UA golf ranked 18th in preseason poll But men's coach feels added depth makes UA a top-10 team

By Ian Parkman

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Many teams would be content with any national ranking the Arizona men's golf team, however, isn't happy with its preseason ranking of 18th.

"It's a joke. We lost one player from last year's team and we dropped to 18," assistant coach Tom Brill said. "We have a long way to go to catch some teams but we are a top-four team in the Pac-10 and a top-10 team in the nation."

The Wildcats finished fifth in the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate tournament in Albuquerque, N.M., Sept. 22-23. They shot scores of 295, 306 and a final round of 293. Arizona finished behind fellow Pacific 10 Conference school Oregon State, but beat Oregon and Southern Cal.

"Last year our team would play well and finish 10th. This year I have yet to see this team play up to its capabilities and we finish fifth," Brill said. "We are a much deeper team than we were last year. I think we will be at the top of the Pac-10 with Stanford, USC and Arizona State."

In addition to finishing fifth as a team at the tournament, freshman Andy Barnes, playing as an independent, shot rounds of 73, 73 and 72 and finished ninth out of 87 other golfers.

"It was Andy's first tournament, and he played as an individual, which means that he is just getting some rounds in at this level of competition," Brill said. "He doesn't play as part of our team; his scores don't affect the team scores but he can try to win for himself."

"I'm just trying to help the team and do what I came here for to play good golf," Barnes said.

The team next travels to Dallas to compete at the Red River Classic, Oct. 16-17.

"The Red River Classic will have a very tough field but they are all teams we generally do good against and it's on a course we play well," Brill said.

The Classic includes NCAA champion Oklahoma State as well as Oklahoma and Texas.

"I'm looking forward to playing against better teams, so we can prove ourselves," Barnes said. "Good teams raise their game at big events and it's time we prove we are better than our ranking and try to win."

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