Husky Men's Golfers Ready for NCAAs
May 30, 2005
The Washington men's golf team is a No. 3 seed at the 108th NCAA Championships that take place June 1-4 Caves Valley Golf Club just outside of Baltimore. The field includes 30 teams and six individuals who advanced from three regional sites. The host school for this year's tournament is Loyola College. The Huskies enter the championship ranked 19th by the Golf Coaches Association of America and 24th by Golfweek.
The NCAA Championships are a 72-hole format at the par-70, 7,129-yard Caves Valley Golf Club. The teams will play 18 holes each day. Tee times for the first two rounds are predetermined based on pairings. The final two rounds are based on standings. The field will be cut down to 15 teams after three rounds (54 holes) of play. A daily team score is computed by totaling the lowest scores of four of the five members. The final team score is determined by totaling each daily score. The tournament is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. Wednesday. The Huskies are paired with Georgia and Texas A&M. They will start Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. from the No. 10 tee and Thursday at 7:45 a.m.
Caves Valley Golf Club's course was designed by world-renowned architect Tom Fazio and opened for play in 1991. In just 14 years of existence, Caves Valley has already hosted the 2002 U.S. Senior Open Championship, the 1995 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, and the 1997 and 2004 A.J.G.A. Canon Cup Tournaments.
Results and Live Stats
Live scoring for the NCAA Championships will be available at www.golfstat.com.
Coverage of the NCAA Championships will be televised on The Golf Channel June 2-5. The final three rounds of the tournament will air each day from 12-2 p.m. PST, while a tournament replay will air Thursday-Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. PST. Hosting the men's coverage will be Brian Anderson and Curt Byrum, with Steve Burkowski reporting from the course and handling interviews.
Washington coach Matt Thurmond's lineup for the NCAA West Regional Championship is: freshman Zach Bixler (Richmond, WA), junior James Lepp (Abbotsford, BC), sophomore Erik Olson (Renton, WA), freshman Joe Panzeri (Boise, ID) and sophomore Alex Prugh (Spokane, WA).
Washington advanced to the NCAA Championships for the seventh straight season, including all four years under head coach Matt Thurmond. Since the Huskies began their current streak of seven consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, only four other teams have accomplished that feat. Oklahoma State leads that group with 59 consecutive trips followed by Arizona with 19. Georgia, and Georgia Tech are making their eighth straight trip.
Seeded 10th, the Huskies finished the 54-hole tournament at 14-over 854, eight strokes behind regional champion UNLV. New Mexico was second at 849. Sophomore Erik Olson, the Pac-10 Champion, was UW's top overall finisher in 10th place at 1-over 211. Olson had rounds of 69, 70 and 72. His 2-over score on Saturday marked the first time in his last seven rounds he did not shoot par or better. The regional marked his fifth top-10 showing this year. The Huskies were led on the final day of play by junior James Lepp, who shot 2-under 68, including birdies on his final four holes. Lepp finished 25th overall at 5-over 215. Alex Prugh was 12th overall, one stroke behind Olson at 2-over 212. Prugh shot 71, 70 and 71. Freshman Joe Panzeri recorded his best tournament score as a collegian by finishing 49th at 8-over 218. Fellow first-year player Zach Bixler was 97th at 226.
Washington received the Pac-10 Conference's automatic berth to this year's NCAA Regional after winning the school's first conference title since 1988. Husky sophomore Erik Olson took medalist honors to become UW's first individual champion since 1988. Washington pulled off one of the greatest rallies in the history of collegiate golf to claim the title. The Huskies found themselves in last place after the opening round of the 72-hole tournament. Entering the final round, UW had moved up to fifth place on the leaderboard, but still trailed tournament-leading Arizona State by 17 strokes. Washington shot 350 (six-man format) during the final round to tie the Sun Devils and were declared champions by virtue of the league's tiebreaker. Olson picked up his first collegiate victory by shooting 70, 69, 68, 69 for an 8-under 276. He was the only player in the field to shoot under par each day.
Husky coach Matt Thurmond was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading UW to its first conference title since 1988. In addition to winning the Pac-10 Championship, the Huskies won the Oregon Duck Invitational and posted top three finishes in the Duke Classic and Opus Northwest Husky Invitational. Thurmond, in his fourth season at Washington, has led the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament every year and has finished in the top 12 each time. He is the fifth UW coach to earn Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors this year. That list includes Jim McLaughlin (volleyball), Dean Wurzberger (men's soccer), Matt Anger (men's tennis) and Lorenzo Romar (men's basketball).
Busy Time for Thurmond
Thurmond has already had an eventful spring. Two weeks ago his wife, Katherine, gave birth to their second daughter, Emily. They have a two-year-old, Elizabeth.
Junior James Lepp and sophomore Erik Olson were named first-team All-Pac-10 selections in 2005. They were joined on the team by sophomore Alex Prugh, a second-team pick, and freshman Zach Bixler, who was an honorable mention selection.
Washington junior golfer James Lepp has been named The Royal Canadian Golf Association's (RCGA) top male amateur golfer for 2004. A native of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Lepp earned the award for the second straight year. The 21 year-old Lepp captured back-to-back Canadian Junior titles in 2001 and 2002 and won the B.C. Amateur Championship an impressive three years in a row (2002- 2004). The RCGA's National Order of Merit was established in 1999 to recognize the achievements of Canada's top amateur golfers. Lepp totaled 957.5 points in the National Order of Merit standings.
Getting a Little Sideways
For all of his achievements on the links this season, Husky junior James Lepp has received the most attention for his play on the silver screen. Footage of Lepp playing in a Canadian summer event is included in the hit movie Sideways. Lepp is shown putting with the television announcer providing a call of the action. The footage was provided to the movie's production company by The Golf Channel, which televised the tournament. Lepp had no knowledge he appeared in the film until his friends brought it to his attention.
Qualifying teams (listed by regional finish):Wake Forest (East)Augusta State (Central)UNLV (West)Tennessee (East)Oklahoma State (Central)New Mexico (West)Georgia (East)Texas A&M (Central)Washington (West)Florida (East)Tulsa (Central)UCLA (West)Georgia State (East)Kentucky (Central)Arizona State (West)Alabama (East)Arkansas (Central)BYU (West)Georgia Tech (East)Missouri (Central)San Diego State (West)Coastal Carolina (East)SMU (Central)Arizona (West)Duke (East)Texas (Central)Stanford University (West)Georgia Southern (East)Purdue (Central)Southern California (West)
Rhys Davies (East Tennessee State)Martin Ureta (North Carolina)Korey Mahoney (Eastern Michigan)Judd Easterling (Wichita State)Gregg LaVoie (Oregon)Michael Putnam (Pepperdine)
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