yard layout. The conference championship is determined by teams of six players with the low five scores for each round counting toward the team total.
Complete Round Three Results
Team Standings Top Five Individuals1. Arizona State 1076 (-4) 1. Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State 71-72-66=209 (-7)2. ARIZONA 1085 (+5) Chez Reavie, Arizona State 69-70-70=209 (-7)3. UCLA 1087 (+7) 3. Travis Johnson, UCLA 74-69-68=211 (-5)4. Washington 1106 (+26) Henry Liaw, Arizona 69-70-72=211 (-5)5. USC 1113 (+33) 5. Josh Esler, Arizona 70-70-72=212 (-4)6. California 1120 (+40) Brock Mackenzie, Washington 67-68-77=212 (-4)7. Oregon 1125 (+45)8. Oregon State 1148 (+68) Washington State 1148 (+68) Arizona Finishers10. Stanford 1170 (+90) T3. Henry Liaw 69-70-72=211 (-5) T5. Josh Esler 70-70-72=212 (-4) 8. Chris Nallen 70-69-75=214 (-2) T27. Nathan Lashley 77-78-70=225 (+9) T29. Nathan Tyler 72-78-76=226 (+10) T35. Mark Lamb 76-76-76=228 (+12)
2004 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Golf Championships
The Gallery at Dove Mountain
Hosted by the University of Arizona
Third Round Quotes
USC Head Coach Kurt Schuette
'I feel good about our day. We played much better than we did yesterday. The guys kept their focus throughout. We did a better job of committing ourselves.
The greens were very difficult today. We had a hard time guessing because the winds were blowing really hard.'
Im a little disappointed because a good team should come in and be four to six strokes under par. We finished four-over; I know that we could do better.'
All in all I am very proud of the team we improved greatly compared to yesterday.'
USC Senior Ben Hayes
'I'm happy about my round today. It started tough, but I hit the ball great and keep my consistency throughout. I left a lot of putts. We all played much better than we did yesterday. This is a very tough course, and I am proud that we improved from yesterday.'
Oregon Head Coach Steve Nosler
'We finished 13-over today, we didn't do what we wanted today on the course. We had a couple of 71's and but unfortunately we had to take some higher numbers.
At best, there will be three teams behind us after today. The number we had is disappointing. We are just giving a way too many strokes. It s a difficult course, but we are making it harder than it actually is. Its more target golf than we are used to. At home, if you miss the fair way you can just hit out of the trees, here you might have to go back to the tee.'
Oregon Sophomore Justin St. Claire
'It's been pretty good so far. I've been hitting the ball well, although I have thrown away a couple of strokes. But I have been playing pretty well overall.
It's an awesome course. Its situated nicely in the mountains and you have some very scenic views. Fairways are nice and the greens role well, not to mention there are a lot of oscillations.'
Washington Head Coach Matt Thurmond
'Brock's (Mackenzie) been our work horse all year, and it was nice to see some of the other guys step up. After yesterday we expected more, but its nice to the other guys step up.
The five count six format is difficult. You have to have five guys play well and its usually the five or six guys that hurt you.
The freshmen will be relaxed after today's round and will be ready to go for tomorrow.'
Washington Senior Corey Prugh:
'My round was kind of boring. I shot even par, I was hitting the ball well, but I haven't been putting well. I just couldn't put.
It's out there for the taking (the course). UCLA seems to have taken advantage of that. It's a fun course; in the Northwest we have 10-foot trees lining the fairway. These are some of the best fairways; I have had nothing but perfect lies in the fairway.
I hope to do some of the same things tomorrow and I would love to help the team out. I look for a sub-70 round and hopefully even more towards 65, if I could just get the ball in the hole. I putted like a butthead today.'
UCLA Head Coach O.D. Vincent
'It was a good round today, but there is a lot more golf to be played. Our goal is to get under par. The finish was important today, yesterday we finished 15-over par on the last four holes, with a triple-bogey on the last whole. Peter Campbell finished with four birdies on the last four holes.
Arizona and Arizona State are the teams to beat, although we are higher ranked, they are the teams to beat. We are the under-dogs, but we have a chance. With the altitude and heat, they will be tough but I think we have a good chance.'
Arizona Head Coach Rick LaRose
'ASU shot a four-under and we are nine back. Not impossible. Certainly to challenge, you need to have some one carry your team. When (Chris) Nallen doesn't play well it hurts. When you finish 6, 6 (as Nallen did), that hurts. When your low score is 69, you need a stud to come out and carry the team. We've had great play out of Lesher and Lam played well. Lam has been disappointing and so has Nallen.'
Arizona Freshman Henry Liaw
'I played really bad on the front, but was able to turn it around on the back. On the back, I started hitting fairways. I just started with the basics and that helped to find the fairways.
Tomorrow I just need to continue to play the back two or three under. On the front nine, I need to get off to a quick start, by making a few birdies and a few quick pars.'
Arizona State Head Coach Randy Lein
'We always enjoy playing Arizona. When they play well we definitely have to play well. We were able to finish with some good shots and we're playing well. They've been in there in every tournament (Chez Reavie and Alejandro Canizares) and we've had four other guys that will keep us in it.'
Arizona State Sophomore Alejandro Canizares
'I played good today. I putted well and hit a lot of fairways. I think I only missed two or three. I started to put well on the back and started to get the rhythm of my swing back.'
'I think I need to shot a good four-under par tomorrow. If it's windy it will be tough.'
'I didnt play very good in the first day, but I played well today.'