Men's Golf Travels to Columbus, Ohio, for the NCAA Preview

Sept. 25, 2001

On the Tee: The Cats are back in action for the second consecutive week, as the squad is scheduled to compete in The NCAA Preview by Ping & Golfweek in Columbus, Ohio ... Fourteen of the 15 teams in The Preview field are ranked in the current Golf World College Coaches' Poll ... Arizona comes off a third-place finish last weekend at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M. ... Freshman Kipp Riehle was the team leader, posting a two-under-par 214 to finish tied for sixth in his first collegiate competition.

The Rankings: The Wildcats opened the year as the nation's second-ranked team, according to Golf World magazine's College Coaches' Poll. The team garnered one first-place vote and 424 points overall. Golf World also selected UA junior Ricky Barnes as the nation's Preseason Player of the Year and included sophomore Chris Nallen in its '50 College Players to Watch' list. Arizona finished the 2000-01 campaign ranked sixth in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, 12th in the Golf World poll and 10th in the CGF/MasterCard poll.

A Look at The Preview: The Ohio State University hosts The Preview by Ping & Golfweek, Sept. 28-30. The 54-hole event features 18 holes a day beginning Friday. Tee times are TBA. The event will be held at the Scarlet Course, a par 71, 7,236-yard facility in Columbus. The course will host the 2002 NCAA Men's Golf Championships, May 29-June 1. In addition to Arizona, the following teams are scheduled to compete: Arizona State, Augusta State, Clemson, East Tennessee State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Pacific, Texas, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and host Ohio State.

The Arizona Lineup:

Golfer		Yr.	Avg.	Top 10/20	Low Rd.	EventsRicky Barnes	Jr.	72.33	1/0		69	1Chris Nallen	So.	72.67	0/1		70	1Kipp Riehle	Fr.	71.33	1/0		69	1Nathan Lashley	Fr.	74.33	0/0		71	1Reid Hatley	Jr.	76.00	0/0		75	1

Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . is in his 24th season at the helm of the Arizona golf program, and in that span has established the Wildcats as one of the finest programs in the nation. The only college coach to win both a men's (1992) and women's (1996) NCAA Championship, LaRose's teams have won seven NCAA Regionals, five Pac-10 crowns and three Rolex Match Play titles. In NCAA Championship play, he also has five third-place finishes, a fifth-place and two sixth-place efforts to his credit. Since 1978, his men's teams have won 44 tournaments and produced 57 All-Americans. He is assisted by John Knauer.

Last Year at The Preview: Inclement weather shortened this event to 36 holes and the Wildcats tied for fourth place in a tournament loaded with national championship contenders. Arizona managed a 590 total (+14) and was the highest-finishing Pac-10 team. Reid Hatley led UA individually with his second consecutive top-five finish. His 36-hole total of 144 (E) was four shots off the pace and tied him for fifth place. Joining Hatley in the top 10 was Ricky Barnes, who finished tied for eighth place at 145 (+1).

Preseason Player of the Year: Junior Ricky Barnes was tabbed by Golf World magazine as the No. 1 men's college golfer in the nation. The Stockton, Calif., native has 13 top-10 finishes in his two-year career, including four victories. His 71.05 career stroke average is the lowest in school history. Sophomore Chris Nallen was named to the publications '50 College Golfers to Watch' list.

Last Time Out ... The Tucker: The University of Arizona men's golf team posted the lowest team total in the final round last Saturday to finish in third place at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate. The Wildcats, who opened the season ranked No. 2 in the nation, fired a final-round 285 (-3) to finish with a team total of 871 (+7), which was good enough for third place in the 20-team field. The Cats entered Saturday's final round in seventh place before making the charge to finish third. Tournament-host New Mexico won the event with a total of 859 (-5), the only team in the field to finish under par. The Lobos finished 11 strokes ahead of runner-up Pepperdine (870). Brigham Young's Manuel Merizalde captured individual medalist honors with a three-round total of 209 (-7). Leading the way for Arizona was freshman Kipp Riehle. Making his collegiate debut, Riehle shot a final-round 71 to finish in a tie for sixth place at 214 (-2). Included in the effort was a second-round 69. Two other UA golfers finished in the top 13 spots. Ricky Barnes, the Golf World magazine preseason Player of the Year, shot a 69 (-3) Saturday to finish in a three-way tie for 10th place at 217 (+1), while sophomore Chris Nallen finished tied for 13th place at 218 (+2).

In the Mix: With a third-place finish to open the season, Arizona has now finished in the top-five places in its last five events dating back to last season. The streak dates back to April 22, 2001, when the Cats won the U.S. Intercollegiate in Palo, Alto , Calif. UA has 10 top-five finishes since the start of the 2000-01 season.

Course Knowledge: For the second straight week, Arizona will compete on a course schedule to host a key postseason event. This week it's the Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, site of the 2002 NCAA Men's Golf Championships. Last week, UA opened the season at The Championship Course in Albuquerque, N.M., site of the 2002 NCAA West Regional.

Quite A Debut: Redshirt freshman Kipp Riehle made the most of his collegiate debut with a tie for sixth place at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate. The Phoenix native posted a 214 (-2) total to lead Arizona. His tournament included a second-round 69. True freshman Nathan Lashley also performed well, finishing tied for 37th with a 223 (+7) total.

In the 60s: Two Wildcat golfers managed to post a score in the 60s in the season-opening competition. Freshman Kipp Riehle was the first to break 70, as he carded a second-round 69. Junior Ricky Barnes followed up with a final round 69 as well.

2000-01 In Review: Arizona closed another highly-successful season with its 15th consecutive berth in the NCAA Championships. The Cats finished third for the second straight season. No team west of the Central Time Zone has finished ahead of UA at the NCAA Championships in the last two years. Arizona earned two team championships in 2000-01, including the CGF Match Play National Championship in November, and three individual wins. Ricky Barnes and Chris Nallen were named to the 2000-01 GCAA NCAA Division I Ping All-America team on June 3.

A Look at the 2001 Numbers: The Wildcats ended the 2000-01 campaign with a 294.45 stroke average in 37 stroke play rounds. That average dropped to 286.46 when making an adjustment for the Pac-10 Championships (five countable scores per round). UA posted sub-par totals in 10 of its last 17 rounds. With two team wins in 2000-01, it marked the second straight year in which Arizona picked up multiple team titles.

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