Men's Golf Heads To NCAA Championship
May 24, 2009
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Coach Matt Thurmond and his Huskies travel to Ohio Tuesday for the ninth NCAA Championship appearance in 10 years, and the 21st overall.
Tee times are scheduled for 7 a.m. EST on Tuesday, and Washington, which is paired with Arkansas and Tennessee, is set to start at 12:59 a.m. from the 10th tee. The Huskies, ranked No. 4, have had their sights set on a national title all season, and have not deviated from that goal -- all the while winning a program record-tying five tournaments including Washington's fifth Pac-10 Championship. After placing second at the NCAA Central Regional last week, Washington is one of 30 teams to advance to this year's new-look tournament, which involves match play to determine the team title.
For the first time since 1965, the NCAA team title will be decided by a manner other than stroke play, with the first three rounds deciding the individual champion by straight strokes. Based on those three days, the top eight teams will then face off with the winner needing to outscore its opponent in a match-play style setup.
Thurmond penciled in the same Husky lineup that has been responsible for wins in four of its last six tournaments -- and a runner-up finish at the regional. Juniors Nick Taylor (ranked No. 9 by Golfweek), Richard Lee (No. 27) and Darren Wallace are Nos. 1, 2 and 3 for the Dawgs, respectively. These three Huskies have amassed 18 top-10 finishes this year, including five medalist honors -- and all three were named to the All Pac-10 First Team with Taylor winning co-Player of the Year. Husky Invitational winner Chris Killmer, and sophomore Tze Huang Choo.
The Huskies are the champions of a Pac-10 Conference that qualified the most (seven) teams to the 30-team tournament. The rest of the field includes: No. 6 Florida, No. 17 Texas Tech, No. 22 Texas, No. 43 Michigan, No. 5 Stanford, No. 13 Arizona State, No. 31 Oregon, No. 14 Texas A&M, San Diego, No. 3 Southern California, No. 9 Alabama, No. 20 Tennessee, No. 12 Illinois, No. 45 Virginia, No. 26 Wake Forest, No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 27 Tennessee-Chattanooga, Northwestern, No. 19 Texas Christian, No. 16 Central Florida, No. 2 Georgia, No. 34 Arizona, No. 11 South Carolina, Iowa, No. 15 UCLA, No. 8 Georgia Tech, No. 48 Ohio State and No. 38 Duke.