Sica Struggles in Final Round of NCAA Championships, Ties for 43rd

May 30, 2003

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Mike Sica, Oregon's lone individual remaining in the 2003 NCAA Men's Golf Championships, struggled to a 12-over 84 in the final round played Friday at the 7,301-yard, par-72 Karsten Creek Golf Course.

'I tried my best, but I just wasn't getting good swings,' said Sica. 'I felt confident coming into the round, but it just didn't happen today. You can't play this course if you're not in the fairway. It's that simple.'

Sica's four-round total of 17-over 305 left the junior from San Francisco tied for 43rd.

'Mike hit a lot of quality shots today, but five or six of them were out of the fairway and that's where he got into trouble,' said Oregon coach Steve Nosler, whose team missed Thursday's 54-hole cut by five strokes. 'That cost him several strokes and on a course like this, that's what's going to happen. It's not what he had hoped would happen today, but he hung in there pretty tough.'

Sica got into trouble from the first hole where he pulled his tee shot into the woods on the left and had to take a two-stroke penalty for a lost ball. He ended up with a triple bogey on the hole. He was alright through the next three holes, parring No. 2 and No. 4, and taking a bogey on the difficult par-3 third.

But hole five started a string that saw him put five of his next 12 tee shots into the left rough. Among those holes, he took a double bogey on No. 5 after losing a ball and wrote down another 6 on No. 13.

After playing the first eight holes eight strokes over par, Sica recovered for a respectable finish. He got up and down out of the sand on No. 9 to save par and then parred No. 10, 12, 14 and 15.

The highlight of Sica's round came on Karsten Creek's most difficult hole -- No. 17. Sica hit his drive in the middle of the fairway on the 467-yard par-4, and then hit his iron to 12 feet of the pin to set up his only birdie of the day.

'This is real good tournament experience for Mike,' said Nosler, who will return four lettermen for the 2003-04 season. 'I think he will use this as a stepping stone going into his senior year as one of our team leaders.'

Arizona State freshman Alejandro Canizares overtook third-round leader Lee Williams of Auburn to win the individual title at 1-under 287. Williams was second at 1-over 289. Clemson won the team title at 1191, edging Oklahoma State by two strokes. UCLA was third at 1197.

NCAA Championships
Karsten Creek Golf Course
Stillwater, Okla.
Final Round
7,301-Yard, Par-72

OREGON INDIVIDUAL - 43 (tie), Mike Sica, 73-74-74-84-305.

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