May 16, 2007
The fourth-ranked UCLA men's golf team travels to the Arizona desert for the NCAA West Regional Championship, hosted by Arizona State at the Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz., May 17-19.
The NCAA West Regional is a 54-hole stroke play event, producing team and individual champions. Karsten Golf Course will play to a par of 72 over 7,057 yards. The top 10 finishers advance to the NCAA Championship, May 30-June 3 at Golden Horseshoe Golf Course in Williamsburg, Va.
Since 2002, the Bruins have recorded four straight Top 10 regional finishes, including a pair of victories (2003 at Washington National and 2004 at Sunriver) and a tie for fourth at Stanford in 2005. Last season, as first-time East Regional participants, the Bruins placed seventh at Lake Nona Country Club in Florida.
"We're very happy with the No. 2 seed, and that we will be staying within our region and playing a course with which we are familiar," said Head Coach O. D. Vincent. "The field for the West Regional is one of the toughest with nine automatic qualifiers, eight Pac-10 teams and several teams ranked in the Top 25."
In addition to the fourth-ranked Bruins, the West features No. 2 ranked Stanford, sixth-ranked UNLV and 10th-ranked USC, which won the Pac-10 title two weeks ago. Also competing are No. 14 East Tennessee State and host Arizona State, which is ranked 18th.
The West Regional also will showcase three of the nation's top ranked individuals in USC's Jamie Lovemark, ASU's Niklas Lemke and Rhys Davies of East Tennessee State.
This season, the Bruins have won a total of five team tournaments and placed second in seven others. UCLA enters this event with four consecutive runner-up results. Overall in four-plus seasons, Vincent has guided the Bruins to 35 tournament crowns, a national leader.
Three UCLA players have won five individual tournaments this season, and two -- junior Kevin Chappell and sophomore Lucas Lee -- are playing this week. During his tenure, Vincent has coached 12 players who have won 21 individual titles, including a pair of conference and regional crowns.
"We feel confident entering this event," said Vincent. "We've had a solid season, and now it's time to build momentum for the national championship. We're ranked among the top teams in the country, and we need to play like contenders in these last two tournaments."