No. 23 Beavers Ready for Pac-10 Championships

April 24, 2010

CORVALLIS - Months of training, tournaments, and hard work have come down to this, the Pac-10 Championships. The No. 23 Oregon State men's golf team is set to chase a conference title next week, April 26-28.

The 2010 Beavers have had one of the best seasons in the program's history ranking in the top 25 throughout the season, reaching 100 wins prior to the postseason for the first time, and the team features senior Diego Velasquez, who has been one of the best golfers in the country all season - No. 3 according to GolfStat.com and GolfWeek.com.

'It's by far the best season the golf program has ever had. They've had a great year, and hopefully it continues to get better.' head coach Brian Watts said.

But despite the successes the team has had this year it has yet to fulfill their potential according to Watts. 'We've yet to put one tournament together with all the guys playing well at the same time, and when that happens, we can beat anybody in the country. They've done that, they've beaten a lot of top ranked teams in the country, without playing their best.'

The Pac-10 is the dominant conference in the nation, with five schools being ranked in the top 10. The tournament is up for grabs, and the Beavers know they have a very realistic shot at the title. The championships will figure to be close, with every stroke carrying heavy implications on the outcome.

'Honestly, I think it will come down to the last hole,' Watts said. 'It should be a great event - the best Pac-10 Championships that we'll probably see as far as competition-wise.'

Watts knows that the Beaver will need to maintain focus, and play nothing less than outstanding at this tournament, but believes his guys can do it, and that there is no need for any dramatic changes.

'We're not going to change anything we've done over the course of the last month. The guys are playing really well; they are playing with a lot of confidence. I'd expect the guys to go down there and have a great showing. We can't control what anybody else does, but we can definitely control what we do; go out and compete hard.'

Making the trip to Tempe, Ariz. will be Velasquez along with fellow seniors Mike Barry and Paul Peterson, and sophomores Morten Madsen, Alex Moore and Jonnie Motomochi. Coach Watts noted that it was incredibly difficult to make the decision of who to bring due to the talent that is this team.

'It was a very difficult decision. Alex, Jonnie, Nick Sherwood, and Casey King were all within a quarter stroke scoring average. We've shown that we've been deep all year. Their scoring average on teams in the past would have been top five easy. It's a good thing, but it's a difficult decision.'

The Pac-10 Championships will take place April 26-28th at the Karsten Golf Course, a course the Beavers played earlier this month - April 2-3 - for the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. The tournament is a three-day, 54-hole event with a single round of 18 holes played each day. The course is a 7,057-yards and plays as a par-71.

Live stats will be available through golfstat.com

Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to the Beaver Athletic Student Fund. For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370.You can make an 'everyday champion.' Follow Beaver Athletics on twitter.

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