Men's Golf Finishes Third at 2004 NCAA Championships
June 4, 2004
TUCSON, Ariz. - For the third day in a row, the University of Arizona got strong efforts from its entire lineup as the Wildcats finished in third place Friday at the 2004 NCAA Men's Golf Championships in Hot Springs, Va.
Arizona carded a 12-over 292 total in Friday's final round en route to a four-round tally of 1148 (+28), which placed the team third in the field of 15 following the third-round cut. After starting the tournament in a tie for 18th place after the opening 18 holes, the Wildcats moved up the leaderboard each day over the final 54 holes as it collected the school's fifth top-three finish at the NCAA Championships, including the third such placing in the last five seasons.
California claimed the national championship by six strokes with a four-round total of 1134 (+14). UCLA (1140) finished second, while Texas (1149) and Georgia Tech (1151) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
For the Wildcats, the third-place finish at the national championship event puts the wraps on a season that saw the club claim four tournament titles in 2003-04, including the school's first Pac-10 championship since 1991. Arizona finished in the top three in eight of nine spring events and featured a lineup in which four of its five competitors had no NCAA Championship experience.
Senior Chris Nallen capped a brilliant collegiate career with a tie for second place with Wake Forest's Bill Haas. The Hackettstown, N.J., native carded an even-par 70 and finished the championships with a seven-under 273 total. It was his ninth top-10 finish in 13 stroke-play events this season. The placing and aggregate toal were Nallen's best in four career NCAA Championship appearances. He is the seventh Arizona golfer to finish as the NCAA Championship runner-up.
Nallen finished his career tied for second on the UA career victories list with six, including a school-record four in 2003-04. He finished this season with a 69.79 stroke average, making him the first UA golfer to ever post a single-season stroke average below 70. Additionally, his 71.19 career stroke average is the lowest in school history.
Freshman Mark Lamb continued his run of solid play at the national championship, as the Haddington, Scotland, native fired a three-over 73 and finished tied for 24th place at 287 (+7). Fellow freshman Henry Liaw, the reigning Pac-10 individual medalist, carded a four-over 74 and finished in a tie for 44th place at 294 (+14). Incidentally, Liaw finished the year with a 71.19 stoke average, the third-lowest for a freshman in UA history.
Also competing for Arizona was junior Nick Juszczak, who carded an five-over 75, to tie for 68th place at 301 (+21). Freshman Josh Esler, who posted a final-round 77 (+7), tied for 77th place at 307 (+27).
The 72-hole 2004 NCAA Championships were contested at The Homestead Resort's Cascades Golf Course, a par-70, 6,679-yard layout.
Top Five Teams Top Five Individuals1. California 1134 (+14) 1. Ryan Moore, UNLV 67-70-64-66=267 (-13)2. UCLA 1140 (+20) 2. Chris Nallen, Arizona 69-67-67-70=273 (-7)3. ARIZONA 1148 (+28) Bill Haas, Wake Forest 70-68-67-68=273 (-7)4. Texas 1149 (+29) 4. Michael Putnam, Pepperdine 74-65-67-70=276 (-4)5. Georgia Tech 1151 (+31) 5. Travis Johnson, UCLA 69-68-68-72=277 (-3)
Arizona Finishers T2. Chris Nallen 69-67-67-70=273 (-7) T24. Mark Lamb 72-69-73-73=287 (+7) T44. Henry Liaw 78-70-72-74=284 (+14) T68. Nick Juszczak 80-75-71-75=301 (+21) T77. Josh Esler 73-81-76-77=307 (+27)