Wildcat golfers off to familiar land

By Arlie Rahn

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The 40th annual William H. Tucker Invitational will be held this weekend in the friendly confines of Albuquerque, N.M.

The Arizona golf team has had a great amount of success in its last few visits to the Land of Enchantment. It was on this same course that the Wildcats won the 1992 NCAA championship tournament. In addition, Arizona has a history of exceptional finishes in the esteemed Tucker Invitational, the latest being its tie for second with UNLV last year.

The tournament consists of a 20-team field ranging from the well-respected Stanford team to the suspect Aggies of New Mexico State. Stanford will, however, be without Notha Begay and Casey Martin for this tournament because of minor NCAA violations. But with its addition of the highly-touted Tiger Woods, it will still be the team to beat. Other established teams include Texas, Arizona State and Oklahoma State.

On the personal side of the spectrum, the Wildcats have four returning players in juniors Tim Beans, Ted Purdy, Jim Zadvorny and senior Benjamin Nicolay. Beans and Purdy finished fourth and 11th respectively in a recent amateur tournament. So the team is confident, but are still in the words of head coach Rick LaRose, "kind of an unknown quality with a lot to prove."

A major reason for the team's lack of notoriety is its loss of All-Pac-10 member Jason Gore because of personal problems.

Not only will this tournament serve as a great method of gauging how the team will perform against some of the best teams in the country, but it will be at the same site that the West regionals will be held later this year. Therefore, the team will gain some valuable experience in playing this course. And success in this tournament is not out of the players' grasps, according to assistant coach Tom Brill.

"If we play up to our capabilities, we can make an honest bid for a win," Brill said.

An impressive showing could give the players a great stepping stone to jump into a successful campaign in 1994.

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