Huskies Off To Purdue For NCAA Championships

May 23, 2008

Wednesday, May 28 - Saturday, May 31
Host - Purdue University · West Lafayette, Ind.
Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex - Kampen Course · Par 72 - 7,431 Yards
Live Scoring -

Huskies On To Purdue For NCAA Championships:
By virtue of its fourthplace finish at last week's NCAA West Regional, the Washington men's golfteam will head to West Lafayette, Ind., for the 2008 NCAA Championshipshosted by Purdue, May 28-31. The Huskies are making their ninth NCAAChampionship appearance in the last 10 years and 20th overall. Thetournament will be held on the par-72, 7,431-yard Kampen Course at theBirck Boilermaker Golf Complex. Washington is the No. 22 seed and willplay its first two rounds on May 28 and May 29 paired with No. 23 St.Mary's and No. 24 Arizona State. The Huskies will open play on Wednesday from the first tee at 7:47 a.m. ET and continue with second round actionon Thursday from the 10th tee at 12:59 p.m. ET.

The Format:
The 2008 NCAA Championship features 30 teams and thenation's top six individuals not on those teams. All 156 players willcompete on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, while Saturday's final roundis cut to the top 15 teams and top six individuals not on an advancingteam. The tournament features 18 holes of play starting at 7 a.m. ET onWednesday-Friday and at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday. Participants will play inthreesomes during the competition. Teams participating in the NCAAChampionships shall consist of a maximum of five players (with fourscores counting each day toward the team total). Split tees (#1 and #10)will be used during each round. Team and individual ties shall be brokenin accordance with NCAA rules.

Results and Live Scoring:
Live scoring for the NCAA Championship will beavailable at

The Field:
The 30-team field is as follows in order of seed: No. 1Southern California, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Wake Forest, No. 4 OklahomaState, No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 UCLA, No. 8 UAB, No. 9Alabama, No. 10 Stanford, No. 11 Auburn, No. 12 Charlotte, No. 13 TexasA&M, No. 14 East Tennessee State, No. 15 Indiana, No. 16 Oregon, No. 17Augusta State, No. 18 UC Irvine, No. 19 Illinois, No. 20 Louisville, No.21 Mississippi State, No. 22 Washington, No. 23 St. Mary's, No. 24Arizona State, No. 25 Kent State, No. 26 Penn State, No. 27 San DiegoState, No. 28 Texas, No. 29 Middle Tennessee State and No. 30 Virginia.The individuals are James Sacheck (TCU), Eric Shriver (Pepperdine), JoelSjoholm (Georgia State), Derek Tolan (Colorado), Jurrian Van Der Vaart(Virginia Tech) and Dan Woltman (Wisconsin).

Husky Lineup:
The Huskies' lineup will feature senior Zach Bixler(Richland, Wash.), sophomore Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, B.C.), sophomoreDarren Wallace (Langley, B.C.), John Wise (Bellevue, Wash.) and freshmanTze Huang Choo (Singapore, Singapore).

UW At The NCAA Championships:
Washington is making its ninth NCAAChampionship appearance in the last 10 years and is back in the mix aftermissing last year's national tournament for the first time since 1998. Including this year, the Huskies have played in the NCAA Championships20 times overall. Washington's top team finish was a third-place standingin 2005. In all, the Huskies have four top-10 NCAA finishes also placingfourth in 1999, sixth in 2004 and ninth in 2006. Washington has had oneplayer win NCAA medalist honors with James Lepp doing so in 2005. Lepprallied from a six-shot deficit with a course-record 7-under 63 on thefinal day to force a play-off with Pepperdine's Michael Putnam. Lepp thensaved par on the third playoff hole, sinking a three-foot putt to winmedalist honors. Troy Kelly was the NCAA runner-up in 1999, while BrockMackenzie notched a fifth-place finish in 2003. Lepp owns the otherTop-10 individual finish, placing eighth in 2006.

NCAA Championship Experience:
Senior Zach Bixler is the only Husky withany previous NCAA Championship experience...Bixler was a freshman on the2005 squad that notched a school-record third-place finish...he finished54th overall that year (18-over 298)...he also competed at NCAA's as asophomore in 2006, placing 20th at even-par 288.

Huskies Finish Fourth At NCAA West Regional:
Bolstered by the play ofsophomore Nick Taylor whose runner-up individual regional finish set a UWschool record, the Washington men's golf team earned a spot in the NCAAChampionships with their fourth-place team finish at the NCAA WestRegional that wrapped up at Gold Mountain Golf Club, May 17. The Huskiesshot their best round of the tournament on the final day to secure theirninth trip to NCAA's in the last 10 years. With the help of Taylor andsenior Zach Bixler, UW shot a final-round score of 1-over 289 andfinished with a 54-hole total of 10-over 874. 'The course was playing sotough and the guys just stepped up like I couldn't imagine,' UW headcoach Matt Thurmond said. 'We had our best round of the tournament on thefinal day when we really needed it. Our senior leader Zach was four-underearly and I think it really calmed everyone down. Nick said he didn't hitmany good shots today but he still found a way to go one-under par, andeveryone else just really hung in there. It was awesome.' Top-seeded USCwon their first ever regional crown by two shots over surprise runner-upOregon. USC was the only team to finish under par at 2-under 862 after aneven-par 288 in the final round. The Ducks, led by individual medalistJoey Benedetti, finished at even-par 864. UW's Taylor tied for runner-upindividual honors with USC's Rory Hie and Saint Mary's Michael McRae at5-under 211. Taylor, who started the day in third place, carded a 1-under71 with the Huskies' chances to extend their season on the line. Taylor'ssecond-place finish broke the previous best regional finish set by Bixlerwho finished third in 2006. Bixler also came through for his teammatesplaying in his last ever regional tournament, shooting a 1-under 71 tofinish tied for 25th (4-over 220). All five Huskies shot 3-over 75 orlower. Junior John Wise improved upon both of his opening round scores byfive strokes on the final day, carding a 1-over 73. He finished at13-over 229 (tied for 79th). Freshman Tze Huang Choo tied for 30th at5-over 221 and sophomore Darren Wallace tied for 46th (8-over 224).

