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No. 14 Duck Golfers Point Towards St. Mary’s Invite
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 09/21/2012
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THIS WEEK’S No. 14 OREGON MEN'S GOLF ACTION

Event: St. Mary’s Invitational
Dates: Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 24-25, 2012
Course: Bayonet and Blackhorse, Seaside, Calif.
Host: St. Mary’s (www.GoSMCgaels.com)
Format: 54 holes (2 Rounds – Monday, 1 Round Tuesday)

Live Results: http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=3713

Teams (2012 Final Golfstat / ’12 Opening Golfworld rankings): Oregon (5/14), Saint Mary’s (36/-), San Francisco (61/-), Florida Gulf Coast (88/-), Kentucky (72/-), Sacramento State (90/-), Samford (101/-), Kansas State (107/-), Loyola Marymount (119/-), UC Irvine (129/-), Cal Poly (145/-), Fresno State (149/-), Western Carolina (179/-), Santa Clara (202/-), Cal State Northridge (209/-)


SETTING THE STAGE
Next week, the No. 14-ranked University of Oregon men’s golf team looks ahead to the St. Mary’s Invitational - its second of four events this fall

The Ducks return to defend their team title from last year in the 15-team field. The three-round event features two rounds on Monday, September 24, and a final round on Tuesday, September 25.

Tabbed No. 14 in the Golf World / Nike Golf Coaches preseason poll, UO is the top-ranked team in the field, and one other team – host St. Mary’s – also received votes.

Earlier this week, seventh-year head coach Casey Martin and the Ducks came off a sixth-place tie in the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational in Bremerton, Wash.

Leading UO for the third time in his career, sophomore Rak Cho (sixth-tie, 74-69-74-217) staked his fourth top-six placing among his 11 collegiate events.

Also in the event near Seattle, redshirt senior Robbie Ziegler staked his 23rd top-30 finish as a collegian (30th-tie, 74-78-74-226), and two Duck freshmen made their collegiate debuts for the five-man Duck unit - Brandon McIver (38th-tie, 76-78-74-228) and Sulman Raza (38th-tie, 76-75-77-228).


FURTHER UP DOWN THE ROAD
In two weeks, UO plays in the Pac-12 Preview at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Monday-Tuesday, October 8-9. A week later, Oregon wraps up its fall in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif., Mon.-Tue., Oct. 15-16.

 

DUCK SQUAD BREAKDOWN
After graduating three of the top players in school history, the Ducks still return eight veterans in 2012-13 – the trio of seniors Tyler Parker, Jack Pennington and Robbie Ziegler, junior Ben Itterman, the sophomore trio of Rak Cho, Tye Gabriel and Jonathan Woo and redshirt freshman Noah Sheikh.

Oregon also welcomes five freshmen - freshmen Max Carter (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Zach Foushee (West Linn, Ore.), Brandon McIver (Billings, Mont.), Sulman Raza (Eugene, Ore.) and Ryann Ree (Redondo Beach, Calif.).


RECENT DUCK ACTION
BREMERTON, Wash. (9/17-18/12) – Earlier this week, No. 14 Oregon men's golf team kicked off the season with a sixth-place tie in the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational at the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain.

The Ducks (sixth-tie, 300-300-299-899) improved a position in the overall team standings the final day, and ended with a 33-over score on the par-71, 6,707-yard course.

Overall in the team results, No. 5 Washington (first, 283-290-289-862) ended with a nine-stroke edge on the field, and was followed by No. 10 Texas A&M (second, 292-287-292-871).

Other teams ahead of or tied with UO included St. Mary's (third, 291-396-294-881), UC Davis (fourth, 298-291-293-882), No. 17 San Diego State (fifth, 294-297-297-888) and Washington State (sixth-tie, 291-302-306-899).

For the Ducks, sophomore Rak Cho (sixth-tie, 74-69-74-217) led UO in a round for the third straight round (and seventh time in his career), and in a tournament's final standings for the third time among his 10 collegiate events.

Other Oregon team entries included redshirt senior Robbie Ziegler (30th-tie, 74-78-74-226), freshmen Brandon McIver (38th-tie, 76-78-74-228) and Sulman Raza (38th-tie, 76-75-77-228) and sophomore Jonathan Woo (65th-tie, 78-80-81-239).

Three other Ducks played as individuals and their placings among the individual entries-only follow: freshman Ryann Ree (12th-tie, 74-72-73-219 (+6)), and seniors Tyler Parker (15th-tie, 77-71-72-220 (+7)) and Jack Pennington (31st, 80-81-78-239 (+26)).

Overall on the individual leaderboard, Caston Roberts of Washington (69-66-76-211 (-5)) won the event by four strokes over his Husky teammates Trevor Simsby (second-tie, 70-76-69-215) and Chris Williams (second-tie, 69-71-75-215).
 

