Bruins Tee Off Kirakossian Era at Maui Jim Intercollegiate
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's golf team, led by new head coach Armen Kirakossian, opens its 2022-23 season on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate hosted at Mirabel Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. The three-day, 54-hole stroke play event has a course yardage of 7,118 and plays a par 70.
This will be the Bruins' first time competing at the event in its six-year history.
The 18-team field consists of nine teams that participated in the 2022 NCAA Championships, including runner-up Arizona State, Arizona, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, tournament host Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Oregon and Wake Forest.
UCLA Lineup (1-5): Pablo Ereño Perez, Omar Morales, Evan Chien, Mason Greene and Kyle An.
UCLA Individual Competitors: Alvaro Muller, Lincoln Melcher and Dylan Vizanko.
Field: Arizona State, Arizona, Auburn, Clemson, East Tennessee State, Florida State, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Louisville, New Mexico State, NC State, Oregon, San Diego State, Tennessee, UCLA, UNLV, Washington and Wake Forest.
Meet the Bruins
UCLA is led by 2021-22 Pac-12 All-Freshman Team selection Pablo Ereño Perez. Ereño Perez paced the Bruins with eight sub-70 round scores and was second on the team with 11 total under par rounds. He was the Bruins' top finisher in five events, including the final four tournament of the season. In his 28 rounds of competition, Ereño Perez posted an average score of 72.6.
Under New Leadership
Armen Kirakossian was named the sixth head coach of the UCLA men's golf program on June 13 earlier this year.
Kirakossian comes to UCLA from Arizona State University, where he spent the last five seasons, two as associate head coach and three as an assistant. He helped lead the Sun Devils to four consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2021-22 and a third-place showing in 2020-21. During Kirakossian's tenure, Arizona State produced more All-Pac-12 honorees than any other school in the conference, with 17. In 2021-22, the Sun Devils boasted a Pac-12-leading four first-team selections, the most by an ASU team since 1993-94.
Following the 2018-19 season, Kirakossian was named a Strickland Award Winner, as the top assistant coach in the country. He has coached three consecutive Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year award -winners from 2019-22 in Cameron Sisk (2019), David Puig (2021) and Preston Summerhays (2022), and a total of 11 All-Americans at Arizona State. Under Kirakossian and Head Coach Matt Thurmond, the Sun Devils ranked in the Top 10 in the final Golfweek Rankings in each of the last four seasons. In addition, Arizona State has won 15 team tournaments and 15 individual titles over the last five seasons.
History at Mirabel Golf Club
Kirakossian was on the coaching staff at Arizona State when the Sun Devils last competed at Mirabel Golf Club in 2019, resulting in a victory. Arizona State finished the tournament at 38-under 802 through three rounds (262-271-269).