2010 Men's Golf Season-In-Review

June 8, 2010

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In the Clubhouse: Arizona closed the 2009-10 campaign with an appearance in the NCAA Southwest Regional, marking the program's 21st regional berth in the 22 years since the format was introduced in 1989 ... In 12 stroke play events, the Wildcats posted four top-five finishes, including a win at the Braveheart Classic on March 2 ... Two UA players claimed individual medalist honors in 2009-10: Rich Saferian at the Arizona Invitational on Feb. 2 and Tarquin MacManus at the aforementioned Braveheart Classic ... MacManus was an honorable mention all-Pac-10 selection by the league's head coaches.

The Rankings: The Wildcats are ranked 40th in the final (June 8) Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, and were receiving votes in the most recent (May 19) Golf World/Nike Coaches Poll. Individually, junior Tarquin MacManus was the top-ranked Wildcat nationally, checking in at No. 78 on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Rich Saferian was next at No. 205.

The Arizona Lineup:Golfer, Yr., Avg., Top 10/20, Low Rd., RoundsTarquin MacManus, Jr., 71.65, 4/3, 66, 40Rich Saferian, Sr., 72.68, 2/2, 66, 37Jonathan Khan, Jr., 72.89, 2/4, 67, 37Philip Bagdade, So., 73.52, 0/3, 66, 33Trent Redfern, Fr., 75.22, 0/0, 71, 23

Head Coach Rick LaRose . . . completed his 32nd season at the helm of the Arizona golf program, and in that span has established the Wildcats as one of the nation's elite programs. The only college coach to win both a men's (1992) and women's (1996) NCAA Championship, LaRose's teams have won a combined nine NCAA Regionals, six Pac-10 crowns and three Rolex Match Play titles. In NCAA Championship play, he also has six third-place finishes, two fifth-place and two sixth-place efforts to his credit. Since 1978, his men's teams have won 60 tournaments and produced 47 All-Americans. LaRose, who has coached two U.S. Amateur champions, was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame on Jan. 22, 2003, and the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame on Nov. 23, 2009. He is assisted by Andy Barnes and volunteer Justin Silverstein.

Last Time Out: Arizona finished in a tie for 10th place at the 2010 NCAA Southwest Regional in Santee, Calif. Arizona posted a third-round total of 304 (+16) to finish the 54-hole event with a 908 (+44) tally a share of 10th place with Missouri. UA collected two rounds at par or better in the final round, but couldn't gather the necessary momentum from the bottom of the lineup to move up higher than 10th place. Oregon won the event with a six-over par 870 total, 10 strokes ahead of Augusta State. California, Tennessee and UNLV each tied for third place at 886 (+22) to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Individually, CSU-Northridge's Nick Delio captured individual medalist honors with a three-under 213 total. As was the case the entire event, Arizona was led by junior Tarquin MacManus. The Cairns, Queensland, Australia, native shot a two-under 70 and ended in a in a tie for fifth place at even-par 216. He improved his standing in each round of play and collected his fourth top-10 finish of the season. MacManus missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships by three strokes. Senior Rich Saferian tied for 21st place at seven-over 223, courtesy of an even-par 72 Saturday. He moved 21 places up the leader board over the final 18 holes. The 2010 NCAA Southwest Regional was contested at Carlton Oaks Golf Club, a par-72, 7,360-yard layout.

NCAA Postseason History: By earning a place in the 2010 NCAA Southwest Regional, Arizona collected its 27th NCAA postseason appearance in program history. Since the NCAA regional format was introduced in 1989, Arizona has had a presence in all 22 regionals. Twenty-one times in that span UA has participated as team, while individual Tarquin MacManus represented the Cats in 2008, the only time during the run that Arizona did not qualify as a team. The Wildcats have 26 NCAA Men's Golf Championship appearances in its history (tied for 20th in NCAA history), but 2010 marked the first time that the team had failed to qualify when participating in a regional.

Championship Qualifications: Since Rick La Rose led Arizona to his first of 22 NCAA Championship appearances in 1987, the Wildcats have been as good as anyone when it comes to competing for the national championship. In fact, Arizona is one of just four teams nationally to appear in 22 or more national championship events in that span. Here is the list of schools with 20 or more appearances: 1.) Oklahoma State, 24; 2.) Arizona State and Florida, 23; 4.) Arizona, 22; 5.) Clemson and Georgia Tech, 21; 7.) Texas, 20. Additionally, five of the seven schools on the list have won national championships since 1987 (Georgia Tech/Texas).

All-Conference: One UA men's golfer received all-Pac-10 honors in voting done by the conference's head coaches, the league announced May 3. Tarquin MacManus was an honorable mention pick, marking the third consecutive season that he has been recognized. The junior was a second-team all-conference selection in 2008 and 2009.

All-Academic: Three Arizona golfers earned a spot on the Pac-10 Conference's all-Academic squad, as Philip Bagdade, John Kostis and Kenji Hernandez were honored. Bagdade and Kostis were first-team picks, while Hernandez was a second-team honoree. To be eligible for selection to the Pac-10 all-Academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average and be either a starter orsignificant contributor. It marks the 10th straight year in which a Cat has been named to the all-Academic team, and the three honorees in 2010 equals a high for the program since 1990.

