Bears Edge Cats for Arizona Intercollegiate Title
Feb. 2, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. – After dominating day one of the Arizona Intercollegiate, California had to fight back on the back 9 Tuesday to claim a one stroke victory over Arizona. The Wildcats, who trailed Cal by seven strokes heading into the day, got off to a furious start, taking the lead from the Bears and expanding it to, at one point, five strokes. It was a close race that was eventually decided on the 18th green. California went a combined six under on the par-5, including an eagle by its number five golfer, Eric Mina. Arizona went a combined three under on the final hole, where tournament champion Rich Saferian’s birdie putt lipped out, proving to be the difference in the Golden Bears’ victory.
Cal shot an 823 (-29) for the tournament, Arizona carded an 824 (-28). In third place, Fresno State shot an 838 (-14). Third ranked Florida finished fourth at thirteen under. Texas A&M rounded out the top five; the Aggies shot an 841 (-11).
Arizona’s Rich Saferian earned the first victory of his Wildcat career Tuesday with a three stroke win. Saferian shot the best round of the day, a 66 (-5) to claim victory. Saferian started the day tied for third. Bhavik Patel of Fresno State and Michael Weaver tied for second at 203 (-10). Texas A&M’s Jordan Russell finished fourth competing as an individual. Arizona’s Tarquin MacManus and Cal’s Eric Mina tied for fifth.
All five California golfers recorded top 20 finishes, including three in the top ten to bring the team to victory. Three Wildcats finished in the top 20.
Saferian’s victory was the first time a Wildcat won an event this season, and it marks the first time since MacManus won the 2009 NCAA Southeast Regional. Saferian’s 68-66-66=200 (-13) was the lowest tournament of his career and was the first time he played all three rounds under par. This was also the lowest finish of the season for MacManus. The junior, who had five top ten finishes a year ago, picked up his first this season with his 206 (-7). Jonathan Khan finished tied for 16th. With their finishes, MacManus and Khan each have two top twenty finishes and one top ten to their credit this season. This marks the second consecutive tournament Saferian, MacManus and Khan have finished atop the Wildcats’ scorecard. The trio claims spots 1-3 in every major statistical category.
In addition to the trio, Arizona also had four golfers finish in the top 40. Tom Conran earned the best finish of the season, tying for 24th. Newcomer Stefan Cox finished tied for 29th, the best finish in his young Wildcat career. Philip Bagdade flirted with the top ten before fading on the back 9; the sophomore finished four over and in a tie for 40th.
The Arizona Intercollegiate was held at Arizona National, a par 71, 6,793 yard course.
Up Next: The junior varsity will head to Silver City, N.M., February 13-14, for the WNMU Cactus Thaw, an event in which the J.V. team finished second in a year ago. The varsity returns to action February 17-19 in the John A. Burns Intercollegiate.
Top Five Teams
1. California 269-274-280=823 (-29)
2. Arizona 279-271-274=824 (-28)
3. Fresno State 284-273-281=838 (-14)
4. Florida 281-279-279=839 (-13)
5. Texas A&M 283-277-281=841 (-11)
Top Five Individuals
1. Rich Saferian, Arizona 68-66-66=200 (-13)
T2. Bhavik Patel, Fresno State 69-65-69=203 (-10)
T2. Michael Weaver, California 64-68-71=203 (-10)
4. Jordan Russell, Texas A&M* 66-70-69=205 (-8)
5. Two tied at 206 (-7)
1. Rich Saferian 68-66-66=200 (-13)
T5. Tarquin MacManus 66-73-67=206 (-7)
T16. Jonathan Khan 73-68-69=210 (-3)
T24. Tom Conran (B) 68-69-75=212 (-1)
T29. Stefan Cox (B) 71-74-68=213 (E)
T40. Brad Nicholson 75-69-72=216 (+3)
T48. Juan Pablo Hernandez (B) 76-71-72=219 (+6)
T51. Peter Ireland* 70-73-78=221 (+8)
T53. Kenji Hernandez (B) 73-73-76=222 (+9)
T58. Trent Redfern (B) 76-72-77=225 (+12)
T68. Alvin Cheung* 83-76-73=232 (+19)
77. Miles Thorson* 85-82-89=256 (+43)
78. Brian Walker* 86-90-85=261 (+48)
* Competed as an individual
(B) Competed as a member of Arizona’s “B” team