Washington Comes From Behind to Win Men's Golf Championships

April 27, 2005

By Joe Nickell

WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Sophomore Erik Olson and the Washington Huskies bothcame from behind Wednesday, to win the individual and team titles at thePacific-10 Conference Men's Golf Championships.

Olson, a native of Renton, Wash., came into the final round tied forsecond place, four strokes behind the leader, senior Pat Moore of ArizonaState. Olson posted a 2-under 69 at the par 71, 6,606-yard Walla WallaCountry Club, in the final round to win the individual title by onestroke. Olson finished with an 8-under 276. He was the only player in thefield to post all four rounds under par.

'This feels awesome,' Olson said. 'It feels amazing. This is my firstcollege victory, and it just happens to be the Pac-10 Championship.'

The tournament victory marks the first of Olson's career and the firstindividual conference title for the Huskies since O.D. Vincent in 1988.Vincent currently coaches the UCLA Bruins.

The Huskies, who earned an automatic bid to the NCAA West RegionalChampionships with their victory, came into the final round in fifthplace, 17 strokes behind third-round leader Arizona State. Led by the playof Olson as well as sophomore Alex Prugh and junior James Lepp, Washingtonposted the lowest team score of the final round, finishing the day tiedwith Arizona State.

Pac-10 Conference rules stipulate that in the event of a tie, the lowestscore between each team's sixth man will decide the tournament.Washington's Sterling Clark came into the clubhouse with a 77 (+6), andArizona State's Charly Simon posted a 78 (+7), giving Washington its firstPac-10 team title since 1988.

'We made our putts today,' Olson said. 'We have so much potential on thisteam, it's unbelievable. We've been hitting it well all week; it was justa matter of time before it (the team victory) happened.'

The Huskies benefited from an early tee time, while the Sun Devils wereforced to play most of their final round in wind storms that reached ashigh as 30 miles per hour.

'We got really fortunate with mother nature,' said Washington Head CoachMatt Thurmond. 'But we believed (we could win) throughout the tournament.You just can't say enough about the way they played the last three days.'

Arizona State's Moore, who just missed capturing his second consecutiveindividual title, finished in third place at 5-under 279. Moore, a nativeof Phoenix, Ariz., was one of three Sun Devils to finish the tournament inthe top 10. Niklas Lemke, a sophomore from Linkoping, Sweden, finishedtied for seventh with a 1-under 283. Alejandro Canizares of Manilva,Spain, finished tied for 10th with an even-par 284.

Arizona, who began the final round in fourth place, moved up a positionfinishing in third place as a team. The Wildcats were led by senior NathanLashley, who finished in second place with a 7-under 277. Wildcatsophomore Henry Liaw, who won the 2004 Pac-10 individual title, finishedtied for 14th with a score of 285 (+1).

UCLA, the tournament leader after the second round, finished in fourthplace with a team score of 1,432 (+12). The two-time defending NCAA WestRegional Champion Bruins were led by the play of freshman Kevin Chappell,who finished the tournament tied for seventh with a four-round score of283 (-1). Senior John Poucher of Santa Barbara, Calif., and sophomoreJoakim Renstrom of Taby, Sweden, also finished the tournament in the top20.

Three golfers led the University of Oregon to a fifth place team finish.Sophomores Matt Ma and Jay Snyder, as well as junior Gregg LaVoie eachfinished in the top 20. Ma and LaVoie posted final rounds under par tolift the Ducks from sixth place after the third round to fifth place inthe final round.

Southern California finished the tournament in seventh place. The Trojanswere led by sophomore Joshua Wooding, who finished the tournament tied for17th with a score of 286 (+2).

The 2004 NCAA Champion California Golden Bears finished in eighth place,led by a fifth place finish from sophomore and Oak Park, Calif., nativeBrandon Beck. Beck posted a four-round total of 282 (-2) to earn a shareof fifth place.

Host school Washington State finished the tournament in ninth place, ledby sophomore Kevin Chen. Chen finished tied for 25th, posting a four-roundtotal of 289 (+5). The final round for the Cougars was highlighted byredshirt junior David Fern, who holed his second shot from 108 yards foran eagle at the par-4, 364-yard, 12th hole.

Oregon State finished the tournament in 10th place. Senior Brad Simpsonand freshman Vincent Johnson each finished tied for 19th place, shooting287 (+3) on the tournament.

Pacific-10 Conference Championships
April 25-27, 2005
Walla Walla Country Club; Walla Walla, Wash.
Par 71, 6,606 yards
Final Results

Team Results: T1. Washington (371-353-351-350--1425, +5), T1. Arizona State(351-358-349-367--1425, +5), 3. Arizona (356-366-352-354--1428, +8), 4. UCLA(352-355-354-371--1432, +12), 5. Oregon (369-357-355-355--1436, +16), 6.Stanford (363-359-351-365--1438, +18), 7. Southern California(362-352-368-362--1444, +24), 8. California (353-361-368-367--1449, +29),Washington State (359-358-366-375--1458, +38), 10. Oregon State(363-366-362-370--1461, +41).

Top 10 Individuals: 1. Erik Olson, Washington (70-69-68-69--276, -8), 2.Nathan Lashley, Arizona (68-72-68-69--277, -7), 3. Pat Moore, Arizona State(67-67-69-76--279, -5), 4. Rob Grube, Stanford (69-72-66-74--281, -3), T5.Brandon Beck, California (69-69-72-72--282, -2), T5. Justin St. Clair,Oregon (70-72-69-71--282, -2), T7. Kevin Chappell, UCLA (67-70-71-75--283,-1), T7. Michael Jensen, California (69-68-71-75--283, -1), T7. NiklasLemke, Arizona State (73-73-68-69--283, -1), T10. Four others tied with 284(E).

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