Men's golf tees off for last time today

By Dmitry Rashnitov
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 21, 2005

All good swings must come to an end.

The Arizona men's golf team's fall season concludes today and tomorrow at the Western Refining All-America Golf Classic in El Paso, Texas.

Only the top 50 golfers in the country were invited to participate, and junior Henry Liaw is the lone Wildcat in the 54-hole, three-round event.

The three-time All-America selection said he's not too worried about the competition.

"It's good. It's another opportunity to see how I match up with all the best players," Liaw said. "A lot of guys I have seen in high school ... (so I) kind of know their tendencies."

Both Arizona head coach Rick LaRose and assistant head coach John Knauer will travel with Liaw to support him on a course he has yet to play.

Liaw said he thinks that the field is wide open, giving him a good shot to finish above his highly touted opponents.

In his five events this season, Liaw is averaging a score of 72.25 per round, with one top-10 finish.

Liaw said he thinks he needs to improve his driving accuracy and putting to play well this weekend and to continue to improve for the spring season.

The rest of the Wildcats will practice on their own until the spring season resumes in January, hoping a fresh slate will bring them the tournament win the fall did not.

"We had a couple good tournaments," said junior Josh Esler. "We obviously have some work to do over the next couple of months."

"We need to win some tournaments," Liaw said. "This no-win thing is not cutting it."

Esler said he thought the team was not synchronized at first, but that he saw things change as the season moved on.

"By the last couple of tournaments, we started to bond pretty well and know each other's game and know each other's tendencies," he said.

Esler finished the season with a 72.89 round average and two top-20 finishes. He said he will spend his offseason working on chipping and putting and improving his flexibility. But the team won't be far from his mind.

"We may go play with each other every once in a while," Esler said. "We'll still see coaches every day and talk about goals for spring."