The 51st Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship Begins Monday

April 25, 2010

The 4th-ranked UCLA men's golf team travels this week to Tempe, Ariz. for the 51st Pacific-10 Men's Golf Championship, Apr. 26-28 at the Karsten Course. Arizona State will serve as host of the event, which features all 10 conference teams.

The championship is 72 holes of stroke play in a six-player, count five format. The Karsten Course will play to a par of 72 over 7,057 yards.

The Bruins are scheduled to tee off the first hole at 7 a.m. on Apr. 26. Round 2 begins at noon the same day. Rounds 3 & 4 will be played on Apr. 27 & 28, respectively.

'The course will be hard and fast, so it's important for us to get out to a quick start, especially since we're in the first group without the entire field in front of us,' said third-year UCLA Head Coach Derek Freeman. 'There won't be much room for error. The course will yield plenty of scoring opportunities and the field is stacked with great teams.'

As of GolfWeek's poll on Apr. 18, five of the country's top 10 teams resided in the Pac-10 Conference, led by Nos. 4, 5, 6 Stanford, Washington and UCLA, respectively. In addition, Oregon was eighth and USC was rated 10th. Host Arizona State was 15th. Finally, the conference boasts three of the nation's top 10 ranked individuals in Oregon State's Diego Velasquez, Washington's Nick Taylor and David Chung of Stanford.

The Bruins will be looking for their first conference title since 2006 and their sixth overall. Since 2003, the Bruins have won a pair of conference titles and have recorded two other podium finishes. In addition, two UCLA players have won Pac-10 medalist honors. Overall, six UCLA players have won the Pac-10 individual championship, the most recent being Daniel Im in 2006.

Three former UCLA coaches have been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and five former players have earned the conference's player of the year award.

In Freeman's two previous years, the Bruins finished fourth in 2008 and sixth last season. During Freeman's tenure, two different UCLA players have earned first-team all-conference honors and one -- Kevin Chappell -- was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2008. Four other players have earned mention on one of the other all-conference teams, including 2009 Freshman of the Year Gregor Main.

The Bruins began this season ranked 23rd nationally in the Coaches Poll and have risen to fourth in GolfStat's most recent rankings. (UCLA is currently ranked in a tie for seventh in the GCAA poll and sixth by GolfWeek.) Tournament victories at The Battle at the Beach and at the Southern Highlands Masters elevated the Bruins' stature. In their last four stroke play events, they have posted consecutive Top 5 results. Overall, UCLA has recorded nine Top 10 results in 10 starts.

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