Golf Starts Spring Campaign with Hawaii Tourna
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The last time the Arkansas golf team teed off was at the Country Club of Louisiana Intercollegiate on Oct. 28, where they came in a close second place. That was almost four months ago, so the 18th-ranked Razorbacks are more than ready to hit the greens again when they travel to Kona, Hawaii for the Taylor Made Waikoloa Intercollegiate on Feb. 10-13.
“This tournament presents a great challenge to our golf team at this time,” Arkansas head coach Mike Ketcham said. “One is that it gives us the opportunity to get out of the winter weather in Fayetteville and go to Hawaii. I like that because it gives us a chance to practice three or four days in a pretty descent climate.”
Senior All-American Andrew Dahl, senior Seth Murphy, sophomore Paul Bradshaw and freshmen Matt Bortis and Beau Glover will represent UA on the Waikoloa Kings’ par 72, 7,074-yard golf course. The Razorbacks experienced a good amount of success on this course last year when they shot a school record low round of 267 and tied for ninth.
“I’m cautiously optimistic and excited at the same time,” Ketcham said. “We’re coming off a fall season that I thought was a good campaign, but the only thing that was missing was a win. This will give us an opportunity to get back and start moving towards the goals we set forth at the beginning of the year.”
Murphy is enjoying an outstanding senior year as he leads the Razorbacks with a 71.3 stroke average. In the fall he posted three top 10 finishes and is five under par through three tournaments. Bortis has been a pleasant surprise as a freshman and is second on the team with an average of 72.8. Glover has also been a significant contributor as a freshman with a 73.3 average and was the consistent No. 2 man on the UA squad at three tournaments.
Dahl played in all four fall tournaments and came away with an average of 73.8. His best finish came at the Topy Cup in Japan where he tied for fifth place. Bradshaw will look to improve his average of 74.8 as he gets set to compete in his third tournament during the 2003-04 year.
The Taylor Made Waikoloa Intercollegiate will have an impressive field with 11 of the 21 teams ranked in the top 50. Joining No. 18 Arkansas on the course will be Arizona State (9), Georgia Tech (5), Hawaii-Hilo, Hawaii-Manoa, Houston, Nagoya University of Commerce, Nevada-Reno, Oklahoma (39), Oregon, Oregon State, Pepperdine (25), Rhode Island, Stanford, TCU (6), Texas Tech (44), Tulsa (29), UC-Davis, UCLA (4), USC (34) and Washington (27).
A practice round will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 10, with 18 holes being played each day through Feb. 11-13. After Arkansas returns from Hawaii they will enjoy a week off before traveling to Los Angeles, Calif., for the USC Intercollegiate on Feb. 29 – March 2.
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