No. 3 UCLA Heads to Riviera Country Club for NCAA Championship
May 25, 2012
This Week -- The third-ranked UCLA men's golf team will compete at the NCAA Championships next week at beautiful Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. from May 29-June 3.
Live Coverage -- Live scoring will be provided on ncaa.com, featuring team and individual results, as well as tee times, course statistics and player scorecards.
Bruins in the National Rankings -- UCLA is ranked fifth nationally by GolfStat (5/23), third by GolfWeek (5/19) and tied for fourth in the final coaches poll (4/12).
Scouting the NCAA Championship -- In 2008, the Bruins won the NCAA Championship and senior Kevin Chappell won the individual title. That season was Coach Derek Freeman's first and it marked the Bruins' second NCAA team title in men's golf. Chappell's victory represented UCLA's first individual title, and he was the only player to finish under par after 72 holes at Oklahoma State's Karsten Creek Course. Under Freeman, the Bruins have recorded a pair of Top Five results: 1st in 2008 and T5 last season. In 2011, the Bruins finished first in the stroke play competition, but were upset by eighth-seeded Duke in the first round of match play. Individually, Patrick Cantlay, then a freshman, finished second in the stroke play competition at four-under par 212, one-stroke behind LSU's John Peterson. UCLA won its first title in 1988 at North Ranch CC in Westlake Village, Calif., and USC also served as the host school. In that championship, the Bruins made up 13 shots in the final round and won by three shots over Texas El Paso.
The Bruins' 2012 Season -- In 2012, the Bruins have won two tournaments in 12 varsity appearances: the U.S. Collegiate Championships in Georgia and the Del Walker Collegiate Match Play Championships in Long Beach. They have finished no worse than fifth in any tournament, including a pair of runnerup results and four third place finishes. Two UCLA players have won events participating as individuals: junior Pedro Figueiredo won the Firestone Grill Cal Poly Invitational at Monarch Dunes and junior Mario Clemens won the Snowman Getaway at Palm Valley (AZ). For Clemens, it was his second collegiate victory and for Figueiredo, it was his first.
Players in the National Rankings -- Five UCLA players are ranked in the GolfWeek Top 100 and three are in the GolfStat Top 100. Here are the latest GW (5/19) and GS (5/22) rankings for the Bruins' top seven players: sophomore Anton Arboleda (62/85), sophomore Patrick Cantlay (16/20), junior Mario Clemens (58/T-102), junior Pedro Figueiredo (19/15), freshman Jay Hwang (134/181), senior Alex Shi Yup Kim (61/87) and junior Pontus Widegren (82/128). Cantlay is ranked No.1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and No.1 in the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings.
Head Coach Derek Freeman -- In nearly five full seasons, Derek Freeman has guided UCLA to the 2008 NCAA team title, two NCAA Regional championships (2009 and '11) and 14 team tournament titles. The 2011 Pac-10 Coach of the Year has mentored two Fred Haskins Award winners, two Jack Nicklaus Award winners and two Pac-10 Players of the Year in Kevin Chappell and Patrick Cantlay. He has also tutored two Pac-10 Newcomers of the Year in Gregor Main and Cantlay. On May 21 Cantlay also won the 2012 Hogan Award, a first in UCLA history. Overall, Freeman has coached six different GCAA All-Americans and eight different all-conference players at UCLA. Finally, he has continued UCLA's school-record of 10 straight NCAA Championship berths.
The NCAA Championship -- The 2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championship format features 54-holes of stroke play and three rounds of match play. This is the fourth year of stroke and match play format; Texas A & M won the first NCAA title featuring this format in 2009, and Augusta State won the 2010 and '11 titles. The top eight teams following the stroke play competition will advance to match play beginning on June 1. Riviera CC will play to a par of 71 thorughout the championship. The yardage during stroke play will be 7,292, and during match play it will lengthen to 7,363.
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