Oct. 27, 2007
The third-ranked UCLA men's golf team travels to the Callaway Golf Collegiate Match Play Championship, Oct. 28-30, to be held at the Reynolds Plantation resort Oconee Course near Greensboro, GA.
The Bruins are seeded fourth and will meet No. 13 seed Minnesota in Sunday's first round. Also in the upper half of the bracket are No. 1 seed Charlotte, winners of three straight tournaments, No. 8 Duke and No. 9 Florida.
The Bruins, who finished their first tournament of the season less than a week ago while many of the top teams had played three or four events, are eager to compete in the match play championship.
"It's exciting to be involved and compete against some of the very best teams at the Callaway Match Play Championship," said Head Coach Derek Freeman, whose Bruins won their first event in his debut as a Division I coach.
"This will be the only match play event for college golf," he continued. "It's important for these guys to get accustomed to playing against one other player and learn how to win."
UCLA will travel six of its top seven finishers from the Big Ten/Pac-10 event, all of which finished in the Top 20.
Leading the way will be senior All-American Kevin Chappell, ranked 21st nationally after capturing second place at the Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge. He leads the team in scoring average at 71.6 and fired a second round score of 67 (-5) last week. Last season, he won twice and earned GCAA 2nd Team All-America honors.
Playing in the No.2 spot will be senior Craig Leslie, whose ranking of 35th this week is a career best. He tied for third place last week with teammate Erik Flores, a GCAA 2nd Team All-American in 2006. Flores, also ranked 35th, is tied with Leslie for the team's No. 2 scoring spot at 72.0. Flores will move into the third spot for the Callaway.
Freshman Philip Francis, who tied for 13th last week, will play in the fourth position, followed by sophomore Jason Kang in the fifth spot. Kang entered the week with a scoring average of 75.3 and Francis had a 74.6 average. Junior James Lee, who tied for 13th at last week's event, is the Bruins' sixth man in the rotation.
"Reynolds Plantation will be a great test and challenge for our team," said Freeman. It's a new course for this event, so each team will have one practice round to figure out the best strategy for the course."
The Oconee Course will play to a par of 72 over 7,299 yards. Designed by Rees Jones and completed in 2002, the course has hosted several events, including the 2007 PGA Cup, the premier international event for PGA professionals.