Huskies Make It As Easy As 1-2-3
May 22, 2010
BREMERTON, Wash. -- The No. 1 seeded Husky men's golf team ran laps around the rest of the NCAA West Regional field, winning the team title by an impressive 29 strokes and sweeping the top three individual spots on Saturday at Bremerton's Gold Mountain Golf Course.
"We showed a lot of depth to our team and that we're dangerous," said senior Richard Lee, who earned individual medalist honors. "Imagine if Nick [Taylor] played well this week how crazy this would have been. Nick's obviously our best player, he's carried us all year."
Without their best player clicking on all cylinders, Lee, freshman Chris Williams and senior Darren Wallace stepped up to the plate for the Huskies. Lee finished at 8-under 208 to finish two strokes ahead of Williams, while Wallace was 5-under 211 to tie Denver's Espen Kofstad for third. It was the first tournament this year that Taylor did not finish among Washington's top three finishers.
Lee shot his second-consecutive round of 4-under 68 to become UW's first ever NCAA Regional champion. Lee, a second-team All-Pac-10 performer, had three birdies and an eagle-two on the Par-4, 15th hole to claim his first collegiate individual championship.
"Richard has been an amazing player for us and he happens to be here at a time when there has been a lot of other amazing players that have gotten more attention than him," said Thurmond. "He's been so solid -- not just on the course, but off the course. To have him do something that nobody's done in history, I'm glad he's got one of those because he's been a great Husky."
Williams shot a course record-tying 7-under 65 on Saturday to move up from 11th in the standings. Included in his stellar round was a hole-in-one on the 207-yard, Par-3 eighth hole. His ball dunked into the hole without rolling, catching the front lip of the cup as it found it's mark. The groundscrew had move the hole about a foot after Williams' shot destroyed the cup. For Williams, it was his first-ever ace and left him unfazed.
"What's to say?" Williams asked. "I hit a little cut five iron and it went right in."
Wallace entered the final round in first place but shot an even-par 72 to fall behind his hot-hitting teammates. For Wallace, the result was his best this season and top finish since winning the 2009 Pac-10 Championship.
Taylor started his day with two birdies, but was unable to keep his momentum. He ended his round with six birdies, but also had six bogeys, including three-straight on the 10th through 12th holes. Taylor ended up tied for 19th with teammate Charlie Hughes, who shot a 2-under 70 on Saturday. Hughes was remarkably consistent in the final round, carding an eagle on No. 2 and two birdies and two bogeys on the day.
In the team standings, USC was second at +9. The other three teams to qualify for the NCAA Championships were San Diego (+10), Oregon State (+12) and Illinois (+13). Kofstad staked claim to the individual berth into the NCAA Championships.
The Huskies will enter the NCAA Championships in two weeks on quite a roll. They have won three of their last four events and have their sights firmly set on the grand prize.
"It gives us a lot of confidence going to nationals. We have the Pac-10 Championship, now we've got the Regional. We've got one more to go," said Lee. "It should be lots of fun."