Huskies Head to NCAA West Regional
May 10, 2006
The 27th-ranked Washington men's golf team has been named the 10th seed at the 2006 NCAA West Regional. The event, hosted by the University of Arizona, will be held at Tucson National Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz., May 18-20.
The 2006 NCAA Men's Golf West Regional features fifty-four holes of stroke play golf over three days of competition to decide the team and individual champions. For the West Regional, Tucson National will play as a par-72 at 7,200 yards. The tournament features 18 holes of play on each date starting at 7 a.m. PT. Participants will play in threesomes during the competition. Teams participating in the NCAA Regionals shall consist of a maximum of five players (with four scores counting each day toward the team total). First and second round team pairings are determined by seeding. Following the second round of competition, team scores shall determine the pairings. Split tees (#1 and #10) will be used during each round. Team and individual ties shall be broken in accordance with NCAA rules.
The 10th-seeded Huskies will be paired with New Mexico and Stanford during the first and second rounds.
Results and Live Stats
Live scoring for the NCAA West Regional will be available at www.golfstat.com.
Washington coach Matt Thurmond's lineup for the NCAA West Regional is: junior Alex Prugh (Spokane, Wash.), senior James Lepp (Abbotsford, B.C.), junior Erik Olson (Renton, Wash.), sophomore Zach Bixler (Richland, Wash.) and sophomore Sterling Clark (Salt Lake City, Utah).
Washington's selection to the 2006 NCAA Regionals marks the 11th consecutive year the Huskies have advanced to the NCAA Regional Championships. The Huskies have advanced from Regionals to the NCAA Championships in each of the last seven seasons, a streak matched by just four other Division I programs. The UW's top finish at a Regional came in 2002, when the Huskies tied for first (with New Mexico) at the West Regional with a 54-hole total of 872.
Huskies Place Second at Pac-10s
The Washington men's golf team finished second at the 47th Pac-10 Championship, carding a final-round 12-over 367 for a total score of 12-over 1432. UCLA won the title with an even-par 1420 after shooting 6-over 361 in round four.
Washington's Erik Olson, the 2005 Pac-10 Individual Champion, placed in the Top-5 for the second-straight year, shooting 1-under 70 in the final round to finish third at 3-under 281. Joining him in the Top-10 was 2005 NCAA Champion James Lepp, who placed eighth at even-par 284 after shooting 1-over 72 on the afternoon.
Alex Prugh and Zach Bixler joined Olson and Lepp in the Top-20. Prugh shot 3-over 74 in the fourth round, good for a composite score of 4-over 288 and 14th place in the field. Bixler shot 7-over 78 on the day and finished 17th at 6-over 290. Sterling Clark carded a 2-over 73 in the final round and placed 35th at 13-over 297. Joe Panzeri's 7-over 78 put him in 40th at 16-over 300.
Washington junior men's golfer Alex Prugh has been named to the Pac-10 All-Conference first team in voting by the Pac-10 men's golf coaches. Senior James Lepp was named to the second team, while junior Erik Olson received honorable mention honors.
A native of Spokane, Wash., Prugh led UW in seven tournaments this season, recording four Top-10 finishes. He placed second at the Gopher Invitational and the National Invitational, while taking fifth at the PING/Golfweek Fall Preview and sixth at the U.S. Intercollegiate. Prugh placed 14th at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships, shooting a first-round 6-under 65 that established a new career-best for a single round.
Lepp, from Abbotsford, B.C., has recorded three Top-10 finishes this season and has a 73.06 scoring average, second best on the team. He was an All-Pac-10 first-team selection in 2005.
Olson, a junior from Renton, Wash, has a scoring average of 73.27 on the season with three Top-10 finishes. Olson was a Pac-10 first-team All-Conference pick in 2005.
Starting With a Bang
The Huskies got the 2005-06 season off to a quick start, finishing in a tie for first with host Minnesota at the season-opening Gopher Invitational in September. Minnesota won the tiebreaker between the two teams - counting the number five player's scores - to claim the championship trophy. Trailing by as many as 15 strokes during the final round, the Huskies got hot on the back nine, with Washington's four scoring players combining to shoot 6-under on the back half. The Dawgs' final-round 1-under 287 was the lowest single-round score posted during the 54-hole tournament. The Huskies and Gophers finished at 19-over 883. Washington juniors Alex Prugh and Erik Olson both recorded Top 10 finishes at the event, with Prugh tying for second place and Olson placing 10th.
Alex Prugh leads the Huskies with four top-10 finishes this season. The junior from Spokane, Wash., finished second at the Gopher Invitational, fifth at the PING/Golfweek Fall Preview, second at the National Invitational and sixth at the U.S. Intercollegiate. He has been the UW's top finisher in seven of the 11 varsity events the Huskies have competed in this season. James Lepp and Erik Olson have each recorded three top-10 finishes. Lepp finished second at the Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge, ninth at the Fall Preview, and eighth at the Pac-10 Championship while Olson took 10th at the Gopher Invitational, second at the National Invitational and third at the Pac-10 Championship.
Thumbing Through the Record Book
Were the season to end today, Alex Prugh's 72.33 scoring average would stand as the fifth best single-season mark in Husky history. James Lepp's current mark of 73.07 would be good for 11th. Prugh's four top-10 finishes this season are one shy of ninth place in Washington annals. With nine career top-10 finishes, Prugh and Lepp rank seventh in Husky history. Erik Olson (8) dents the record books in 11th place. James Lepp's two medalist honors (at the Duck Invitational and NCAA Championships, both last season) are third most in Husky history, while Erik Olson (2005 Pac-10 Championship) and Joe Panzeri (2006 Duck Invitational) are tied for seventh with one each.
Following Up `05
The Huskies have a lot of work to do if they want to duplicate the magical postseason run they enjoyed in 2005. The hardware collection began when the Huskies took home the Pac-10 Championship trophy, winning the team title despite finding themselves in last place after the first round. The Huskies were able to make up the difference by shooting a final round 350, the second best single-round score of the tournament. Leading the comeback was Erik Olson, who finished the tournament eight-under-par to become the first purple and gold Pac-10 medalist since O.D. Vincent won the title in 1988. The spoils for the Huskies' first conference title since 1988 included Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors for head coach Matt Thurmond, first-team All-Pac-10 honors for Olson and James Lepp, second-team recognition for Alex Prugh, and an honorable mention nod for Zach Bixler. But the season's highlights were far from over. By taking third place at the NCAA West Regional, Washington qualified for its seventh straight trip to the NCAA Championships, a streak currently matched by just four other programs. The Huskies battled rain and the competition through three rounds of the NCAA Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. When the rain let up in round four, Lepp broke through the field, rallying from a six-shot deficit with a course-record 7-under 63 to force a playoff with Pepperdine's Michael Putnam. Lepp then saved par on the third playoff hole, sinking a three-foot putt to take home the title. Led by the first team All-American's furious charge, Washington placed third as a team, the best finish in the program's history.
Player bios and statistics can be found in the PDF linked at the top of this release.
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