Sept. 29, 2003
The third-ranked UCLA men's golf team, which has won its first two tournaments of the season, will prepare to play in the Opus Northwest Husky Invitational at Gold Mountain Golf Complex in Bremerton, WA, Sept. 29-30. The 54-hole tournament will take place on the par-72, 7,035-yard Olympic Course.
"Obviously winning the first two tournaments of the year are the best results we can expect," said Head Coach O.D. Vincent. "We feel very fortunate to have won those events, but we feel we can play better."
The Bruins won the Inverness Invitational by 10 shots and the Fall Preview by one shot. In both events they played 54 holes in excess of par.
The Husky Invitational format calls for a six-player team, counting the best five scores. UCLA will field a team of three senior All-Americans, a junior, a sophomore and a true freshman.
Bruin seniors Steve Conway, Travis Johnson and John Merrick each earned All-America honors last season. This season they are on track to repeat those honors. Merrick won the Bruins' opening tournament at the Inverness Club, and Conway tied for eighth. Johnson tied for third at the Fall Preview.
Junior John Poucher won the Fall Preview, his first collegiate title.
"We're very excited for John (Poucher)," said Vincent. "In our last 10 tournaments we've won eight times and produced five individual champions. No team can match that recent record."
The last time a UCLA team won its first two tournaments to open the season was 1984 when the Bruins won the Americana Classic and the Tucker Invitational. That team was led by Player of the Year Duffy Waldorf. This is the first UCLA squad to produce two individual champions in its first two events.
Also competing for the Bruins will be third year sophomore Breene Murphy, who has not played since the 2002 season. Murphy tied for 17th at the SCGA Amateur in June. True freshman Chris Heintz will make his first appearance in a UCLA uniform at the Husky event. Heintz tied for fourth at the Spokane Junior Classic in the spring.
Washington won the Husky Invitational in 2001, the last year the event was staged. Also competing in the field will be California, Fresno State, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State, Washington State and Tohoku Fukushi of Japan, winners of the Topy Cup.