Men's Golf Sweeps Pac-10 Postseason Honors
May 3, 2004
TUCSON, Ariz. - To the victor goes the spoils.
Fresh off its five-stroke victory at the 2004 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Golf Championships, the University of Arizona swept the league's postseason honors as Chris Nallen was named Pac-10 Golfer of the Year, Henry Liaw was named Freshman of the Year, and coach Rick LaRose was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in voting by the Pac-10 men's golf coaches.
Nallen, a senior from Hackettstown, N.J., is a three-time first-team all-Pac-10 selection and a finalist for the 2004 Ben Hogan Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate golfer. He has won three tournaments this year and has posted four other top-five finishes. Nallen has a stroke average of 69.92 this season, on pace for a school record with the possibility of becoming the first Wildcat to average less than 70 strokes per round for a season. At one point, he posted a string of eight consecutive competitive rounds in the 60s. Included was a 62 in the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, which tied the Arizona record and tied for the fifth-lowest round in Pac-10 history. It marks the third time in the last four years that an Arizona golfer has been named Pac-10 Player of the Year, as Nallen follows former teammate Ricky Barnes (2001, 2003).
Liaw, from Rowland Heights, Calif., capped a sensational freshman season by winning the Pac-10 Championship by four strokes. That added to a season that saw him garner four top-10 finishes and seven finishes in the top 20. Liaw came on strong in the spring season with seven consecutive tournaments under par, scoring 19 of 22 rounds at par or better, including eight rounds in the 60s. For the year, Liaw has a 71.67 stroke average.
LaRose has directed Arizona to a spectacular season to date, topped by a final-round, come-from-behind victory in the Pac-10 Championships. His Wildcats collected four victories and two second-place finishes in seven tournaments this spring. In addition to the Pac-10 Championships, Arizona was the winner of the PING-Arizona Intercollegiate, the John Burns Intercollegiate and the Hall of Fame Invitational.
Now in his 26th year at the Arizona helm, LaRose has directed the Wildcats to the NCAA Championships for 17 consecutive seasons. He is the only coach in history to win both a men's and women's NCAA golf title and last year was inducted into the Golf Coaches of America Hall of Fame. It marks the third time LaRose has been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, having previously been honored in 1987 and 1991.
Freshman Josh Esler was also an honorable mention all-conference honoree. The native of Wauconda, Ill., currently has a 73.76 stroke average through 12 team events. He earned his best collegiate finish to date by placing eighth at last week's Pac-10 Championships with a one-over-par 289 total.
The University of Arizona men's golf team, currently ranked No. 8 nationally in the Precept Golf Coaches Association of America Coaches Poll, will next be in action May 20-22 when it competes in the 2004 NCAA West Regional at The Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore.
All-Pac-10 First Team
Name School Yr. HometownAlejandro Canizares Arizona State So. Manilva, SpainTravis Johnson UCLA Sr. Bellflower, Calif.Henry Liaw Arizona Fr. Rowland Heights, Calif.Brock Mackenzie Washington Sr. Yakima, Wash.Chris Nallen Arizona Sr. Hackettstown, N.J.Chez Reavie Arizona State Sr. Mesa, Ariz.Peter Tomasulo California Sr. Long Beach, Calif.
All-Pac-10 Second Team
Name School Yr. HometownNico Bollini USC Jr. Yorba Linda, Calif.Steve Conway UCLA Sr. Newport Beach, Calif.Jeff Hood California Jr. Atascadero, Calif.John Merrick UCLA Sr. Long Beach, Calif.Zack Miller Stanford Fr. San Rafael, Calif.
Honorable Mention: Scott Carlyle, Sr., California; Josh Esler, Fr., Arizona; Ben Hayes, Jr., USC; Jesse Mueller, Jr., Arizona State; Dan Potter, Sr., Washington; John Poucher, Jr., UCLA; Jesse Ruda, Sr., California; Joshua Wooding, Fr., USC
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