Fifth-ranked UCLA Travels to 2006 Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships
April 21, 2006
The fifth-ranked UCLA men's golf program prepares to compete in the 47th Pacific-10 Conference Men's Golf Championships, Apr. 24-26 at the Big Horn Country Club in Palm Desert. USC will serve as host of the 72-hole championship. Admission is free.
Big Horn CC will play to a par of 71 over 7,009 yards. Thirty-six holes will be played on Mon., Apr. 24, followed by 18 holes on Tues., Apr. 25 and Wed., Apr. 26. Teams will field six players and count five scores each round. Team and individual champions will be crowned following the final round.
The Bruins enter the event as the conference's highest ranked team. Through Apr. 17, Arizona State was ranked 7th, USC 20th, Arizona 26th, and Washington 30th. The Huskies are the defending champions and UW junior Erik Olson is the reigning individual champion.
UCLA freshman Erik Flores is the Pac-10's second-highest ranked player at No.12, followed by ASU's Alejandro Canizares at No.15 and Washington's Alex Prugh at No.25. Stanford's Rob Grube is ranked eighth. Canizares, a senior, won the 2003 NCAA individual title and 2005 Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. Washington boasts last year's conference champion in Olson, and the 2005 NCAA champion in senior James Lepp.
'The Pac-10 title is difficult to win,' said UCLA Head Coach O. D. Vincent. 'Rankings aside, there are five teams in our conference that are better than their ranking and have a legitimate shot at winning the championship: USC, Washington, Stanford, Arizona State and Arizona. In terms of experience, UCLA is the underdog.'
The Bruins' lineup features three freshmen and three other golfers who have played a total of once per player in the conference tournament. Freshmen, James Lee, Lucas Lee and Flores will be playing in their first league championship, while sophomores Kevin Chappell and Daniel Im and junior Chris Heintz will be participating in their second.
The Bruins' veterans all played in last year's conference tournament, led by Chappell who tied for seventh place. Im tied for 33rd and Heintz tied for 38th.
The Bruins last won the Pac-10 Championship in 2003 when they hosted the tournament at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale. The Bruins' John Merrick won the individual title that season. In 2004, UCLA finished third and last season the Bruins placed fourth