Men's Golf Earns Bid to 2004 NCAA Championships
May 22, 2004
TUCSON, Ariz. - Anchored by the lone senior in the lineup, the University of Arizona men's golf team was good enough Saturday to earn a berth to the 2004 NCAA Championships.
Chris Nallen, the Wildcat's most experienced player, shot an even par 72 to lead the squad to a final-round 297 (+9) en route to an 872 (+8) total at the 2004 NCAA West Regional at The Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore. Arizona's final round tally was its highest of the tournament, but it was enough to qualify the squad for its 18th consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships. It is the third-longest active streak in the nation.
Aside from Nallen, none of the other four players in the UA lineup had ever played in an NCAA Regional before. But the senior, junior and three freshmen combined for the 872 total and third-place finish. UCLA captured its second straight NCAA West Regional title with an 865 (+1) total, one stroke ahead of New Mexico. Arizona followed six strokes back, while Arizona State finished in fourth place at 873 (+9).
Nallen's final-round 72 was good enough to give the Hackettstown, N.J., native a three-round total of 211 (-5) and a share of individual medalist honors with UCLA's Travis Johnson. Nallen would became the fifth Arizona player to win or share individual medalist honors since the NCAA Regional format debuted in 1989. Ricky Barnes was the last to do so, earning co-medalist honors at the 2002 NCAA West Regional.
It marks Nallen's fourth win of the season, which equals the most for one individual this season and is the sixth of his career, which ties him with Mike Springer (1984-88) for second place on the UA career victories list.
Freshman Henry Liaw shot a final-round 78 (+6) and finished with a one-over 217, which placed him in a tie for 13th place. It was Liaw's eighth consecutive top-20 finish.
Also competing for Arizona was junior Nathan Lashley, who carded a two-over 74 and tied for 33rd place at 222 (+6). Freshman Josh Esler, who carded a final-round 74, tied for 62nd place at 226 (+10) and Mark Lamb, who tallied a closing 77, finished in a tie for 72nd place at 229 (+13).
The 2004 NCAA West Regional was contested at The Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort, a par-72, 7,597-yard layout. The top 10 teams and two individuals qualified for the 2004 NCAA Championships, June 1-4, in Hot Springs, Va.
Top Five Teams Top Five Individuals1. UCLA 865 (+1) 1. Chris Nallen, Arizona 71-68-72=211 (-5)2. New Mexico 866 (+2) Travis Johnson, UCLA 66-73-72=211 (-5)3. ARIZONA 872 (+8) 3. Ryan Moore, UNLV 69-71-72=212 (-4)4. Arizona State 873 (+9) 4. Oscar Olivares, BYU 69-70-74=213 (-3)5. Brigham Young 881 (+17) Chris Baryla, UTEP 73-69-71=213 (-3) USC 881 (+17)
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