UCLA to host 2013 Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship

By the Pac-12 Conference

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WHAT: Pac-12 Conference Men's Golf Championship (54th Annual)

WHEN: Monday-Wednesday, April 29- May 1, 2013

HOST: UCLA will host the 72-hole Championship

COURSE: Los Angeles Country Club, Los Angeles, Calif., Par 70, 7,236 yards

WHO: Men's golf teams from all 12 institutions will compete for bragging rights at the 2013 Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship.

ADMISSION: Admission to the 2013 Pac-12 Championship is free.

MEDIA CONTACT: UCLA's Rich Bertolucci will serve as the media contact for the 2013 Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship. For media inquiries, you can contact him via email at rbertolucci@athletics.ucla.edu. Championship information, including schedules and tee times, the event program, results, news and records are available on the Pac-12's golf championship web site (http://championships.pac-12.com/mens-golf/).

PRACTICE ROUND: Teams will participate in a practice round on Sunday, April 28 beginning at 11 a.m.

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE: A complete schedule that includes team pairings and tee times is listed on page 3 of this release.

CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: At the conclusion of each round, results and photos will be posted on the Pac-12's golf championship web site (http://championships.pac-12.com/mens-golf/) and a link will also be available on the Pac-12 website to hole-by-hole live Golfstat scoring (www.golfstat.com).


UCLA will serve as host of the 54th Annual Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship at the Los Angeles Country Club, April 29-May 1. With five teams ranked among the top 11 in the nation, the field is as competitive as ever. Conference teams are rife with talent across all classes, and the Pac-12 Championship may, once again, present a wild finish.

Sophomore Michael Kim and junior Joël Stalter lead a California squad that enters the Championship on a hot streak. The defending Pac-12 Champion, Cal has won a school-record nine of 12 events in 2012-13 and holds a No.1 national billing by GolfWeek Magazine. The Bears have five individuals ranked among the top 30 in the GolfStat national rankings, led by Kim at No. 1 and Stalter at No. 8. Kim, a top contender for the Haskins Award given annually to the nation's top collegiate golfer, has finished in the top five in seven events this season and outside the top 10 just once. Stalter has turned in a trio if top-five finishes, including victories at the Arizona Intercollegiate and the John A. Burns Intercollegiate in February. Ranked 13th in the country, junior Brandon Hagy was the Bears' top finisher at the 2012 Pac-12 Championship. He shot an eight-under 280 to finish tied for fifth.

The 2012 NCAA runner up, fifth-ranked UCLA is paced by senior Pontus Widegren, the nation's seventh-ranked men's golfer. Widegren, who has shot a team-best 12 rounds under par this season, is averaging 70.62 strokes per round, 0.81 strokes under par. He has turned in four of top-five finishes in 2012-13, which includes a tournament victory at the CSU San Marcos Fall Classic in October. Senior Pedro Figueiredo placed seventh at last year's Conference tournament and is currently ranked tenth nationally. He claimed top individual honors after shooting a five-under 208 at the Prestige in February.

No. 7 Washington looks to improve upon its seventh-place finish at last year's Pac-12 Championship, and with two players ranked in the top 20 in the country, it has the pieces to contend for the Conference title. Sophomore Cheng-Tsung Pan (ranked No. 14), senior Chris Williams (No. 18) and junior Trevor Simsby lead a squad that has finished among the top three in seven of 11 tournaments this season.

Stanford, ranked No. 8 by GolfWeek, has finished among the top five in eight tournaments and claimed a victory at the U.S. Intercollegiate in March. Three Cardinal are ranked among the top 20 in the nation and none has come up bigger than sixth-ranked Patrick Rodgers this season. The sophomore has placed in the top 10 in six of nine events, winning three this season. He enters the Pac-12 Championship with a string of three straight top-10 finishes that began with a victory at the Southern Highlands Masters last month. No. 15 Cameron Wilson has logged four top-10 finishes, while defending Pac-12 individual champion Andrew Yun (No. 20) enters the week averaging 71.3 strokes per round.
Yun will attempt to become the first player to successfully defend his medalist honors since Arizona State's Paul Casey won three straight titles from 1998-2000.

USC has won a Pac-12 best 19 Conference Championships and will have the benefit of playing for number 20 in its own back yard. The Trojans field a young squad that brings plenty to the table in terms of firepower. Freshman standout Yi Keun Chang is ranked 38th by GolfStat, has finished among the top 10 in four of nine tournaments and shot a two-under 211 to win the North Ranch Intercollegiate in February. Sophomore Anthony Paolucci (No. 96) shot under par in three-consecutive tournaments earlier this season and posted top-10 finishes in each of them.

Oregon was denied its bid for a Pac-12 title when it fell to eventual champion California in a playoff last season. The upstart Ducks, led by sophomore Rak Cho, would relish a shot at redemption in 2013. They have placed among the top five in four of 11 tournaments this year, including a first-place finish at the Oregon Duck Invitational. They have placed in the top 10 in six-straight tournaments.

Meanwhile, Oregon State, which finished fifth at last year's Conference Championship, has posted five topfive finishes this year behind the play of seniors David Fink (No. 35) and Nick Chianello (No. 62). Arizona and Arizona State squared off in a number of tournaments during the regular season with mixed results. The Wildcats, paced by junior Erik Oja, have finished outside of the top 10 just once this season. Oja owns a team low 73.06 stroke average and has posted four top-10 finishes. The Sun Devils have relied on steady play from freshmen John Rahm (No. 43) and Max Rottluff en route to claiming four top-five finishes in 12 events. Colorado's Jason Burstyn, who carries a 72.2 stroke average into the Pac-12 Championships, is ranked No. 70 nationally by GolfStat. Redshirt junior Casey Halliday paces Utah with a 74.1 stroke average.

2013 marks the third time Los Angeles Country Club has hosted the Conference championship. The event was first held at LACC on May 17-18, 1963. Stanford won the team title, and USC's Kemp Richardson claimed individual medalist honors, becoming the sixth Trojan in as many seasons to do so. LACC hosted the event again in May 1983, with UCLA, led by individual co-champion Steve Pate, taking home the team title.

BEN HOGAN AWARD... Pac-12 is well represented with four players among the 10 semifinalists for the Ben Hogan Award. The most prestigious award in men's college golf, The Ben Hogan Award is presented annually to the top men's NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during the past 12-month period. The Ben Hogan Award list will be narrowed down to three finalists on Wednesday, May 8, with the winner announced Monday, May 20 prior to the start of the PGA TOUR's Crowne Plaza Invitational. The semifinalists are:

Julien Brun - So., TCU
Albin Cho i- Jr., NC State
Sean Dale - Sr., North Florida
Michael Kim - So., California
Cheng-Tsung Pan - So., Washington
Patrick Rodgers - So., Stanford
Brandon Stone - Fr., Texas
Justin Thomas - So., Alabama
Chris Williams - Sr., Washington
Bobby Wyatt - Jr., Alabama

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