Husky Golf Cruises To Pac-10 Title
April 29, 2009
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The No. 5 University of Washington men's golf team asserted its dominance at the top of the Pac-10 with an 18-stroke victory Wednesday at the Seattle Golf Club.
The Dawgs combined for a four-round total of 16-under, distancing themselves from second-place Oregon, which finshed 2-over. Low team scores mean top-notch individual performances in golf, which is what the hundreds of spectators saw at the Seattle Golf Club by the Huskies, but none more exceptional than Darren Wallace. The Washington junior earned medalist honors by a four-stroke lead, and was the only player to card all four rounds at par or better, shooting an 11-under, 277 (70-72-65-70).
'It feels great,' Wallace said. 'We worked so hard for this all year; I've been working hard myself trying to reach my goals and this was one of them. It's great.'
Wallace etched his name in UW history alongside Erik Olson (2005) and Clint Names (1961) who won the individual title along with the team. Wallace is the fourth Husky to win the Pac-10 individual championship -- O.D. Vincent also won the title in 1988.
With the title, the Huskies earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, and will learn Monday at which of the six sites they will play May 14-16. It was the fifth in program history, and the second in coach Matt Thurmond's eight-year tenure.
The Huskies look to be peaking at the right time this season, as they have won their second consecutive tournament in dominating fashion. Two weeks ago, UW blew away the competition at the U.S. Intercollegiate, a tournament hosted by Stanford and contained nine Pac-10 schools in the 17-team field, winning by 15 strokes.
'It's a really special year with a special group of guys, and I think we're going to do some great things ahead,' Thurmond said. 'It doesn't surprise me the way they've played. They keep getting better and they keep working harder. And when we need to hit the big shots they always do.'
Coming into the final round, the Huskies enjoyed an eight-stroke lead over the Ducks. Paired in twosomes with Oregon the final two days, Washington really shined, hitting shots when they needed to.
'We've got two teams ranked ahead of us - USC and Stanford - and a bunch of other good teams,' Thurmond said. 'This is the best conference in the country, for sure, and we've been holding our own. It's some impressive play.'
Finishing runner-up is junior Nick Taylor at 7-under. Taylor (76-70-67-68 281) made a charge at his teammate, shooting a combined 9-under between rounds three and four, but still came up short. But Taylor wasn't the only player to finish in the top 10, as sophomore Tze Huang Choo was eighth at 1-under. Junior Richard Lee finished in a tie for 11th place at 1-over while Chris Killmer was 24th and Jens Bracht was 38th.