Men's Golf Opens Fall Season With Husky Invitational Oct. 1-2

Sept. 25, 2007

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Husky Men's Golf Ready For Debut:
Washington men's golf will make its 2007 fall debut hosting the Husky Invitational at Gold Mountain Golf Club, Monday, Oct. 1 and Tuesday, Oct. 2. The tournament will be held at Gold Mountain's Olympic Course and will feature a 54-hole format with 36 holes to be played Monday and 18 on Tuesday. Tee times begin each day at 7:30 a.m. PT. Team and individual champions will be crowned. UW will be joined in the 13-team field by BYU, California, UC Davis, Fresno State, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Oregon State, Pacific, Pepperdine, San Diego State and Washington State. Live scoring for the tournament will be available on GolfStat.com and GoHuskies.com.

Husky Invitational History:
This season marks the eighth year of the Husky Invitational. Washington has won its own tournament twice (2003 and 2001) and has had three individual champions including John Wise (2006), Brock Mackenzie (2003) and Gordy Scutt (2001). Other team winners have been UCLA (2006), USC (2004), Pepperdine (2000), Stanford (1999) and Oregon (1998).

UW's Wise Looks To Defend Title:
UW junior John Wise will look to defend his 2006 Husky Invitational crown next week. Playing as an individual, Wise took home medalist honors shooting a 7-under 209. He won his first career tournament title playing in just his third varsity event for the Huskies.

UW Head Coach Matt Thurmond:
Matt Thurmond begins his seventh season as the head coach at Washington. During his tenure he has built the Husky program into one of the top college teams in the nation. Under his tutelage, UW has made five NCAA appearances in the last six years that included three Top-10 finishes. The Huskies set a school record with a third-place finish in 2005. Thurmond also guided UW to the 2005 Pac-10 team title and mentored 2005 NCAA Champion James Lepp and 2005 Pac-10 Champion Erik Olson.

Season Outlook:
Thurmond's 2007-08 squad features six letterwinners from last year's team that finished 5th at the Pac-10 Championships and 14th at the NCAA Regional. Leading the way will be senior Zach Bixler and sophomore Nick Taylor. Bixler earned accolades early in his career, being named to the 2005 All-Pac-10 honorable mention team and the 2006 PING All-America honorable mention squad. Bixler also won the 2006 Washington State Men's Amateur. Taylor played well for the Huskies as a freshman and is coming off a strong summer that saw him win the Canadian Men's Amateur. Other returners for UW include junior Kellen Eakin, junior Chris Killmer, sophomore Darren Wallace and junior John Wise. The Huskies will welcome two incoming freshmen - Tze Huang Choo from Singapore and Kevin Spooner from West Vancouver, B.C. At the time he signed his National Letter of Intent, Choo was the top amateur in Singapore as the reigning Singapore Amateur Champion. He also finished third at the 2004 Callaway Junior World Championships and placed second at the 2004 Australian Junior Championships. Choo finished 11th in the stroke play portion of the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship after qualifying for the event at Gold Mountain Golf Club. Spooner is another player who brings international experience to the Huskies as a member of the Canadian Junior National Team. He was the 2005 B.C. Juvenile champion and finished fifth at the 2006 Canadian Junior Championships.

Taylor Claims Top Spot In Lineup:
Washington's first day of practice - Sept. 12 - featured a grueling one-day, 54-hole scrimmage at Tumble Creek Golf Course at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash. The winner of the event would play as the Huskies No. 1 man in their lineup at the Husky Invitational. Sophomore Nick Taylor came out on top after shooting 5-over 218. Amazingly enough, his best round was his last carding a 1-under 71. For Taylor, it was just a continuation of his great summer that saw him win the 2007 Canadian Men's Amateur title and advance as far as the quarterfinals of the 2007 U.S. Men's Amateur.

Husky Golf History:
Washington has a long-standing men's golf tradition that includes 19 NCAA Championship appearances. The last 10 years have been especially successful with the Huskies notching six Top-11 finishes at NCAA's including a third place finish in 2005, a fourth place finish in 1999 and a sixth place finish in 2004. UW has also notched its three best regional finishes in the last five years, winning a regional crown in 2002 and finishing third in both 2005 and 2006. Not to be overlooked is the 2005 Pac-10 crown as well. From an individual standpoint, 2005 saw James Lepp become the first Husky to win a NCAA title and Erik Olson took home the Pac-10 title that same season. In addition to Lepp, probably the top golfer to come out of the program is UW's only four-time All-American Brock Mackenzie who graduated in 2004.

UW To Host NCAA Regional:
UW will be back at Gold Mountain Golf Club to serve as host for the 2008 NCAA West Regional, May 15-17. The top 10 teams to finish at the regional will earn a spot in the NCAA Championships hosted by Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., May 28-31.

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