Huskies Finish Seventh At Pac-10 Championships:
Washington shot afinal-round score of 10-over 365 to finish seventh at the Pac-10 Men'sGolf Championships which wrapped up at the Meadow Club, April 30. TheHuskies ended the four-round tournament at 39-over 1459, finishing aheadof the three other Northwest schools in Oregon State (41-over 1461),Oregon (42-over 1462) and Washington State (82-over 1502). SophomoreDarren Wallace led the Huskies with a final-round score of 1-under 70 tofinish in a tie for 13th on the individual leaderboard (3-over 287).Freshman Tze Huang Choo, who shared the lead after two rounds and was twostrokes behind the leader after three rounds, fell all the way back intoa tie for 18th after carding a 7-over 78. Choo was 5-over 289 overall.Senior Zach Bixler saved his best for last, turning in an even-par 71 butfinished tied for 27th with another fellow Husky Nick Taylor. Taylor shota 2-over 73 in the final round. Both UW players were 9-over 293.Rounding out the UW lineup, junior John Wise tied for 40th (13-over 297)and freshman Kevin Spooner was 60th (18-over 231). Both the team andindividual Pac-10 titles were decided in a play-off. USC and ArizonaState shared the team lead after 72 holes (15-over 1435), but it was ASUthat prevailed by two shots in the team play-off on the 18th hole.Arizona's Creighton Honeck and UCLA's Kevin Chappell were also knotted atthe top at the end of regulation (3-under 281), with Honeck winning theplay-off on the 10th hole by one shot.

Head Coach Matt Thurmond:
Husky head coach Matt Thurmond is in hisseventh year at the helm of the Washington men's golf program. DuringThurmond's tenure, Washington garnered its first NCAA individual champion(James Lepp, 2005), and its second Pac-10 individual champion (ErikOlson, 2005), as well as setting school records for NCAA Regional (first)and NCAA Championship finishes (third). Under Thurmond's tutelage, theHuskies also won their first Pac-10 title since 1988 in 2005. Roundingout Thurmond's staff are assistant coach Garrett Clegg and volunteerassistant coach Scott Alexander, both in their first year.

Dawg Bites:
The Huskies' fourth-place finish at last week's NCAA WestRegional was its best since back-to-back runner-up finishes to open thefall season...the Huskies opened the year finishing second at their ownHusky Invitational (Oct. 1-2) and at the Alister Mackenzie Invitational(Oct. 8-9)...UW has not had an individual win medalist honors this yearbut senior Zach Bixler (Husky Invitational) and sophomore Nick Taylor(NCAA West Regional) have notched runner-up finishes...UW's 54-hole scoreof 10-over 874 at last week's regional marks the third best effort of theseason - versus par and for gross score total.

Bixler Shoots 60:
Washington senior Zach Bixler etched his name in therecord books back in the fall when he became the sixth player incollegiate history to shoot 60. Bixler's effort not only matched an NCAArecord but matched a Husky school record as well. Former four-timeAll-American Brock Mackenzie also shot 60 in 2003. Bixler carded an11-under 60 during the second round of the Alister Mackenzie Invitationalhosted by Cal at the Meadow Club on Oct. 8, 2007. His record-matchingperformance included sinking an eagle and nine birdies. Bixler was namedthe Pac-10 Co-Golfer of the Month (October/November) for his efforts.

Strong Start:
The Huskies got off to a strong start in 2007-08,finishing as the runner-up at their first two tournaments of the fall. UWwas the runner-up at its own Husky Invitational (Oct. 1-2) before goingon to finish second at the Alister Mackenzie Invitational (Oct. 8-9)hosted by Cal at the Meadow Club. Bixler was the Huskies' top individualin three of the first four tournaments. He matched a career-best finishwith his own runner-up standing at the Husky Invitational.

Standout Senior:
Zach Bixler is the Huskies' only senior on a youngroster that also features one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen.Bixler has been Washington's top finisher at five tournaments thisseason. Bixler is second on the squad with a 73.49 stroke average,carding three rounds in the 60's and seven rounds under par during hisfinal campaign.

Top Dawg Taylor:
Sophomore Nick Taylor has emerged as one of the topplayers on the Husky squad this season. Taylor, who won the 2007 CanadianMen's Amateur title this past summer, leads UW with a 72.87 strokeaverage and has placed as Washington's top finisher at six tournaments -including the first three tournaments of the spring season. Hisseason-high finish came at last week's NCAA West Regional when he tiedfor second at 5-under 211. His career-low 54-hole score of 9-under 201was set at the UH-Hilo Invitational back in February. Taylor has firedseven rounds in the 60's and 14 rounds under par.