Every shot counts a little more now as both the Arizona women’s and men’s golf teams get ready for postseason play starting with the Pac-12 championship. Winning the Pac-12 was a goal for both these teams at the beginning of the season and sets each team up for a national championship run.
The women’s Pac-12 championship started on April 23, in Palo Alto, California at Stanford University’s Golf Course. The team comes into the championship ranked No. 22 according to golfstat.com. Coming into the championship, they are the third-highest ranked Pac-12 team behind ASU who is ranked No. 7, USC who is ranked No. 10 and the University of Oregon who is ranked No. 12. The team will have to play some of their best golf of the season to stay in contention against such a high level of competition.
"We played our best golf today after the turn, and I was happy to see multiple members of our lineup sink two or more birdies," head coach Laura Ianello told Arizona Athletics. "We had three ladies in the top 12 of the leaderboard with a strong performance from Yu-Sang to lead us. I am excited to see us carry our momentum from the back nine today into tomorrow's second round."
USC was the most recent women’s Pac-12 championship winner in 2019. Arizona’s most recent Pac-12 Championship win came in 2015 when the event was played in Boulder, Colorado.
The men’s Pac-12 championship is scheduled to start Monday, April 26, in Santa Rosa, California at Mayacama Golf Club. Coming into the event, the team is ranked No. 21 in the country according to golfstat.com. They will be the second highest-ranked Pac-12 team in attendance behind rival ASU who is ranked No. 9 in the country. Arizona has ranked as high as No. 1 this year and they believe when they play their best golf, they are the top team in the country.
“We are going there to win, and at the end of it, if we look back and we thought we played well, I think what’s great about this team is if everyone feels like they played well that’s the recipe for a win,” senior Briggs Duce said.
After the Pac-12 championship, the team will wait and see if they are selected to play in regional qualifying for the national championship. Due to the team's high ranking and quality play throughout the season, they will likely get in.
This year's national championship will be played at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. The course is desert-style which gives this team an advantage over other schools not as familiar with that style of golf.
“It’s a huge advantage,” senior David Laskin said. “I think a lot of teams that come from the midwest or east coast are so used to seeing trees and grass everywhere and get really intimidated by just seeing bushes down the sides of the fairway.”
Head coach Jim Anderson also has faith in his squad going into not only the Pac-12 championship but also regional play and hopefully a trip to the national championship.
“The team morale is great right now and it has been all semester and I’m so thankful,” Anderson said. “Even the guys who are on the outside wishing they were part of the lineup this week are still hungry.”
Stanford was the most recent men’s Pac-12 championship winner in 2019. Arizona hasn’t won a Pac-12 championship since 2004.
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