A Top-10 Guy: After carding rounds of 75, 71, 70 en route to an even-par 216 and a tie for fifth place at the NCAA Southwest Regional, Tarquin MacManus collected his fourth top-10 finish of the season, a figure that led the team. In fact the junior has led the club in that statistical category in each of his seasons in Tucson. Over the last three seasons, MacManus has earned a total of 12 top-10 finishes, including two victories and a runner-up placing.

Good Under Pressure: Tarquin MacManus has certainly proven himself to be a stellar golfer when it matters most. A year after winning the 2009 NCAA Southeast Regional with a 15-under par 198 - the lowest aggregate total for a UA golfer in NCAA regional action - the junior from Cairns, Queensland, Australia, posted a 216 (E) and finished in a tie for fifth place. That first-/fifth-place finishes in consecutive NCAA regionals is the third-best, back-to-back placing in Arizona history. Only Ricky Barnes, who won in 2002 and finished third in 2003, and Chris Nallen, who finished fourth in 2003 and won in 2004, topped MacManus' efforts in the last two regionals. In three career NCAA regional appearances, MacManus carries a 71.44 scoring average.

Atop the Leaderboard: Arizona is no stranger to the top of the leader board, both as a team and individually. The Wildcats claimed the Braveheart Classic, March 2, by 20 strokes with an 858 (-6) total. It was the 69th win in UA history and the first since October 2007. The 20 stroke separation was the largest margin of victory for UA since Feb. 21, 1992, when the Cats won the John Burns Intercollegiate by 21 strokes. Individually, two Cats claimed medalist honors this year, the 65th and 66th wins for the program. Rich Saferian won the Arizona Invitational, Feb. 2, with a 13-under par 200 total, while Tarquin MacManus won the Braveheart Classic with a six-under 210 tally.

Seeking Stability: Only three Wildcats - Tarquin MacManus, Rich Saferian and Jonathan Khan, managed to appear in all 12 varsity stroke play events with sophomore Philip Bagdade appearing in the last nine consecutive. Additionally, Arizona used the same lineup in the first four events of the spring, but has switched things up in the last four appearances, including the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championships. All told, Arizona used a total of eight different lineups in 2009-10.

Up and Down: A quick look at the statistics shows that Arizona is clearly a second round club. In its 12 stroke play events, the Wildcats' lowest scoring round is the second, with an adjusted average of 286.76. The Cats open play with an average of 289.24 in round one and post a third-round average of 291.00. Not surprisingly, Arizona low round of any tournament was registered in the second round eight times, while it's high round appeared in the third five times.

Statistically Speaking: When it comes to counting towards the team total, Rich Saferian and Jonathan Khan led the Wildcats, as both tallied a 94.6 percentage (35 of 37 rounds played). Tarquin MacManus was also above 90 percent (91.9%/ 34 of 37), while John Kostis (83.3%/10 of 12) and Philip Bagdade (78.6%/22 of 28) rounded out the top five.

Red Numbers: Five times in 2009-10 Arizona finished a tournament under par: one-under 863 at the Wolf Pack Classic in October, 28-under 824 at the Arizona Invitational and 10-under 854 at the John Burns Intercollegiate in February, six-under 858 at the Braveheart Classic in March, and six-under 846 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in April. All told, the Cats registered 16 under-par rounds as a team in 11 stroke play events with the lowest single round, 271 (-13), occurring Feb. 1 at the Arizona Invitational.

Lead the Way: Junior Tarquin MacManus led the team with a 71.65 stroke average, top-10 finishes (4), rounds in the 60s (11), rounds at par or better (23) and rounds played (40). The Cairns, Queensland, Australia, native was UA's top finisher in seven of 12 stroke play appearances, including a win and six additional finishes in the top-20. His seven-under 2206 tally at the Arizona Invitational earned him a fifth-place finish, while that seven-under total was his lowest tournament of the season.

Proving His Worth: Senior Rich Saferian provided a nice boost this season, collecting four top-20 finishes in 13 starts to go with a 72.68 stroke average, which ranks second on the club and is the lowest of his career. His best effort was a victory Feb. 2 at the Arizona Invitational, in which he posted a 68-66-66=200 (-13) for the first win at Arizona. He also won the U.S. Open local qualifier on May 10 at Tucson Country Club with a 67.

The Fulcrum: Junior Jonathan Khan has been a remarkably consistent player for the Cats this season, playing in all 13 varsity events, ranking third on the team with a career-low 72.89 scoring average, and sharing the team lead with 35 of 37 rounds counting towards the team total. But more often than not, UA's successes were pinned on the play of the Tucson, Ariz., native. It's no coincidence that Khan's low seven tournaments of the year were the also Arizona's low tournaments as a team.

Getting Better: Philip Bagdade continue to show progress on the golf course, as the sophomore from Eugene, Ore., posted a 73.52 scoring average (0.86 lower than 2008-09), three top-20 finishes, 13 rounds at par or better and four rounds in the 60s.

Up Next: The Arizona coaching staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent. Tye Beall from El Paso, Texas, Ben Esparza from Tucson, Ariz., and Erik Oja from Sandviken, Sweden, will join the program in the Fall of 2010.

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