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Liaw breaks through with second place at CordeValle

By Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
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After the first two rounds of the CordeValle Collegiate on Monday, junior Henry Liaw of the Arizona men's golf team talked about the difficulty and unexpected speed of the course at the CordeValle Country Club in San Martin, Calif.

Those observations seemed not to matter yesterday, as the Rowland Heights native shot a 2-under 70 to finish the tournament in a tie for second place, by far his best finish of the season.

"I was surprised I finished second," said Liaw, who registered his first top-10 finish in 2005. "It was tough for everybody, and it gave me a chance to sneak up."

Liaw ended tied with UCLA's Erik Flores with a 4-under 212.

"I think I played pretty solid. (I) made some mistakes, but kept working at it," he said.

Liaw played in the same group as individual champion Michael Wilson, who finished the tournament at 10-under, but Liaw said he did not feel any pressure in the final round.

"I just try to play my own game and not think about what anyone else is doing," he said.

"Henry played really well," said junior Josh Esler, who finished in a tie for 14th place at even par.

Esler said he thought he had one of his best tournaments of the season.

"I hit the ball as well as I ever have," he said. "With better putting, I could have been right up next to the leaders."

Arizona improved its team score in each round, ending in sixth place, nine strokes behind the champion Bruins.

"We could have done a lot better, but we all tried our best," Liaw said. "We definitely beat some top teams."

"We are starting to come around, starting to click," Esler said. "One of these weeks we are going to come together."

Sophomore Travis Esway shot a 1-under 71 yesterday to finish in 39th place.

Sophomore Trey Denton carded a 10-over 226 for 55th place and freshman Nick Park finished in 65th place at 12-over.

The Wildcats get a week and a half to prepare for the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship on Nov. 11-13 in Orlando, Fla.

"This week helped us build more and more confidence," said Liaw. "Match play, I think we have a good chance in."

Women's golf holds onto second place

The Arizona women's golf team stood strong in the second day of the Las Vegas Founders Collegiate Showdown in Las Vegas, finishing the day at 3-over to remain in second place at even par.

The Wildcats still trail UCLA by 12 strokes, while third-place Pepperdine is closing in, only three shots behind.

"We got off to a bad start, but we were able to make some birdies to come back," said Arizona head coach Greg Allen.

The Wildcats shot a 285, six strokes higher than its first-round total.

"I was more proud of today's effort, because yesterday it seemed to come too easy," Allen said. "But today we battled back."

Freshman Amanda Wilson led the team for the second day in a row, shooting a 1-under 71.

Wilson was followed by fellow freshman Lauren Espinosa, who finished at 2-under.

"The girls are excited that it's a team effort," Allen said. "The freshmen doing well takes pressure off of the older girls because they know these (younger) girls can play."

Wilson is still tied for second place individually, while Espinosa is alone in eighth.

Senior Cassandra Kirkland ended at 2-over, dropping from a tie for fifth place to 16th.

Senior Lani Elston-Marshall shot a 5-over 75, and senior Whitney Welch finished the day at 8-over.

"Cassandra got off to a slow start, but started back up in the back nine by making some birdies," Allen said.

Arizona finishes play tomorrow.

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