April 23, 2005
The 14th-ranked UCLA men's golf team travels to the 46th Annual Pacific-10 Conference Championship, hosted by Washington State at the Walla Walla Country Club in Walla Walla, WA.
The 72-hole event takes place over three days, Apr. 25-27. A six-player, count five format will be used, and a team and individual champion will be crowned.
The Bruins enter the tournament as the 14th ranked team in the country, according to the Golf Coaches Assn. of America poll (March 31). UCLA is ranked 15th in the GolfStat poll (Apr. 19) and 16th by GolfWeek (Apr. 18).
"We're excited about reaching post-season play," said Head Coach O. D. Vincent, the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2003 with UCLA and in 1999 with Washington. "The Pac-10 Championship is a special event, not only because of the quality of the field and the history, but because of the 72-hole, six-player format."
UCLA has won four conference championships (2003, '85, '83, '82) and has produced five individual conference medalists. In addition, four former UCLA players have won Pac-10 Golfer of the Year acclaim and three coaches have earned conference coach of the year honors.
UCLA's lineup will feature one senior, three sophomores and two freshmen. From this group three players have won four individual titles in their careers, although only two players have any post-season experience: senior John Poucher and sophomore Peter Campbell. Poucher's best Pac-10 finish was last year when he tied for 14th.
"There is no clear-cut favorite going into the tournament," said Vincent, who won the Pac-10 title in 1988 as a sophomore at Washington. "We need to shoot more low scores. We've been grinding out solid 72s and hovering around par, but we need more scores under par. We can't rely on just one player. Everyone needs to contribute."
The Bruins' highest ranked player is freshman Daniel Im, ranked 46th by GolfWeek. Im won the Southern Highlands Intercollegiate last month. For the month of March, Im recorded a first and second place finish and averaged 69.8 in five rounds. He was named Pac-10 Golfer of the Month. Currently, he leads the team in stroke average at 72.7 with 28 rounds played. In his last 11 rounds, he is averaging 70.7 with five rounds under 70.
Campbell and Poucher also have won tournaments in their careers. Poucher won the 2003 Fall Preview and Campbell won the 2004 Gold Rush and the Carson Daly Invitational as a freshman.