Feb. 1, 2011
Los Angeles -
The No.1 (GolfWeek)/No.2 (GolfStat) ranked UCLA men's golf team will begin its spring season on Wednesday, February 2nd, at the 21st annual Amer Ari Invitational at Waikola Kings Golf Course in Kohala Coast, HI.
There will be 20 teams competing in the 54-hole tournament, including five of the top ten teams in the country (UCLA, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Texas, and Stanford). Fans at home can follow live scoring at GolfStat.com.
UCLA head coach Derek Freeman enters his fourth season at the helm of the program and may have his most talented team yet. The Bruins are ranked 1st in the GolfWeek/Sagarin Rankings and 2nd in the GolfStat rankings. Freeman won UCLA's second national title in men's golf back in 2008 and certainly seems primed to make another run at the championship with this group.
"We are looking forward to beginning the spring season," Freeman says. "It was a very good offseason for the team and the players are excited about the competition. If we manage what we have control over, the results will take care of themselves. This is a very exciting team that loves to compete."
The Bruins had a very successful fall campaign, headlined by their first place finish at the Gifford Collegiate Championship at CordeValle Golf Resort in Gilroy, CA. They also recorded two second place finishes at the NCAA Preview in Stillwater, OK and the U.S. Collegiate Championship in Atlanta, GA.
Heading into the spring, UCLA boasts 4 of the top 25 individual players in the country. Leading the group is talented freshman Patrick Cantlay, who is ranked number four in the country according to GolfWeek. Cantlay had an astounding 71.7 scoring average during the fall season and won the individual title at the Gifford Collegiate Championship to go with the UCLA's team title. Right behind him is junior Gregor Main, who is ranked 12th and recorded two top-20 finishes back in the fall as well. Cantlay and Main also participated in a practice for the Walker Cup with 14 other top collegiate golfers from around the country.
Sophomores Pontus Widegren, ranked 16th, and Mario Clemens, ranked 25th, also had good fall campaigns and will look to continue their success in the spring. Clemens won the individual crown at the Cal Poly Invitational at Monarch Dunes in October and currently leads the team in scoring average at 71.0. Widegren earned his first victory as a college athlete at the NCAA Preview and added three top-20 finishes for the Bruins as well. Freshman Anton Arboleda will join the four aforementioned golfers in Hawaii to round out UCLA's squad for the tournament.
For UCLA's complete 2011 schedule, click here.