Men's Golf Opens Spring Season at Ping Arizona

Jan. 29, 2003

EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon men's golf team begins the spring portion of the 2002-03 schedule Monday and Tuesday at the Ping Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson, Ariz. Teams will play two rounds on Monday, followed by a final round Tuesday on the par-71, 6,900-yard Arizona National Course.

The Ducks finished in the top 10 in all four events during the fall season, but will face a field that features 11 of the nation's top 50 teams, according to the final fall 2002 Golfweek poll. Leading the 15 squads is No. 3 Wake Forest. Host Arizona is No. 10, while others in the top 25 include New Mexico (15), UCLA (17) and Pepperdine (21). The rest of the field includes Arizona State, California, UC Irvine, Fresno State, Houston, Long Beach State, Oregon, Texas-El Paso, Tulsa and two-time defending Pac-10 champion USC.

'This is an extremely tough field, especially for our spring opener,' said Nosler. 'But we need to concentrate on playing to the best level we are capable of and not worry about the other guys. It's a long season and you can't read too much into one tournament, but it certainly would be a boost to our confidence if we are able to get off to a good start in the spring.'

Oregon will send seniors John Ellis and Chris Carnahan, junior Jimmy White and freshmen Gregg LaVoie and Justin St. Clair to Arizona. Ellis completed an outstanding fall with a stroke average just over par (72.1) and two top 10 finishes. Carnahan was second on the team in the fall with a 73.4 average, while LaVoie and White were at both at 75.2 and St. Claire 75.8.

At last year's Ping Arizona, Oregon finished 11th. Individually, Ellis tied for 22nd at 2-over 215, while Carnahan had perhaps his worst tournament as a collegian, tying for 103rd at 22-over 235.

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