'Cats fall off the tee

Finding themselves in first place after two rounds of play, the Arizona men's golfers lost their steadiness as the University of Washington finished strong en route to winning the ASU Thunderbird Invitational this weekend.


The Huskies shot an almost-miraculous 16-under-par third round, seven strokes better than the next lowest round in the tournament.


Meanwhile, Arizona, who entered the final round in first, shot themselves down the leader board with an 8-over-par 292. Junior Tarquin MacManus, shot a team-worst 7-over-par, and because only the top four scores are counted toward the team score, Arizona's top golfer's score was not even a factor. 


""(The course) was a little bit harder today, but not to the extent we made it look,"" MacManus said. ""Pressure and where we were with having a chance to win could have been a bit overwhelming — I'm not sure. It was just one of those days.""


Inconsistency has been a plague for the Wildcats this season, the epitome of which was a last-place finish at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters a week after the team's only victory of the season at the Braveheart Classic.


""I don't know … I can't explain (the inconsistency),"" said Jonathan Khan, Arizona's highest individual finisher in 11th place. ""It was looking good, then we resorted back to our old ways. I'm trying to figure it out, but we're making strides — this was a tough field and we placed high.


""The only thing that really changed was that there was more pressure.""


Pressure is something that Arizona hasn't had to deal with this season, its lone victory of the season at the Braveheart Classic was by 20 strokes.


Washington, the nation's No. 6 team according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, entered the day in a tie for eighth at 3-over-par. 


San Diego State's J.J. Spaun was the tournament's individual winner, shooting an 8-under-par 205.


The Wildcats don't return to competition until the Pacific 10 Conference Championship, April 26-28 at ASU's Karsten Golf Course, the same venue that hosted the ASU Thunderbird Championship.


Khan was Arizona's lone top-20 finisher. Rich Saferian finished in 24th (even par) and Juan Pablo Hernandez finished in a tie for 42nd (3-over-par). MacManus shot himself down to 57th (6-over-par) after entering the day in the top-20.


Trent Redfern and Kenji Hernandez, both competing as individuals, finished at 45th (4-over-par) and 88th (25-over-par), respectively.


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