Arizona men's golf takes ninth at Pac-12 tournament
Arizona men’s golf finished off the 2013-14 season in ninth place at the Pac-12 Championships at home.
The Pac-12 Championships were hosted by the Wildcats and held at The Gallery Golf Course in Marana, Ariz.
The tournament’s field included several top 15 teams and featured 11 of the top 50 individual players in the country.
“This is where we want to be,” senior Erik Oja said. “We want to play the best teams in the country, and we are able to do that in our conference.”
Arizona junior Alex McMahon putts the ball during the last day of the Mens Golf Pac-12 Championship Tournment on Sunday at Gallery Golf Club. The Wildcats finished ninth and McMahon tied for ninth, shooting a 292 over four rounds.
No. 3 Stanford took the team title after leading the tournament all three days of competition. The Cardinal finished two under par and with a final score of 1438. No. 10 Washington finished in second place at 13 over par and with a final score of 1453, while No. 4 California rounded out the top three 27 over par and with a total team score of 1467.
Some Wildcats said they felt that they had the advantage going into this tournament because they were able to spend a significant amount of time at The Gallery Golf Course preparing.
“We played out here 10 times, so we knew the course better than anybody,” junior Brenden Redfern said. “We definitely weren’t underprepared. We prepared more than any other team.”
Even with the extra preparation, the Wildcats were unable to take advantage and finished 63 over par and with a total team score of 1503.
Oja said the ninth place finish was a disappointment.
“We prepared for this tournament to win, and we weren’t close to doing that,” Oja said. “We didn’t have a chance of doing that going into [Sunday]. Our goal was to have the low final round, it always is. We weren’t able to execute and do that, so right now it doesn’t feel good at all.”
One of the biggest factors during the tournament was the extreme weather change that happened on Saturday. With temperatures around 60 degrees and wind reaching 45 mph, the course became extremely difficult to play. However, team members were quick to point out the weather was not an excuse for their performance.
“It makes it so much more difficult when it’s blowing wind, it’s swirling and it’s cold and rainy,” junior Alex McMahon said. “It changes the style of the tournament, but everyone had to deal with it, so we just needed to handle it better.”
The individual champion was Patrick Rodgers from Stanford, who finished seven under par and with a total score of 281. Second place went to Cheng-Tsung Pan from Washington, who finished five under par and with a total score of 283. Stanford’s Cameron Wilson completed the top three, finishing four under par with a total score of 284.
The Wildcats’ top individual finisher was McMahon, who tied for ninth place. He was followed by senior Erik Oja in 12th place. Brenden Redfern tied for 43rd place, Kolton Lapa tied for 50th place and Christian Colegrove tied for the 67th spot.
Arizona had a tough end to the season, but head coach Jim Anderson said there is a lot to look forward to.
“There’s a pretty strong chance we won’t qualify for regionals, so if that’s the case then this is the end of the 2013-14 season, which is disappointing,” Anderson said. “We definitely improved in a lot of areas and I know the guys we have coming back are going to be better golfers next year because of the experience they gained this year.”
—Follow Fernando Galvan @fgalvan35