April 27, 2008
The third-ranked UCLA men's golf team returns to the Bay Area this week for the 49th Pacific-10 Men's Golf Championship, hosted by California at The Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif.
Designed by Alister MacKenzie (Augusta National, Cypress Point, Pasatiempo), The Meadow Club will play to a par of 71 over 6,656 yards. The format is 72 holes of stroke play over three days.
In their Pac-10 history, the Bruins have won five team titles and produced six individual champions. They captured their last conference team title in 2006, the same year sophomore Daniel Im became the sixth UCLA medalist. USC is the defending conference champion after capturing the title at Oregon last season.
In the Apr. 23 GolfWorld Coaches poll, four Pac-10 teams were ranked in the top 25: USC and UCLA were tied for third, Stanford, the defending NCAA champion, was ranked 10th and Arizona State was 19th. In addition, Cal and Arizona were also among the Top 40 teams.
Two UCLA golfers -- senior Kevin Chappell and junior Erik Flores enter the conference championship ranked among the nation's Top 20 players. Both are averaging below 72.0 and each is searching for his first conference title.
The Bruins' lineup of two seniors, two juniors a sophomore and a freshman has logged a total of 538 collegiate rounds and accounted for 11 career tournament titles. In Pac-10 Tournament competition, this group boasts 36 career rounds.
"This is an experienced group representing UCLA at the conference championship," said Head Coach Derek Freeman. "Our team knows how to be patient, limit mistakes and win golf tournaments. In a 72-hole tournament, experience and depth play big factors in determining the winner."
Freeman has guided the Bruins to four tournament victories this season, including the Collegiate Match Play Championship in October. Most recently, the Bruins won the Administaff Augusta State Invitational with a 24-under par total.
This year, four players -- Chappell, Flores, Lucas Lee and James Lee -- have won individual medalist honors. James Lee and Flores won for the first time. Chappell won his fourth career title at the PING/Arizona Invitational in January and Lucas Lee won his fifth crown at the Augusta State event.