2005 Golf Preview: Back in the swing of things

By Allison Hamila
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 15, 2005

Arizona golf teams looking for better depth, consistency

Students love the beginning of the year. It is a time of renewal, a time to come back to school better than they left it.

Members of the Arizona men's and women's golf teams are no exception. With a new school year comes a new season, and both squads are anxious to impress their competition.

The No. 16 men's golf team finished 17th at June's NCAA Championships, missing the 54-hole cut by two strokes.

Overall, the Wildcats finished in the top 10 in most of their events. And, of course, with every new season comes the desire for improvement.

"I think what we lacked last year was depth," said Arizona men's assistant coach John Knauer. "The same three or four guys were always up, and our other guys did not play well."

Arizona men's head coach Rick Larose said that he should have a better idea how the season will go after the team's first tournament, the William H. Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque this weekend. Newcomer junior Josh Wilks will make his Wildcat debut.

Junior Henry Liaw said he wants to get off to a quick start, saying that his practice scores have been nothing short of remarkable.

The men's junior varsity team gave Arizona some early encouragement this week, taking first place by two strokes Tuesday at the Elco Inc. CSUB Fall Invitational in Bakersfield, Calif.

The Arizona women's golf team, meanwhile, is coming off a slightly disappointing season.

Even with spectacular senior Cassandra Kirkland, a second-team All-Pacific 10 Conference selection, anchoring the team, it failed to make the NCAA Championships for the first time in 10 years.

The team finished its spring 2005 season with a 13th-place finish at the NCAA West Regional in Las Cruces, N.M.

"It was a disappointment not making nationals," said women's head coach Greg Allen.

Allen said the team has a good mix of young and experienced athletes, and that the women have a chance to be great.

"Right now, it's just a big question mark," he said.

The women will begin their season with the junior varsity-only Mountain Shootout in Flagstaff on Monday and Tuesday.

The varsity team starts with the Mason Rudolph Championship, which runs Sept. 23 through Sept. 25 in Nashville, Tenn.