The UCLA men’s golf program will begin the 2013-14 season ranked sixth in the preseason coaches poll, GolfWorld Magazine announced this week.
The Top 5 teams were: Alabama, California, Texas, Georgia Tech and Washington.
In 2012-13, Coach Derek Freeman returns eight lettermen, including three players who competed in the NCAA postseason. In total, the 10 returning players boast two victories and 238 rounds of collegiate experience.
Senior Anton Arboleda and sophomore Jonathan Garrick are among GolfWorld’s 50 players to watch in 2013-14. Arboleda, who played in the 2013 U.S. Amateur Publinks Championship, averaged 72.1 in 31 rounds as a junior while earning All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention acclaim. Garrick, also an all-conference honorable mention selection, recorded a pair of Top 5 results in the postseason as a freshman. He posted a season scoring average of 71.5.
The third returning starter is redshirt junior Manav Shah, who led the team with 37 rounds played in 2012-13, and recorded a scoring average of 72.3. He was named Second-Team All-Pac-12.
Eight players, including incoming freshman Alex Angard, will battle for the remaining two spots in the lineup. They include juniors Jay Hwang (28 rounds, 72.4 avg.) and Matt Pinizzotto (27 rounds, 73.2 avg.) and sophomore Lorens Chan (27 rounds, 72.2 avg.). Also vying for more tournament experience will be junior Preston Valder (18 rounds, 74.5 avg.) and sophomores Jake Knapp (15 rounds, 72.2 avg., one victory), Reilly McMahon (15 rounds, 76.4 avg.) and Aaron Kunitomo (nine rounds, 77.1 avg.).