UW Men Ready For NCAA Regional

May 18, 2010

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SEATTLE -- Thirteen teams and 10 individuals were assigned to Gold Mountain Golf Course for the NCAA Men's Golf West Regionals. The tournament will be held Thursday, May 20 through Saturday, May 22 with the top five teams and one individual not from those five teams advancing to the NCAA Championships at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tennessee from June 1-6. Only one round is scheduled per day with the tee times starting at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The No. 1 seeded University of Washington is hosting the three-day tournament in Bremerton, Wash., located on the Kitsap Peninsula about an hour outside of Seattle. Admission to the tournament is free.

Participants will play on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton Wash. It is a par-72 course that will play 7,104 yards. The Olympic Course opened in 1996 and has been named the best public course in Washington numerous times by Golfweek, Golf Digest and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Live scoring will be available daily on Golfstat.com. In addition, GoHuskies.com will have daily recaps, quotes, video interviews and blogs about the tournament. Please visit the tournament central page at: http://www.gohuskies.com/sports/m-golf/spec-rel/2010-ncaa-regional-goldm....

Head coach Matt Thurmond is going with a lineup consisting of three senior All-Americans and two freshman. The lineup is as follows: No. 1 Nick Taylor (Senior, Abbottsford, B.C.), No. 2 Richard Lee (Senior, Bellevue, Wash.), No. 3 Chris Williams (Freshman, Moscow, Idaho), No. 4 Darren Wallace (Senior, Langley, B.C.) and No. 5 Charlie Hughes (Freshman, Maple Ridge, B.C.).

Teams (Conference automatic bids in parentheses)

1. Washington (Pac-10)
2. USC
3. Illinois (Big 10)
4. Oregon State
5. San Diego
6. Colorado State (Mountain West)
7. Middle Tennessee State
8. SMU
9. New Mexico
10. Fresno State
11. Eastern Michigan
12. Virginia Commonwealth
13. Loyola-Maryland (Metro Atlantic)

1. Epsen Kostad, Denver
2. Austin Graham, UC Davis
3. Brandon Crick, Nebraska
4. Gabe Maier, Wyoming
5. Rodolfo Cazaubon, North Texas
6. Kyle Peterman, Western Illinois
7. Ben Blundell, Oklahoma
8. Kevin Tucker, Washington State
9. Nathan Sutherland, Miami (Ohio)
10. Carlos Ortiz, North Texas

Pac-10 Champs Again

For the first time in school history, Washington claimed the Pac-10 Conference Championship in back-to-back years. The Huskies had to make an improbable rally to win their sixth overall conference championship. The UW trailed Stanford by seven strokes heading into the final round came back to win by three strokes over the Cardinal. A par-saving 40-foot putt by Richard Lee secured the win for the Huskies. Lee finished third overall and shot a 14-under 270, the best four-round score ever by a Husky. Overall, Washington has won conferenence tournament titles in 2010, 2009, 2005, 1988, 1963 and 1961.

Taylor A Ben Hogan Finalist
Immediately following the NCAA West Regional at Gold Mountain, Nick Taylor and UW head coach Matt Thurmond will hop a flight to Dallas for the Ben Hogan Award ceremony at Colonial Country Club. Taylor joins Alabama's Bud Cauley and Georgia's Russell Henley as one of three finalists for the award. No Husky has ever won the 'Heisman Trophy of Golf,' but two golfers from the state of Washington -- Ryan Moore (UNLV) and Kyle Stanley (Clemson) -- have won the award previously.

Pac-10 Dominance
Making the Huskies Pac-10 Championship all the more impressive was the fact that the conference was arguably the toughest in the nation. Washington was one of four conference squads -- joining UCLA, Oregon and Stanford -- that earned a No. 1 seed in one of the six NCAA Regionals. Further validating the conference's strength were the No. 2 seeds earned by Arizona State and USC.

Husky Honors
Washington was well-represented in the Pac-10 post-season honors announced after the conference championships. Nick Taylor was named the Pac-10 Co-Golfer of the Year, this first time a UW golfer has won the award twice, let alone once. Chris Williams also achieved another UW first by sharing Freshman of the Year honors. In addition, Williams was Second Team All-Pac-10, as was senior Richard Lee.

Senior Power
Washington boasts four seniors -- three which are in the NCAA lineup -- that have left an indelible mark on the UW program. Nick Taylor is a first-team PING All-American to go along with numerous amateur golf honors and Richard Lee and Darren Wallace each were third-team All-Americans as juniors. Wallace won the 2009 Pac-10 Championship.

Don't Call It A Comeback
The Huskies staged two of their better comebacks in recent years to win tournaments this season -- ironically both coming at ASU's Karsten Golf Course where the Huskies historically play poorly. On April 3, the Huskies entered the final round of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in seventh out of 16 teams and 16 strokes off the lead. But, behind a 16-under par 268 in the final round and four golfers shooting rounds in the 60s, the Huskies were able to comeback and win the tournament by two strokes. The other amazing comeback was in the Pac-10 Championships, which is chronicled in a previous note.

Huskies In The NCAA's
The Huskies have appeared in NCAA Regionals in all of Matt Thurmond's nine seasons at the team's helm. They have advanced to the NCAA Championships in all but one of his seasons and in nine of the last 10 years overall. UW was a No. 1 seed in 2009, the school's first top seed, and finished fifth after stroke play action at the Championships. They ended up fifth after dropping a 3-2 decision in match play to Arkansas.

Freshman Sensation
Chris Williams is having arguably the finest season ever by a UW freshman. He is second on the team with a 71.28 stroke average and is the only Husky golfer to win a tournament this season, taking home medalist honors in the Battle at the Beach & ASU Thunderbird Invitational. William's two wins are the most by a UW freshman in school history. Also, his 71.28 stroke average would rank as the fourth or fifth best in team history and best-ever by a freshman. His third round 8-under 63 equals the best third round score in a tournment.

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