Men's Golf struggle at Western Intercollegiate

The Arizona men’s golf team traveled to Santa Cruz, Calif., Saturday for the Western Intercollegiate, hosted by San Jose State University, for a two-day, 54-hole tournament. Arizona finished Sunday in eighth place, carding a score of 47-over-par.

Arizona coach Jim Anderson and his squad have not had the season the Wildcats were hoping for. Anderson was probably hoping for something like puppy training with a veteran dog. The puppies being the four freshmen Anderson put in the lineup and the alpha dog being senior Alex McMahon.

At this point of the season, that hasn’t been the case.

It’s the young guns that have been competing every week, and McMahon has taken a backseat to guys like George Cunningham, Peter Koo and Max Donohue.

This was McMahon’s time to shine, having dedicated four years to the Wildcats, and end his final regular-season, collegiate tournament.

“Alex has been great for us all year, and he played well for us this week,” Anderson said, “considering we were playing on a course that had tough conditions and was designed by the same guy who designed Augusta National [Golf Club].”

McMahon led the Wildcats in the first two rounds as the veteran shot a 68 (-2) to go along with four birdies and an eagle in the first round. McMahon carded a second round 71 (+1) and finished the evening with 139 strokes (-1).

McMahon finished Saturday in seventh place on the individual leader board and had that alpha dog performance that veterans should, especially at this point in the season.

Koo had a career day by shooting his lowest score as a Wildcat with a 69 (-1) in the first round and shot a 72 (+2) in the second round to finish Saturday tied for 12th place with a score of 1-over-par.

Cunningham and Jake Kreuz each shot a 75 (+5) in the first round and a 73 (+3) in the second round to tie for 37th place at the end of the first day.

Arizona finished in the middle of the pack, in eighth place, after the first day. However, there were 22 players who didn’t finish the second round due to darkness.

The second round resumed play early in the morning of the final day. Arizona finished the first day with 733 strokes overall (+33).  

“I give credit to our guys this week, considering the conditions of the course were extremely difficult,” Anderson said, “but it was nice to see Alex and some of our younger guys play well.”

The second day of the tournament would consist the one-two punch of McMahon and Cunningham. McMahon shot a 73 (+3), which was his worst round of the tournament, but he would go on to finish the tournament with a score of 212 (+2) and earned a share of 12th place. This was McMahon’s best finish over the previous five tournaments.

Cunningham would shoot a 2-under-par in the final round, earning a share of 20th place. Cunningham finished the tournament with a score of 216 (+6).

Arizona will compete in the Pac-12 Conference Championships hosted by Washington State in Pullman, Wash., from April 27-29.  

“We had a good week of preparation, and it showed this week,” Anderson said. “So now we have to get ready to play against some of the best teams in the country that are in our conference.”

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