M Golf to Compete in ASU Thunderbird Invitational

March 31, 2010

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona men’s golf team will head up I-10 for its third consecutive tournament in the state of Arizona. The Wildcats conclude their regular-season schedule in the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, April 2 and 3.


The Course: ASU's Karsten Golf Course (par-71, 7,057 yards) in Tempe, Ariz.


The Field: All ten Pac-10 teams will compete in the event, as it is the site for Pac-10 Championship, held later in the month. The field includes event two-time defending-champion ASU, Arizona, BYU, California, Colorado State, UC Irvine, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State, Stanford, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Washington and Washington State.


Projected Lineup:

                                                                                           Top       Low                

                           Events Rounds Avg. 10/20 Round < Par   

Tarquin MacManus          11              30            71.77    3/2       66             16

Rich Saferian                      10              27            72.89    2/2       66              13

Jonathan Khan                  10              27            72.70     2/3       67             11

Trent Redfern                     6               12            75.25     0/0        72             0         

Philip Bagdade                   10             23             73.61     0/2       68              9

Juan Pablo Hernandez*    5               11             74.27     1/0       69              4         

Stefan Cox*                        7               18              73.94    0/1       68               5

* competing as an individual


Lineup Shuffle: Arizona has used seven different lineups in its ten events, and will use the lineup above for the second straight event. Freshman Trent Redfern is making his third appearance in the lineup and is the only freshman to have been apart of the Wildcats’ lineup. Though Redfern carries a 75.25 stroke average, 11th best on the team, the freshman impressed in his last appearance, going 3-1 at the Callaway Match Play Championship. After being absent from the Arizona lineup in the first three events this season, Philip Bagdade is making his seventh consecutive varsity appearance. Tarquin MacManus, Rich Saferian and Jonathan Khan have played in each of Arizona’s ten events this year.


Last Time Out: Arizona hosted its second consecutive event, the Callaway Match Play Championship, March 21-23, and was seeded 14th in the 16 team event. Arizona went 2-2, earning victories over Middle Tennessee State and Texas Tech. 15th seed New Mexico swept through the bracket, going 4-0 and winning the team championship. Prior to the match play event, the Cats hosted the NIT, and finished fourth in the tournament.


2009 ASU Thunderbird Invitational: Two Wildcats finished in the top ten as the team turned in a fifth place finish. Rich Saferian tied for third and Tarquin MacManus tied for ninth. The Sun Devils won their second straight ASU Thunderbird Invitational, winning by a staggering 18 strokes. Stephan Gross of ASU and Steve Saunders of New Mexico tied for first individually.   


Bubble Talk: Like the men’s basketball version of the NCAA tournament, golf awards automatic bids to its post season to the winners of each conference tournament, and the rest of the teams are at-large selections. There are about 60 at-large bids up for grabs. Arizona is ranked 42nd in the Golfweek/Saragin ratings, and 32nd in the Golf Week/Nike poll. The Cats seem to be in good shape, but could use solid appearances in their last two events to lock up their 21st regional appearance in the last 22 years.


The Big 3: Juniors MacManus and Khan, and senior Saferian are the clear leaders for the Cats. The three have combined for 40 rounds played at or under par; to put that in perspective, the other 15 players on the roster have combined for 34 rounds at or under par. MacManus, Khan and Saferian have combined for 14 top-20 finishes while the other 15 players have a total of six. Either MacManus, Khan or Saferian has finished in the top two on Arizona’s scorecard in 20 of the last 21 tournaments, a figure that dates back to MacManus and Khan’s freshman season. In nine of Arizona’s last eleven events, two of the three golfers have occupied both spots atop the team’s scorecard.


Ups and Downs: The spring season has been a solid one for the Cats, but an inconsistent one. After Arizona cruised to a 20 stroke victory in the Braveheart Classic, it placed dead last in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in the very next event. The Cats then put up a nice showing at the NIT, finishing fourth, before finishing in tenth at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play.


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