Huskies Going For Three-Peat At Karsten
April 4, 2012
SEATTLE - Before 2010, Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. had been a house of horrors for the Husky men's golf team. Washington and its Coach Matt Thurmond had never tasted success at the course until a pair of remarkable comebacks during the spring of 2010.
Washington rallied from a 16-stroke deficit during the final round of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational and from down seven strokes at the Pac-10 Championships to notch a pair of improbable wins at the 7,026-yard, par-71 course on the campus of Arizona State.
Nearly two years removed from that remarkable stretch of golf, the Huskies return to Karsten Course for the 40th annual ASU Thunderbird Invitational. And if not for a request by junior All-American Chris Williams to return and play in this week's two-day, 54 hole invitational, the Huskies might have stayed away again this year.
Williams shared medalist honors as a freshman at the event and shot a scintillating 64 in the final round. It's no wonder he wanted to come back to the course. Thurmond obliged the request and now the Huskies are making their first return to the site of a couple of the team's most memorable wins in history.
"Last time we were there we won the Pac-10 Championship," Thurmond said, "so I'm super excited to go back."
That victory gave Washington back-to-back Pac-10 Championships for the first time in school history.
Washington, ranked 9th in the latest Golfweek.com/Sagarin ratings, will depend on Williams, plus freshman Cheng-Tsung Pan, junior Charlie Hughes, sophomore Trevor Simsby and junior Larry Iverson III if they are to win their third-straight tournament at Karsten. Williams and Hughes are the only remaining members of the squad that won consecutive times at the course.
The tournament is the final tune up for the Huskies before the Pac-12 Championships (April 27-29) at Trysting Tree in Corvallis, Ore.
Joining the Huskies in Tempe are host Arizona State, Arizona, Ball State, BYU, California, Cal State Northridge, Colorado State, Denver, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pepperdine, San Diego State, UC-Irvine, UNLV, UTSA and Wyoming. In the latest Golfstat.com/Sagarin ratings, California is ranked 6th, UNLV 11th, San Diego State 13th, New Mexico 19th and Oklahoma 31st.
This week Williams is ranked 6th in both the World Amateur Golf Rankings and the Golfweek.com player rankings. Pan is 13th in WAGR and 30th in Golfweek.com.
The competitors will play 36 holes on Friday and 18 on Saturday. The temperature are expected to reach into the 90's both days.
Live scoring will be available both days on Golfstat.com and daily recaps will be posted on GoHuskies.com following each day.