Feb. 10, 2008
The UCLA men's golf Blue Team travels to the Cougar Invitational hosted by Cal State San Marcos, Feb. 11-12 at San Luis Rey Downs GC in Bonsall, CA.
The Cougar Invite will be the Blue Team's first tournament of the season. Last year, the Blue Team won this tournament with a score of 893 (+29). Overall, UCLA has won this event three consecutive times.
"We're really looking forward to getting out on the golf course," said Head Coach Derek Freeman. "Some of our players have not competed since early November, and every one of them is excited about playing.
"This is an opportunity for all of our guys to get better," he continued. "We're looking for our guys to develop at every tournament and learn what it takes to become the best."
The Blue Team will field a fivesome of one senior, two juniors, a sophomore and a freshman.
Senior Brandon Christianson will be making his first start of the season. A three-year letterman, Christianson has 24 starts and 66 career rounds to his credit. In three previous appearances at the Cougar Invitational, he has placed among the Top 10 all three times.
Second team All-American Erik Flores will be making his first start with the Blue Team following a tie for 69th in his last event. Flores is averaging 73.5 with three rounds below par.
Junior James Lee has never played in this event, but tied for first in his last start -- the CordeValle Collegiate. Lee fired a seven-under par 65 in the first round at CordeValle. He claims a scoring average of 72.5. He has placed among the Top 20 in both of his starts this season.
Freshman Connor Driscoll has shown steady improvement since beginning school in October. He tied for 45th in his first collegiate event before tying for ninth place at CordeValle. His scoring average is 74.6.
Sophomore Ben Choe has battled injuries for the last 12 months and has improved during the holiday layoff, said Freeman.
The Gold Team returns to action Feb. 17-19 at the John Hayt Collegiate in Ponte Vedra, FL at Sawgrass CC. Senior Kevin Chappell is the defending champion and the Bruins tied for fourth last season.
Bruin Notes: Following his record-breaking performance at the PING event, Chappell rose from the Top 20 in the national rankings to third. At Arizona National, Chappell posted rounds of 67-67-64-198 (-15) and broke the 23-year old school record of 199 held by Duffy Waldorf, UCLA's 1985 Player of the Year. Chappell is the Bruins' highest ranked player since Waldorf.