UW, Woolsey Win Pac-12 Men's Golf Championships
SAMMAMISH, Wash. – The 2022 Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship came down to the very last strokes Wednesday at Aldarra Golf Club and, after a day of sparring on both the team and individual leaderboards, Washington came out on top on both.
The No. 8-ranked Huskies held off No. 17 Stanford and No. 4 Arizona State to win the program's seventh conference crown, while UW senior Noah Woolsey, who began the day in second place, won medalist honors by one stroke, finishing the 72-hole tournament at 8-under par, having shot a 1-over 72 on Wednesday. Stanford's Barclay Brown finished one stroke back at 7-under.
Washington's team total was 1,422 strokes, two strokes over par and, despite having shot a 7-over team total on Wednesday, the Huskies bested Stanford (5-over 1,425) by three strokes. ASU finished third, at 10-over 1,430.
Woolsey was 2-over through his first eight holes before making his first birdie on No. 9. He also made back-to-back birdies on the par-5 11th and 12th holes, but then made a double bogey on 17, narrowing the gap between him and Brown – who began the day as the leader – to just one stroke.
On the par-4 18th, Woolsey's tee shot ended up the rough, but his second shot landed on the green within 10 feet of the hole. His birdie putt missed by mere inches, but he tapped in for par two win the tournament and set off a celebration with his teammates, who were watching from the fringe.
"It was spectacular," said UW head coach Alan Murray, regarding Woolsey's second shot on No. 18. "It was about seven or eight feet away -- an awesome golf shot under intense pressure with only a one-shot lead. Noah's a quality player and a quality kid, and he's been showing up whenever we need him throughout all his time here. The whole team is happy for him. He's absolutely earned it."
"I was pretty nervous and I didn't hit any really good shots," Woolsey admitted, referring to his first eight holes. "That freaked me out because I wasn't comfortable at all, but I made some really good up-and-downs and some good putts. Once I got to 10, I started to feel more comfortable."
UW sophomore Teddy Lin was the next-best finisher for the Huskies, tying for 10th place with a 2-over 286. Petr Hruby and Bo Peng both tied for 22nd place, with scores of 5-over 289. Taehoon Song tied for 24th at 6-over and RJ Manke tied for 28th at 8-over.
Washington entered the final round with a seven-stroke lead over Arizona State, but early on, that lead evaporated and the Devils caught up. However, in the latter stages of the front nine, the Huskies found their stride as the six golfers combined to make nine birdies over holes No. 7, 8 and 9.
That run of good play seemingly broke the dam as the Huskies' lead continued to grow with the three contending teams playing the back nine. Stanford and ASU traded places more than once in second and third, but the gap began to widen between the Huskies and the rest of the field.
"The lead was like the tide," said Murray. "It kept going out and it kept coming back in. When all the cards were signed, we were leading, and that's the best time to lead. The guys really were clutch and played some phenomenal golf down the stretch -- all of them."
UW had gone 12 years since its last conference crown, having won back-to-back Pac-10 titles in 2009 and 2010, while tying for the championship in 2005. The Huskies also won conference titles in 1961, 1963 and 1988.
The last UW men's golfer to win medalist at conference championships was Darren Wallace, in 2009. Woolsey is the fifth Husky to win the Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship.
On Wednesday, May 4, the NCAA will announce the field for 2022 NCAA Men's Golf Championships on the Golf Channel at 1:00 p.m. PT. NCAA Regionals will be played at six different sites May 15-18.