Pac-12 looks for 15th men's golf championship
By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--Five Pac-12 teams open play at the 2013 NCAA Men's Golf Championships, May 28-June 2, at the Capital City Club, Crabapple Course in Atlanta, Ga. (hosted by Georgia Tech). Thirty teams and six individuals will compete in the 116th NCAA Championships.
THE COURSE: Capital City Club, Crabapple Course, Atlanta, Ga. (par 70 - 7,320)
THE FORMAT: The 2013 NCAA Championships will see the team champion determined via match play for the fifth straight year, as 2009 was the first time the winner wasn't awarded by total strokes since 1965. The top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play will advance to match play, with the quarterfinals being held May 31, the semifinals on June 1 and the championship match set for June 2. During the match play portion, each match will be worth one point with all five players participating. The first team to win three points within the team match will win the match. The NCAA individual champion will be crowned after the first three-rounds of stroke play competition (May 28-May 30).
SCORING: Live scoring of the Championships will be available at www.golfstat.com.
THE PAC-12: There are five Pac-12 teams in the 30-team field. Nine of the 12 member institutions have competed in the NCAA Championships over the last three years. The Pac-12 has won 14 NCAA titles, including three in the last eight years - California (2004), Stanford (2007), and UCLA (2008). UCLA placed second at the 2012 NCAA Championships, the highest finish by a Conference school. The Pac-12 teams in the field:
ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State earned its 50th NCAA Championship bid after placing fifth with an eight-under 832 in the Tempe Regional. The Sun Devils, who have participated in 28 of the last 30 NCAA Championships, have won two national titles (1990 and 1996). Additionally, they have produced six individual medalists since 1983, the most in the NCAA during that span. ASU has relied on steady play from Pac-12 Freshman of the Year John Rahm (No. 48) and fellow freshman Max Rottluff to claim six top-five finishes in 14 stroke-play events this season. Rahm, who owns a 70.92 stroke average, has posted five top-10 finishes this season, including a pair of victories at the Bill Cullum Invitational and the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic.
CALIFORNIA: After claiming its second straight Pac-12 team title, No. 1 California captured the Pullman Regional by 20 strokes to advance to the NCAA championship. With the win, the Golden Bears broke the unofficial NCAA record for tournament victories in a season (11) set by Oklahoma State in 1985-86. Pac-12 Coach of the Year Steve Desimone leads the Bears to their ninth appearance at the NCAA championship and fourth in a row. Cal has claimed one NCAA title (2004). The balanced squad is paced by sophomore Michael Kim, senior Max Homa and juniors Brandon Hagy and Michael Weaver. Kim is the NCAA's top-ranked golfer, while Homa (No. 19) posted a five-stroke victory at the Pac-12 Championship after firing a course-record 61 in the opening round. Hagy, who has posted five top-five finishes this season, is ranked No. 25 by GolfWeek. Weaver (No. 9) has finished in the top three in four of his last five tournaments, including a victory in Pullman last weekend.
UCLA: 2012 NCAA runner-up UCLA advanced by capturing the Tempe Regional. The Bruins carded an 11-under 269 in Saturday's final round and pushed its 54-hole total to 810 (-30) to outpace second-place Georgia by 17 strokes. Freshman Jonathan Garrick, who shot Saturday's low round (64), finished in a tie for second place in the individual standings with an eight-under 202. UCLA, which is making its 11th consecutive NCAA championship appearance, has a pair of national titles (1988 and 2008). Senior Pontus Widegren, the nation's 11th-ranked men's golfer, has shot a team-best 15 rounds under par this season and is averaging 69.86 strokes per round. He has notched a trio of top-five finishes in 2012-13, which includes a tournament victory at the CSU San Marcos Fall Classic in October.
USC: USC carded a 20-under 844 to finish fourth in the Pullman Regional and earn its seventh consecutive NCAA championship bid, and 54th overall. Only Oklahoma State (66) and Texas (59) have made more NCAA championship appearances. The Trojans' best finish at the NCAA championships is third, achieved most recently in 2008. Senior Sam Smith fired a 14-under 202 in Pullman last weekend to earn a share of the individual title, the first of his career. Freshman standout Yi Keun Chang has finished among the top ten in four of 11 tournaments and shot a two-under 211 to win the North Ranch Intercollegiate in February. Sophomore Anthony Paolucci (No. 84), who carries a 72.44 stroke average, shot under par in three consecutive tournaments earlier this season. He posted top-10 finishes in each of them.
WASHINGTON: Washington, which held the top seed in the Tallahassee regional, finished in second with a 31-under 833 at Golden Eagle Country Club. Sophomore Cheng-Tsung Pan posted a 15-under 201 for the tournament to claim individual medalist honors, marking the third time in four years that a Husky has won the individual title at an NCAA regional. Washington has qualified for the NCAA championships 10 times in the last 12 years and 24 times overall. Senior Chris Williams was honored as the 2013 Ben Hogan Award winner on Monday, becoming the second Husky to win collegiate golf's most prestigious award. Williams, who carries a 69.89 stroke average, is the nation's 15th-ranked golfer, while Pan, who owns a 69.73 stroke average, ranks seventh. The Huskies have finished among the top three in nine of 12 tournaments this season.
The Pac-12 Conference has claimed 14 NCAA team titles and produced 15 NCAA individual champions. Since 2003, the Pac-12 has netted three team champions (2004 - California; 2007 - Stanford; 2008 - UCLA) and four individual champions (2003 - Alejandro Canizares, ASU; 2005 - James Lepp, WASH; 2007 - Jamie Lovemark, USC; 2008 - Kevin Chappell, UCLA).
NCAA Team Champions from the Pac-12
1938 - Stanford
1939 - Stanford
1941 - Stanford
1942 - Stanford
1946 - Stanford
1953 - Stanford
1988 - UCLA
1990 - Arizona State
1992 - Arizona
1994 - Stanford
1996 - Arizona State
2004 - California
2007 - Stanford
2008 - UCLA
NCAA Individual Champions from the Pac-12
1942 - Frank Tatum, Jr. Stanford
1967 - Hale Irwin, COLO
1976 - Scott Simpson, USC
1977 - Scott Simpson, USC
1981 - Ron Commans, USC
1983 - Jim Carter, Arizona State
1989 - Phil Mickelson, Arizona State
1990 - Phil Mickelson, Arizona State
1992 - Phil Mickelson, Arizona State
1993 - Todd Demsey, Arizona State
1996 - Tiger Woods, Stanford
2003 - Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State
2005 - James Lepp, Washington
2007 - Jamie Lovemark, USC
2008 - Kevin Chappell, UCLA