Husky Golfers Set to Defend NW Invitational Title

Sept. 26, 2004

Seattle - The 20th ranked Washington men's golf team will open the 2004-05 season by defending the Opus NW Invitational championship it won last year at the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain in Bremerton. This year's 54-hole event will take place Sept. 27 and 28. Monday's play features 36 holes of competition followed by a single round Tuesday.

The Opus NW Invitational is one of just a handful of collegiate events that features six-man teams with five-man scoring. Tee times start at 7:30 a.m. each day with a split tee format sending teams out from both the first and 10th tees. Washington is scheduled to start its first round from the first tee starting at 9:06 a.m. and to begin second round play at 2:06. In the event of early-morning fog, the tournament will feature a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m.

The 10-team field for the Opus NW Invitational includes 15th-ranked Brigham Young, 16th-ranked USC, Coastal Carolina, Minnesota, Oregon State, San Diego State, UC Davis, UC Irvine and Washington State.

Washington ran away with last year's tournament, bettering second-place San Diego State by 21 strokes. The Huskies finished at 1087 while the Aztecs managed to shoot 1108, three strokes better than UCLA. Husky All-American Brock Mackenzie captured medalist honors with a spectacular 8-under 208. He posted rounds of 70, 70 and 68 on the par-72 course. Husky freshman Erik Olson tied for fifth at 2-over 218.

This year's tournament will include the debut of Washington junior James Lepp. A native of Abbotsford, B.C., Lepp transferred to Washington from Illinois following the 2003 NCAA Championships. As a sophomore for the Illini, Lepp was named the Big Ten Conference's player of the year and was tabbed as a PING second-team All-American. Lepp was forced to sit out the 2003-04 season under NCAA transfer rules.

In addition to Lepp, who placed second during Washington's qualifying for the initial tournament of the season, the Husky lineup for the Opus NW Invitational will feature sophomore Alex Prugh (qualifying medalist), sophomore Erik Olson, sophomore Cody Upham, freshman Joe Panzerri and freshman Sterling Clark.

Prugh and Olson both earned honorable mention All-America honors last year after helping Washington to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Prugh was 28th at the NCAAs while Olson turned in a highly respectable 33rd-place finish.

Live scoring of the Opus NW Invitational will be available at golfstat.com

Huskies Head to Idaho
The three members of the Washington men's golf team not competing at the NW Opus Invitational will travel to Idaho for the Vandal Fall Classic. The two-day tournament will be played Sept. 26-27 at the Univeristy of Idaho Golf Course. Representing Washington will be freshman Zach Bixler, sophomore Reid Rader and junior Travis Andrews.

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