Time difference, weather hinder golf teams
The combination of bad weather and jet lag left the UA men's and women's golf teams in third and fourth place finishes, respectively, at the TOPY Cup in Japan last weekend.
"The conditions were bad," men's head coach Rick LaRose said. "I think the scores were high because of the conditions."
Both teams encountered narrow fairways and high roughs while playing through a typhoon, LaRose said.
"Everybody played pretty well at times so I am pleased with play in general," he said.
Tohokufukusi University finished first while Arizona State took second place. The Wildcats finished one shot back of the Sun Devils.
The toughest competition was expected to come from No. 1-ranked Nevada-Las Vegas, but the Rebels finished ninth, giving LaRose a reason to feel victorious.
"We were really two or three shots from winning," he said. "Our play there is promising."
The top finisher for Arizona was senior Andy Barnes, who placed eighth and had a course average of 74. Junior Derek Gillespie placed 12th with a 74.5 course average and freshman Damian Hale placed 18th with a 75.5 average.
UA women's coach Todd McCorkle, coaching his first tournament as a head coach, said he was disappointed with his team's play at the tournament.
"The conditions were tough, but I don't want to use that as an excuse," he said. "We just did not play that well."
One of his players said the traveling was more to blame.
"There was a 16-hour time difference and it was really hard to adapt," said junior Jenna Daniels, the top finisher for the Wildcat women.
The Sun Devils won the women's tournament, led by 1998 NCAA Champion Grace Park, who won an individual playoff against S. Oyama from Japan with a course average of 71 for the tournament.
"I think we were a little worn down," McCorkle said. "I had such high expectations and I know the girls are disappointed."
McCorkle said that he has the best team in the country and the women will come off the loss determined to play better.
Daniels placed third with a 73.5 average. Freshman Christina Baena was not far behind, taking seventh with an average of 76.5. Senior Krissy Register placed 18th with an average of 79.
"It was a great experience, but it was like night and day," Daniels said.
The next tournament for both teams will be the NCAA Preview with the men traveling to Minneapolis, Sept. 28-29 and the women to Tulsa, Okla., Oct. 5-7.
Rachel Carasso can be reached via e-mail at Rachel.Carasso@wildcat.arizona.edu.