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UCLA Tees Up at Third Annual Blessings Collegiate Invitational

Oct 1, 2022
Pablo Ereño

LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's golf team competes at the third annual Blessings Collegiate Invitational from Monday, Oct. 3 through Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
 
The 54-hole stroke play event featuring both the men's and women's programs from 11 schools will be available for viewing on Golf Channel each day from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. PT. The tournament plays a par 72 with a course yardage of 7,700.
 
UCLA finished ninth out of team teams at the event a year ago at 15-over 879, 33 strokes back of first-place Arkansas.
 
Lineup (1-5): Kyle An, Pablo Ereño, Lincoln Melcher, Omar Morales and Mason Greene.
 
UCLA's lineup is composed of four underclassmen in freshmen Kyle An and Lincoln Melcher and sophomores Pablo Ereño and Omar Morales.
 
Field: Arkansas (host), California, UCF, Clemson, Kansas, Louisville, Ole Miss, No. 17 Mississippi State, No. 10 Texas A&M, UCLA and UNLV.*
* Golfweek Poll (Sept. 30)
 
Recapping the Folds of Honor Collegiate
An recorded the first top-20 finish of his career as he tied for 19th (+4, 220) to lead the Bruins at the Folds of Honor Collegiate last Wednesday. An shot a 3-under 69 with six birdies, including three in a row on the 17th, 18th and first holes, in his second round.
 
Melcher made his collegiate debut at the tournament, securing a T-52nd result at 15-over to par.
 
Tying for 28th three strokes back of An was Ereño who shot an even-par 72 with four birdies in round two and a 2-over 74 in round three to finish seven over par for the tournament.
 
A Glance at the Bruins
Through two events, Ereño leads UCLA with a 72.2 scoring average. An holds the only top-20 finish by a Bruin this season and is tied with Green for under-par rounds with two.
 
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.