Golfers Prepare for U.S. Intercollegiate

April 14, 2006

The fifth-ranked UCLA men's golf team travels to Stanford this weekend to participate in the U.S. Intercollegiate on the Stanford Golf Course.

The Bruins, winners of nine collegiate tournaments this season, were ranked fifth nationally in the latest GolfWeek poll (Apr. 11). The Gold Team (players 1-5) has won four events and the Blue Team (players 6-10) has won five titles. The team total of nine ties for second on the single season UCLA list with the 2003-04 team that finished second at the NCAA Championship.

In almost four full seasons, Head Coach O. D. Vincent has guided the Bruins to 28 team titles, including a Pac-10 Championship and a pair of regional championships. In 2005-06, the Bruins have been ranked among the nation's Top 5 teams for the majority of the season.

The U.S. Intercollegiate is one of the West Coast's oldest tournaments. For participating Pac-10 teams, it serves as a preview to the Pac-10 Championship, scheduled this year at Big Horn Golf Course in Palm Desert, Apr. 24-26.

'We always look forward to playing the Stanford Golf Course,' said Vincent. 'It's a George C. Thomas design just like the L. A. Country Club and Riviera. With the rain they've had in the Bay Area, it could be playing tough.'

The UCLA lineup will consist of one junior, two sophomores and a pair of freshmen.

'We've used this lineup once before and won in Tucson (at the National Invitational Tournament),' Vincent continued. 'We had some good finishes (at the NIT), and a couple of our players have a good shot at becoming All-Americans.'

One of those players, freshman Erik Flores, has established himself as one of the premier players in the country. The highest ranked Pac-10 player at No. 9, Flores, in eight starts, boasts five Top 3 finishes and leads the team with a stroke average of 72.2. His seven rounds under 70 also are a team leader.

Sophomore Daniel Im was ranked 22nd this week by GolfWeek. In eight appearances, Im owns five Top 10 finishes and ranks in a tie for second with a stroke average of 72.6. He leads the team with 11 rounds under par.

Freshman Lucas Lee was ranked 53rd this week on the strength of two collegiate victories earlier this season. He won the Cougar Invitational in February and tied for first with teammate Matt Marshall in the Battle of Monarch Bay last month. His scoring average of 72.6 is tied with Im. He also ranks second to Im with 10 rounds under par.

Junior Chris Heintz won his first collegiate event, the Braveheart Classic in March, and was ranked 55th nationally. His scoring average of 73.6 is tied for fourth on the team.

Sophomore Kevin Chappell was ranked 57th nationally on the strength of a pair of Top 20 finishes in his last two events. At the National Invitational last month he tied for 14th and at the Augusta State Invitational two weeks ago, he tied for 13th.

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