Arkansas Golf Debuts at No. 15 in Preseason Ra
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After posting a third-place finish at the Topy Cup in Japan, the Arkansas golf team was placed at the No. 15 spot in the Golfweek/Sagarin Preseason Top 30. UA is one of three Southeastern Conference teams ranked in the top 15. SEC champion Florida received a third place ranking, while Georgia is fifth. Defending NCAA Champion, Clemson retained its No. 1 spot.
Other SEC teams ranked in the top 30 are Auburn at 21st, South Carolina at 23rd and Tennessee rounded at the field at No. 25. Last year at this time the Hogs weren’t even ranked, but moved their way up the polls to finish the season at No. 24, after finishing 27th at the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Okla.
This high preseason ranking proves that Arkansas head coach Mike Ketcham has returned the program to national prominence with a talented group of returning veterans. Ketcham has high expectations for his squad and hopes to continue to move up the rankings.
“It’s nice to be recognized by your peers at the beginning of the season,” Ketcham said. “However, it’s just an opinion and once the season begins it’s how you play that matters and where you’ll be in the rankings. I believe it’s a fair evaluation of where we stand. We’re going to work very hard to improve ourselves and stay in the rankings.”
The Razorback golf team wasn’t the only one to garner preseason honors. Senior Andrew Dahl was chosen as a preseason second-team All-American and was also ranked as the No. 26 top returnee in the country. His No. 26 ranking is the second highest in the league, behind Florida’s Camilo Villegas who showed up at No. 16. Dahl earned second-team All-America honors last season after he posted a 10th place showing at the NCAA Championships.
“Andrew’s ranking is consistent with his performances from last year, but I know his goal is to be a first-team All-American,” Ketcham said. “He’s going to continue to work hard to obtain that goal. We also have to remember that this is a team and the other guys are working hard to get other honors too. We have such great depth and that makes our team better, because everyone has to fight for a spot.”
The Razorbacks will compete in their second tournament of the 2003 fall season when they travel to Malibu, Calif., on October 5-7, for the Pepperdine Intercollegiate.
Preseason top 30
Rank — Team — Final 2002-03 Golfweek rank
1. Clemson 1 2. UCLA 8 3. Florida 2 4. Oklahoma State 4 5. Georgia 13 6. Arizona State 15 7. Texas 5 8. UNLV 9 9. Augusta State 6 10. Georgia Tech 12 11. Arizona 7 12. TCU 11 13. North Carolina 10 14. Washington 19 15. Arkansas 24 16. USC 23 17. Pepperdine 26 18. North Carolina St. 17 19. Wake Forest 3 20. New Mexico 18 21. Auburn 14 22. East Tennessee St. 42 23. South Carolina 28 24. Minnesota 16 25. Tennessee 21 26. Oklahoma 27 27. Tulsa 39 28. California 44 29. Illinois 22 30. Duke 25
No. Name, School, Class Power rating
3. Bill Haas, Wake Forest, Sr. 69.57 5. Jack Ferguson, Clemson, Jr. 69.62 9. Matt Hendrix, Clemson, Sr. 69.89 10. Chris Nallen, Arizona, Sr. 69.95 11. Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State, So. 70.00 13. Brock MacKenzie, Washington, Sr. 70.06 14. Dustin Bray, North Carolina, Sr. 70.09 15. Jason Hartwick, Texas, Sr. 70.14 16. Camilo Villegas, Florida, Sr. 70.16 17. Ryan Moore, UNLV, Jr. 70.17 19. David Inglis, Tulsa, Sr. 70.19 21. James Lepp, Washington, Jr. 70.34 26. Andrew Dahl, Arkansas, Sr. 70.57 27. Emmett Turner, Augusta State, Jr. 70.58 29. James Vargas, Florida, So. 70.68 30. Steve Conway, UCLA, Sr. 70.68
Bill Haas, senior, Wake Forest Casey Wittenberg, freshman, Oklahoma St. Matt Hendrix, senior, Clemson Camilo Villegas, senior, Florida Chris Nallen, senior, Arizona Brock Mackenzie, senior, Washington Alejandro Canizares, sophomore, Arizona St. Peter Tomasulo, senior, California Jason Hartwick, senior, Texas Dustin Bray, senior, North Carolina
Steve Conway, senior, UCLA Andrew Dahl, senior, Arkansas Jack Ferguson, junior, Clemson David Inglis, senior, Tulsa Gregg Jones, senior, Clemson John Merrick, senior, UCLA Ryan Moore, junior, UNLV Justin Smith, senior, Minnesota Chris Stroud, senior, Lamar Emmett Turner, junior, Augusta State
David Denham, junior, Georgia Brad Heaven, senior, Toledo Kevin Kisner, sophomore, Georgia Adam Meyer, senior, TCU Michael Putnam, junior, Pepperdine Chez Reavie, senior, Arizona State Matt Rosenfeld, sophomore, Texas David Skinns, junior, Tennessee Nick Thompson, junior, Georgia Tech James Vargas, sophomore, Florida
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