Huskies Set Host To NCAA West Regional Thursday-Saturday

May 12, 2008

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2008 NCAA DIV. I MEN'S GOLF WEST REGIONAL
Thursday, May 15 - Saturday, May 17

Host - University of Washington • Bremerton, Wash.
Gold Mountain Golf Club - Olympic Course • Par 72 - 7,111 Yards
Live Scoring - Golfstat.com/GoHuskies.com

Huskies Host NCAA West Regional:
The Washington men's golf team will make its 13th-straight NCAA regional appearance when it serves as the host school for the 2008 Division I Men's NCAA West Regional Championship at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash., Thursday, May 15, through Saturday, May 17. Play each day begins at 7 a.m. PT. The tournament features a 54-hole format that includes one round of 18-holes to be played each day on the par 72, 7,111-yard Olympic Course at Gold Mountain. Admission to the event is free. Washington is the 21st seed in the 27-team field that also includes six individuals. The Huskies will begin first-round play on Thursday from the 10th tee at 7 a.m., and will be paired with Kentucky and Wisconsin. Among the teams and individuals heading to the Northwest this week are the defending NCAA team champion (Stanford), the defending NCAA individual champion (Jamie Lovemark from USC), and last year's NCAA runner-up - Clemson's Kyle Stanley, a native of Gig Harbor, Wash. Also returning home this week will be Pepperdine freshman Andrew Putnam from Tacoma, the 30th-ranked player in the nation and the 2008 West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year. The Huskies are led by senior Zach Bixler who owns the UW school-record for best individual regional finish, placing third in 2006.

What's On The Line:
The top-10 teams and top-two individuals not on a top-10 team from the West Regional will advance to compete in the NCAA Championships hosted by Purdue, May 28-31. The team finals will be held at the Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind. The Huskies will be aiming to advance to their ninth NCAA Championship in the last 10 years.

The Field:
The 27-team field is as follows in order of seed: No. 1 USC, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Florida State, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 UNLV, No. 7 North Carolina, No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 9 Central Florida, No. 10 Arizona State, No. 11 San Diego State, No. 12 Texas, No. 13 LSU, No. 14 Oregon State, No. 15 Pepperdine, No. 16 Oregon, No. 17 California, No. 18 St. Mary's, No. 19 Kentucky, No. 20 Wisconsin, No. 21 Washington, No. 22 Oklahoma, No. 23 Kansas State, No. 24 San Diego, No. 25 Denver, No. 26 Navy, No. 27 Columbia. The individuals are Troy Merritt of Boise State, Brian Locke of Loyola Marymount, Tarquin MacManus of Arizona, Jason D'Amore of Loyola Marymount, Nathan Stamey of North Carolina-Greensboro and Jimmy Lytle of Elon.

Regional Live Scoring:
Fans can follow the action with live hole-by-hole scoring at GolfStat.com. GoHuskies.com will also have all the latest news, notes and results on its tournament central page.

Noting the Teams:
The 2008 NCAA West Regional features 15 teams ranked in the Top-50 of the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. That list includes third-ranked USC, No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford, No. 10 Florida State, No. 15 UNLV, No. 18 Clemson, No. 19 Arizona State, No. 24 Texas Tech, No. 30 North Carolina, No. 33 Texas, No. 35 Pepperdine, No. 37 San Diego State, No. 41 LSU, No. 42 California, and No. 44 Oregon State...The Regional field includes six conference champions in Florida State (ACC), Arizona State (Pac-10), San Diego (West Coast), Denver (Sun Belt), Navy (Patriot League) and Columbia (Ivy League)...Stanford is the defending NCAA team champion, winning the 2007 team title by 12 strokes over Georgia...The Regional field also includes eight Pac-10 teams.

Noting the Individuals:
The 2008 NCAA West Regional field features 18 individuals ranked in the latest GolfWeek Sagarin Performance Index Top-50. That list includes No. 3 Kevin Chappell (UCLA), No. 4 Jamie Lovemark (USC), No. 7 Jonas Blixt (Florida State), No. 8 Rory Hie (USC), No. 12 Sihwan Kim (Stanford), No. 13 Troy Merritt (Boise State), No. 15 Kevin O'Connell (North Carolina), No. 27 Jhared Hack (UCF), No. 29 Charlie Holland (Texas), No. 30 Andrew Putnam (Pepperdine), No. 31 Seung Su-Han (UNLV), No. 32 James Allenby (Oregon State), No. 37 Jesper Kennegard (Arizona State), No. 38 Matt Savage (Florida State), No. 39 Rob Grube (Stanford), No. 44 Erik Flores (UCLA), No. 46 Aaron Goldberg (San Diego State) and No. 47 Matthew Giles (USC)...additional notable individuals include Clemson sophomore Kyle Stanley - a native of Gig Harbor, Wash., and the NCAA runner-up as a freshman last year.

The Course:
Gold Mountain Golf Club is located in Bremerton, Wash., on the Olympic Peninsula, just over 60 miles from the UW campus in Seattle. The West Regional field will play Gold Mountain's Olympic Course at par 72 and 7,111 yards. Gold Mountain has served as the site for many of Washington's annual Husky Invitational tournaments, as well as the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links and the 2007 Washington State Amateur.

Spectators:
Spectators must remain on cart paths or in the rough and approximately 15 yards from the players at all times (including practice areas). There may be no communication between players and spectators that could be deemed advice of any nature for the duration of the 18 holes. Ringers on electronic devices must be turned off. Spectators must refrain from smoking. Carts will not be provided for spectators.

