Huskies, Ducks Battle For Conference Lead
April 28, 2009
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Husky junior Darren Wallace tied the Seattle Golf Club course competitive record on Tuesday, shooting an 8-under 64 during the third round of the Pac-10 Championship tournament to extend his overall lead.
Wallace's round was the highlight of an exciting day for both Washington and Oregon -- two teams that battled for the lead while separating themselves from the rest of the Pac-10. But at the end of the day, the Huskies are again atop the leader board with a three-day score of 8-under, 365-360-347 1072, while Oregon sits seven strokes back at 1079. In third place is Arizona State 1093.
'It was good for them to chase somebody,' said coach Matt Thurmond, whose Huskies traded leads with Oregon all day with each team owning at least a 5-stroke advantage. 'When you go into a day with the lead, you can get tense, but Oregon punched us in the mouth this morning and we had to fight back.'
The Huskies started Tuesday with a four-stroke lead over the Ducks, but that withered away after just a few holes, due to a lack luster Washington start and an Oregon front nine that saw them shoot 15-under.
'Early on the pins were a little more accessible, and there wasn't a lot of wind, and the greens might have been softer with the little bit of (morning) rain,' said Oregon coach Paul Casey. 'It was definitely more scoreable today.'
The the theme of the Huskies this week has been to make the last five holes the best, and UW has done just that. Oregon led the Huskies by a stroke with five holes to play, from that point on, Washington took over. Sophomore Tze Huang Choo finished his round with an eagle on 18 -- a hole that the Dawgs finished a tournament-best 5-under.Wallace had the opportunity to tie the all-time course record of 63 after hitting a spectacular recovery shot that stopped 10 feet from the hole. He was forced to punch the ball between two trees and along a narrow strip of grass next to a bunker, which drew cheers from the large galley on 18. His birdie putt would have put him alongside Don Bies and Arnold Palmer with a piece of the club record -- which was news to him.
'I had no idea,' Wallace said of his potential record-setting round. 'I knew I had a good round going, but I had no clue.'
Trailing (70-72-65 207) the standings is California's John Murphy, who is five strokes behind at 69-74-69 212. He is then followed by Washington junior Nick Taylor (76-70-67 213), who is notorious for making final-round comebacks. The Dawgs were then followed by Choo, who is tied for 6th place at 73-74-68 215. UW juniors Richard Lee and Chris Killmer are tied for 17th place at 219 apiece, and Jens Bracht is tied at 31st with 226.
The final round of the Pac-10 Championship -- a free-admission event -- begins Wednesday at 8 a.m. The Huskies will be vying for their fifth Pac-10 Championship (1961, 1963, 1988, 2005) from the first tee at 9:36 a.m. Wednesday is a one-round day, but players will be teeing off from the first and tenth holes. Live scoring will be available at GoHuskies.com.
Previoius UW Pac-10 Individual Champions
1. Washington 365-360-347 1072
2. Oregon 366-363-350 10793. Arizona State 375-362-356 1093
4. Stanford 366-371-359 1096
4. Oregon State 364-371-361 1096
6. California 372-369-363 1104
7. USC 371-374-366 1111
8. UCLA 371-378-365 1114
9. Arizona 374-375-367 1116
10. Washington State 390-378-370