May 18, 2005
The 14th-ranked UCLA men's golf team travels to the NCAA West Regionals, May 19-21, at the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, CA.
The Stanford Golf Course will play to a par of 71 over 6,742 yards. The NCAA West Regional is a 54-hole stroke play event over three days. The top 10 teams from the three regions advance to the NCAA Championship, June 1-4, at Caves Valley near Baltimore, MD. Loyola University of Maryland will serve as the host institution.
"This is what we work for all year," said Head Coach O.D. Vincent. "We are excited and prepared to play in the regional championship. We've had two great weeks of practice.
"We are comfortable and familiar with the course," Vincent continued. "As the two-time defending champions of this event, we feel we have a good chance of winning it."
In the history of the regional format (since 1993), the Bruins have qualified for the NCAA Championship Tournament six times, and boast consecutive West Regional titles in 2003 and '04. Last season, Travis Johnson became UCLA's first regional individual medalist.
In their last event, the Bruins finished fourth at the Pac-10 Tournament, Apr. 25-27 at Walla Walla CC. The Bruins' score of 1,432 (six-count-five format) was 12-over par. The Bruins trailed first place Arizona State by three shots entering the final round before inclement weather elevated scores in the afternoon rounds.
One senior, two sophomores and a pair of freshman will represent UCLA at the regional championship.
Senior John Poucher tied for 14th place at the Pac-10 Championship, and this season is tied for the team lead with five Top 20 finishes. Poucher boasts 12 rounds of regional experience.
Sophomores Chris Heintz and Joakim Renstrom are making their first appearances at the regional tournament. Renstrom leads the team in rounds under par with 10 and is tied for the team lead in rounds under 70 with five. Heintz boasts three Top 10 finishes and five in the Top 20.
Freshmen Daniel Im and Kevin Chappell also will be making their first regional appearances. Im is UCLA's highest ranked player at No. 56 (GolfWeek, 5/8). He also won the Southern Highlands Collegiate in March against an impressive field. Chappell enjoyed his best outing at the conference championship, tying for seventh place. He leads the team in percentage of counters at 94%.