Men's golf tees off spring season
The Arizona men's golf team opens the second half of the season today as play begins in the Arizona Intercollegiate Tournament at the Arizona National Golf Club. Play will begin with 36 holes today, followed by 18 on Tuesday. The tournament field boasts four Wildcat teams, all of which finished the fall portion of the season in the top 30. The rest of the competition has 14 teams, including the No. 3 Florida Gators.
The Wildcats are led by junior Tarquin MacManus, who is first on the team with a 71.6 scoring average over fifteen rounds played during the first half of the season. During that stretch, MacManus recorded nine rounds at or below par.
""It's always good to get started off in a home tournament,"" MacManus said. ""We know the course well. Hopefully we can take advantage of that.""
Junior Richard Saferian, who posted a 72.75 scoring average and one top-20 finish during the fall season, also leads UA into the Arizona Intercollegiate.
""We have a bit of an advantage. This course can be tricky if you haven't played it much,"" Saferian said. ""This should be a good way for us to start off the year.""
The Wildcats struggled a bit in the fall season, failing to record a top-5 finish, but they expect to be competitive when play begins today. UA hasn't won the event since they took 2003-04, consecutively. Wildcat golfers have earned individual medals in this event three times in the previous decade.
""We don't know how guys will come back from the winter break, you know, we haven't had a tournament since the first week of November,"" said assistant coach Andy Barnes. ""But it is our home course, so we have no excuse not to play well, and we do have high expectations.""