Bruins Earn Third Straight NCAA Berth
May 30, 2005
The 13th-ranked UCLA men's golf team travels to the NCAA Championship, June 1-4 at the Caves Valley Golf Club near Baltimore, MD.
The Caves Valley Golf Club will play to a par of 70 over 7,131 yards. The NCAA Championship is a 72-hole stroke play event over four days. Thirty teams and six individuals will compete for the team and individual titles.
'The goal of our program is to qualify and contend every year for the NCAA Championship,' said Head Coach O.D. Vincent. 'John Poucher is the only player on our team with post-season experience and it's a real accomplishment for our team to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
'This year, it's a wide open field,' he continued. 'We've got a good chance to play real well. It's just a matter of getting all of our players to score well at the same time.'
Since 1947, UCLA has appeared in 29 NCAA Men's Golf Championships, winning its first and only title in 1988 at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, CA. No UCLA player has ever won the individual crown.
The Bruins will be making their third straight appearance in the NCAA Championship. The streak represents their longest string of national championship tournament appearances since they qualified five straight years from 1963-67.
In their last event, the Bruins tied for fourth at the NCAA West Regional, hosted by Stanford on the Stanford Golf Course. The Bruins rallied from a poor start to finish with a score of 857 (+17). The Bruins' score of 281 (+1) was tied for the best team score of the day in the final round.
Freshman Kevin Chappell led the Bruins at the regional championship. Chappell posted rounds of 71-67-69--207 (-4) and tied for second place, his best finish of the season. In his last two events, Chappell has recorded a pair of Top 10 finishes and played seven rounds in five-under par. In the Pac-10 and NCAA Regional championships, he has averaged 70.0 strokes per round.
'Kevin has played extremely well,' said Vincent. 'For a freshman, he has shown a lot of maturity and composure this season. In the last two tournaments his hard work has paid off.'
Two other UCLA players who have benefited from increased playing time are sophomores Chris Heintz and Joakim Renstrom. Both players toiled on the Blue Team last year, logging more than 25 rounds of collegiate experience. When the Bruins graduated four All-Americans this season, Heintz and Renstrom were ready to contribute. Heintz led the team with 38 rounds played this season and now boasts 67 rounds of collegiate experience, while Renstrom ranked second on the team with 37 rounds played. Renstrom led the Bruins with 10 rounds under par.