ASU Men's Golf Team Advances to NCAA Championships with Third-Place Finish at NCAA West Regional

May 20, 2006

TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 7 Arizona State men's golf team qualified for the 2006 NCAA Championships on Saturday after carding a final round score of five-under 283 to finish tied for third place at the NCAA West Regional held May 18-20 at the par-72, 7,200-yard Omni Tucson National Golf Course.

For the Sun Devils it marks the 22nd time in the last 23 years that they are advancing to the NCAA Championships and the fourth consecutive season that they have finished in the top five in NCAA Regional competition.

ASU had three players shoot under par in Saturday's final round led by sophomore Niklas Lemke, who carded a four-under 68 for the second consecutive day. Lemke's three-day total of 10-under 206 (70, 68, 68) was good for a tie for fifth-place in the tournament. Also shooting under par on Saturday were freshman Benjamin Alvarado Holley, who recorded a career-best three-under 69 for the second straight day and senior Alejandro Canizares, who shot a two-under 70. Canizares finished tied for 11th place with an eight-under 208 (68, 70, 70) while Alvarado Holley finished tied for 22nd place with a six-under 210 (72, 69, 69).

Tying for first place in the team competition were Arizona and Florida, which both ended the tournament with a three-day total of 37-under 827. The Gators used a final round 16-under 272 to pull even with Arizona after starting the day three shots behind. Right behind the Wildcats and Gators were ASU (284, 273, 283) and Washington, which both finished tied for third place with a tournament total of 24-under 840.

'Today's round was ok in a sense that right from the start it did not look like we were going to reach Arizona and Florida,' said ASU head coach Randy Lein. 'When we started the day our goal was to try and catch them, but we got out slow and then played even par most of the day.

'We were here to advance to the NCAA Championships and I wouldn't say we got into a protective mode, but you are a little bit more conservative when you are in that situation.'

Also qualifying for the NCAA Championships were North Carolina State (-19), Brigham Young (-17), Loyola Marymount (-17), East Tennessee State (-15), Pepperdine (-13) and Nevada (-13).

Tying for individual medalist honors were Florida's Billy Horschel (67, 70, 66) and Nevada's Casey Watabu (70, 69, 64), who both had three-day totals of 13-under 203.

Other Sun Devil finishes included senior Lenny Park, who tied for 72nd place with a two-over 218 (74, 68, 76) and sophomore Phil Telliard, who ended tied for 84th with a four-over 220 (76, 68, 76).

The Sun Devils return to action when they travel to Sunriver, Ore., for the 2006 NCAA Championships taking place May 31 - June 3. ASU will be seeking its sixth top-five finish in the last 12 years.

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