Confident Beavers Head To Pac-10 Championships

April 22, 2004


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THIS WEEK: The Oregon State men's golf team faces some tough competition in the Pac-10 Championships at The Gallery at Dove Mountain North Course (par 72, 7,412 yards) in Marana, Ariz., Apr. 26-28.

The Beavers need a strong showing to qualify for NCAA Regionals.

Senior Sean Deacon, freshman Ryan Gilmour, junior Brad Simpson, junior Cameron MacKenzie, freshman Jonathan Green, and sophomore Brian Kelley will make up OSU's lineup.

'We need a strong finish to have any consideration for NCAA Regionals,' said head coach Brian Watts.

'We've been there most of the year having opportunites to win golf tournaments, but just haven't quite gotten over the hump.

'Every guy on this team has been in a position to win and I think that experience will pay dividends at this tournament.'

Three of the Beavers' six golfers participating in the Pac-10s this year played in last year's tournament. MacKenzie led the way in 2003, tying for sixth place. Deacon finished tied for 15th and Kelley placed 52nd to cap his first year as a Beaver. Deacon also tied for 17th at the 2002 Pac-10s.

OSU's best finish at the Pac-10s came in 2000 when they placed second behind Arizona State. OSU also hosted the event in 2002 and placed third, two strokes behind Stanford and 17 behind champion USC.

UCLA won last year's event by 27 strokes over Arizona with a 1-under total of 1,439. OSU came in sixth with a 1,503.

Bruin John Merrick took home the individual title with a 12-under 276, including a final-round 9-under 63 to win by 10 strokes.

Play begins Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST with 36 holes and continues Tuesday and Wednesday with 18 holes each day, beginning at 7:30 a.m. PST. The low five scores from a team of six players will count towards the team total. The Beavers tee off Monday morning paired with host Arizona.

'If all six guys come out and play like I know they can, I think we'll have a good tournament,' said a confident Watts.

COMPLETE FIELD (with Golfweek rankings): Arizona (9), Arizona State (5), California (17), Oregon (85), Oregon State (88), Stanford (54), defending champion UCLA (3), USC (13), Washington (25), and Washington State (106).

HEAD COACH Brian Watts: Brian Watts enters his third season as the head men's golf coach at Oregon State after spending three seasons as the assistant for both the men's and women's programs at OSU. With Watts at the helm, the Beavers returned to postseason action last year and are poised to continue their tradition of excellence for years to come.

Watts brings to the program a wealth of experience from his years on professional tours, but equally important is his understanding of Northwest recruiting and the use of OSU's state-of-the-art facilities.

Prior to taking the reigns at OSU, Watts helped both the men's and women's teams advance to their respective NCAA West Regional Championships as an assistant during two different stints. The highlight came at the end of the 2000-01 campaign when the men's squad used a run late in the year to advance to the NCAA Championships for the third time in the school's history. With Watts' help, the Beavers made the cut for the first time, and ended their season with a 12th-place finish at the NCAAs.

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