Sept. 18, 2003
The UCLA men's golf team travels to the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational at the Inverness Club as the nation's second-ranked team featuring a lineup of three returning All-Americans.
In the GolfWeek preseason rankings, the Bruins were rated No.2 behind defending NCAA champion Clemson.
Head Coach O.D. Vincent welcomes senior All-Americans Steve Conway, John Merrick and Travis Johnson. A fourth senior, Roy Moon, also returns as the reigning Southern California Amateur champion, along with two-year letterman John Poucher in the No. 5 spot.
"We have very high expectations this year," said Vincent, who guided the Bruins last year to a nation-leading seven tournament victories and a third place NCAA finish. "Our main challenge will be to keep our seniors focused, excited and motivated throughout the season."
Conway earned Second-Team GCAA All-America honors last season after winning a pair of tournaments and leading the Bruins in every statistical category, including scoring average. Merrick became the Bruins' fifth Pac-10 Conference medallist when he won individual honors by 10 shots and led the Bruins to the 2003 Pac-10 title. Johnson, who tied for 19th place as UCLA's top NCAA finisher, also earned GCAA Academic All-America honors. Moon won the 104th Southern California Amateur title in June to become UCLA's second champion of that event in three years. Poucher, who has 48 rounds of collegiate experience, enjoyed a productive summer that included three Top 10 finishes and participation in the U.S. Amateur.
"We're very excited about this year's team," continued Vincent. "In addition to our core of players we have some good depth." Third year sophomore Breene Murphy returns after redshirting the 2002-03 season.
Murphy, who boasts 28 rounds of collegiate experience, tied for 17th at the SoCal Amateur.
Vincent also added three newcomers in Peter Campbell, Chris Heintz and Yoakim Renström of Taby, Sweden. Campbell over the summer recorded two Top 20 finishes after earning AJGA All-America honors. Heintz recorded three Top 10 finishes during the summer and qualified for the U.S. Jr. Amateur. Renström, a veteran of the Swedish National Team program, enjoyed consistent success in his native country.
The Inverness Invitational features 15 teams, highlighted by the No.2 ranked Bruins and No. 9 Augusta State. The Inverness Club has hosted five professional major championships since 1920, including four U.S. Opens. The Bruins last played in this event in 2000 and finished sixth.
From Inverness, the Bruins will travel directly to the Ping/GolfWeek Fall Preview at the Cascades Golf Course at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA. The 15-team field features all 10 of the nation's top ranked teams in GolfWeek's preseason rankings. The event serves as a preview to the 2004 NCAA Championships to be hosted by Virginia Tech at the same venue.