April 7, 2005
The 13th-ranked UCLA men's golf team travels to the 33rd Annual ASU Thunderbird Invitational this week at the Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, AZ.
Arizona State is the two-time defending champion of this event and has won five of the last six invitationals on its home course. UCLA last won the Thunderbird title in 1998 when Brandon DiTullio won medalist honors with a 54-hole score of 211 (-5).
The Sun Devils also own most of the scoring records at Karsten. Last season, ASU won with a tournament record score of 821 (-43). All-American Alejandro Canizares won medalist honors last year with a score of 16-under par 200 to set a tournament record. In 2003, the Sun Devils were 40-under par and won.
"The scoring at Karsten every year is very low," said UCLA Head Coach O. D. Vincent. "The winner this year will need to be 40-50 under par. It will be a good experience for our team.
"ASU will be tough to beat on its own course," he continued.
Representing the Bruins this week are three sophomores and two freshmen -- the same group that finished third in the rain-shortened Western Intercollegiate last week at Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz.
Freshman Daniel Im was the Bruins' top finisher at the Western, capturing second place with a 36-hole score of 140 (E). In addition to his second place finish in Santa Cruz, he won his first collegiate event at the Southern Highlands Intercollegiate Mar. 13. In his last five rounds, Im has been seven-under par and leads the team in scoring at 73.1.
Sophomore Chris Heintz is second in team scoring at 73.8 after recording three straight Top 10 finishes in March, capped by a second place tie at the Anteater Invitational.
Two other sophomores -- Peter Campbell and Joakim Renstrom -- have accounted for one victory and five Top 10 finishes this season. Campbell won the Gold Rush in September and Renstrom enjoyed a hot streak where he finished among the Top 10 in three out of four tournaments.
The Bruins' other freshman is Kevin Chappell, who tied for 12th at the Western and is averaging 74.0 in 22 rounds.