Husky Lineup:
The Huskies' lineup at regionals will feature senior Zach Bixler (Richland, Wash.), sophomore Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, B.C.), sophomore Darren Wallace (Langley, B.C.), John Wise (Bellevue, Wash.) and freshman Tze Huang Choo (Singapore, Singapore).UW Regional History: Washington is making its 13th-straight trip to the NCAA Regional Championships and 14th overall. The Huskies have finished third at two of the last three regionals - including tying for third at the 2006 West Regional held in Tucson, Ariz. The Huskies placed 14th at last year's West Regional in Tempe, Ariz., finishing just three shots out of the Top-10. UW has won one regional crown in 2002. Only three times have the Huskies not finished in the Top-10 at a regional, finishing 11th in 1998 and 1991, and 14th in 2007.

Regional Experience:
Senior Zach Bixler is the only Husky with previous NCAA Regional experience, having played in the last three regionals...Bixler's best career regional finish is Washington's school record, placing third at the 2006 tournament...Bixler placed 97th as a freshman in 2005 and tied for 62nd last year as a junior...no Husky has ever won an individual regional title.

UW Looks To Start New Postseason Streak:
The Huskies did not advance to the NCAA team finals last year for the first time in nine years. Prior to last year, UW had a streak of eight consecutive appearances in the NCAA Championships, one of five NCAA Division I programs to do so at the time. The Huskies will look to start another streak this season when they host the NCAA West Regional at Gold Mountain.

Huskies Finish Seventh At Pac-10 Championships:
Washington shot a final-round score of 10-over 365 to finish seventh at the Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships which wrapped up at the Meadow Club, April 30. The Huskies ended the four-round tournament at 39-over 1459, finishing ahead of the three other Northwest schools in Oregon State (41-over 1461), Oregon (42-over 1462) and Washington State (82-over 1502). Sophomore Darren Wallace led the Huskies with a final-round score of 1-under 70 to finish in a tie for 13th on the individual leaderboard (3-over 287). Freshman Tze Huang Choo, who shared the lead after two rounds and was two strokes behind the leader after three rounds, fell all the way back into a tie for 18th after carding a 7-over 78. Choo was 5-over 289 overall. Senior Zach Bixler saved his best for last, turning in an even-par 71 but finished tied for 27th with another fellow Husky Nick Taylor. Taylor shot a 2-over 73 in the final round. Both UW players were 9-over 293. Rounding out the UW lineup, junior John Wise tied for 40th (13-over 297) and freshman Kevin Spooner was 60th (18-over 231). Both the team and individual Pac-10 titles were decided in a play-off. USC and Arizona State shared the team lead after 72 holes (15-over 1435), but it was ASU that prevailed by two shots in the team play-off on the 18th hole. Arizona's Creighton Honeck and UCLA's Kevin Chappell were also knotted at the top at the end of regulation (3-under 281), with Honeck winning the play-off on the 10th hole by one shot.

Head Coach Matt Thurmond:
Husky head coach Matt Thurmond is in his seventh year at the helm of the Washington men's golf program. During Thurmond's tenure, Washington garnered its first NCAA individual champion (James Lepp, 2005), and its second Pac-10 individual champion (Erik Olson, 2005), as well as setting school records for NCAA Regional (first) and NCAA Championship finishes (third). Under Thurmond's tutelage, the Huskies also won their first Pac-10 title since 1988 in 2005. Rounding out Thurmond's staff are assistant coach Garrett Clegg and volunteer assistant coach Scott Alexander, both in their first year.

Bixler Enters Record Books:
Washington senior Zach Bixler etched his name in the record books back in the fall when he became the sixth player in collegiate history to shoot 60. Bixler's effort not only matched an NCAA record but matched a Husky school record as well. Former four-time All-American Brock Mackenzie also shot 60 in 2003. Bixler carded an 11-under 60 during the second round of the Alister Mackenzie Invitational hosted by Cal at the Meadow Club on Oct. 8, 2007. His record-matching performance included sinking an eagle and nine birdies. Bixler was named the Pac-10 Co-Golfer of the Month (October/November) for his efforts.

Strong Start:
The Huskies got off to a strong start in 2007-08, finishing as the runner-up at their first two tournaments of the fall. UW was the runner-up at its own Husky Invitational (Oct. 1-2) before going on to finish second at the Alister Mackenzie Invitational (Oct. 8-9) hosted by Cal at the Meadow Club. Bixler was the Huskies' top individual in three of the first four tournaments. He matched a career-best finish with his own runner-up standing at the Husky Invitational.

Standout Senior:
Zach Bixler is the Huskies' only senior on a young roster that also features one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen. Bixler has been Washington's top finisher at five tournaments this season. Bixler is second on the squad with a 73.50 stroke average, carding three rounds in the 60's and six rounds under par during his final campaign.

Top Dawg Taylor:
Sophomore Nick Taylor has emerged as one of the top players on the Husky squad this season. Taylor, who won the 2007 Canadian Men's Amateur title this past summer, leads UW with a 73.08 stroke average and has placed as Washington's top finisher at five tournaments - including the first three tournaments of the spring season. His season-high finish came at the UH-Hilo Invitational where he finished in a tie for sixth place with a career-low score of 9-under 201. Taylor has fired six rounds in the 60's and 11 rounds under par.

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