OREGON PLAYER CAREER / SEASON BEST OVERVIEWS
 
- Robbie Ziegler, RSr., Canby, Ore.
Led UO 22 Rounds (Sr. 2, Jr. 3, So. 5, Fr. 12) / 5 Tourneys (Jr. 1, So. 1, Fr. 3)
25 Under-Par Rounds (Jr. 8, So. 7, Fr. 10)
6 Rounds at Par (Jr. 2, So. 2, Fr. 2)
Career Best Round 66 (-6) (Sr. 74 (+3), Jr. 68/ 70x2 (-2), So. 66 (-6), Fr. 69 (-3))
Career Best Tourney Place 2nd  (Sr. 30th, Jr. 5th, So. 3rd, Fr. 2nd)
Career Best Tourney Score 213 (-3) x2 (Sr. (+13), Jr. 215 (-1), So. 213 (-3), Fr. 213 (-3))

- Jonathan Woo, So., Singapore
Played 25 Rounds, 8 Tournaments
Led UO 1 Round (Fr. 1)
5 Under-Par Rounds (Fr. 5)
1 At-Par Round (Fr. 1)
Career Best Round  66 (-5) (So. 78 (+7), Fr. 68 (-5))
Career Best Tourney Place 7th x2 (So. 65th-t, Fr. 7th)
Career Best Tourney Score 208 (-5)  (So. 239 (+26), Fr. 208 (-5))

- Rak Cho, So., Brea, Calif.
Led UO 7 Rounds (So. 3, Fr. 4) / 3 Tourneys (So. 1, Fr. 2)
9 Under-Par Rounds (So. 1, Fr. 8)
2 Rounds at Par (Fr. 2)
Career Best Round 66 / 67x2 (-5) (So. 69 (-2), Fr. 66 / 67x2 (-5))
Career Best Tourney Place 2nd (So. 6th-t, Fr. 2nd)
Career Best Tourney Score 201 (-12) (Fr. 201 (-12)

- Brandon McIver, Fr., Billings, Mont.
Played 3 Rounds, 1 Tournament
Career Best Round: 74 (+3)
Career Best Tourney Place: 38th-tie
Career Best Tourney Score: 228 (+15)

- Sulman Raza, Fr., Eugene, Ore.
Played 3 Rounds, 1 Tournament
Career Best Round: 75 (+4)
Career Best Tourney Place: 38th-tie
Career Best Tourney Score: 228 (+15)

- Tyler Parker, Sr., Portland, Ore.
2 Rounds at Par (Sr. 1, Fr. 1)
Career Best Round 71/72 (E) (Sr. 71 (E), Jr. 72 (+1), So. 75 (+3), Fr. 72 (E))
Career Best Tourney Place  17th (Jr. 61st, So. 55th, Fr. 17th)
Career Best Score  220 (+7) (Sr. 220 (+7), Jr. 231 (+15), So. 227 (+11), Fr. 228 (+12))

- Ben Itterman, Jr., Carlsbad, Calif.
4 Under-Par Rounds (So. 1, Fr. 3)
3 Round at Par (So. 2, Fr. 1)
Career Best Round: 69 (-2), 70 (-2) x2 (So. 69 (-2), Fr. 70 (-2) x2)
Career Best Tourney Place: 8th (So. 20th, Fr. 8th)
Career Best Tourney Score: 216 (+1) (So. 223 (+7), Fr. 216 (+1)

- Jack Pennington, Sr., Eugene, Ore.
Career Best Round 70 (-2) (Sr. 78 (+7), Jr. 70 (-2))
Career Best Tourney Place 35th-t (Jr. 35th, Fr. 20th)
Career Best Tourney Score  224 (+10) (Sr. 239 (+26), Jr. 224 (+10), Fr. 155 (+12))

- Tye Gabriel, So., Portland, Ore.
Career Best Round 71 (-1) (Fr. 71 (-1))
Career Best Tourney Place  58th-t (Fr. 80th)
Career Best Tourney Score 229 (+13) (Fr. 229 (+13))

- Ryann Ree, Fr., Redondo Beach, Calif.
Played 3 Rounds, 1 Tournament
Career Best Round: 72 (+1)
Career Best Tourney Place: -
Career Best Tourney Score: 219 (+5)

 

2011 ST. MARY'S INVITE REWIND
SEASIDE, Calif. (9/19-20/11) -- In its season opener last year, the Ducks cruised to a 13-stroke win in the Saint Mary's Invitational at the Bayonet & Blackhourse Golf Club.

UO  shot an 11-under 853 in the 54-hole event, and was followed in the team standings by UAB (second, 866).

In his collegiate debut, Rak Cho placed second overall with a 7-under 209 - strokes behind the event champion Chris Russo of Cal State Northridge.

UO's other four entries were seniors, and two Ducks also placed top seven overall - then-seniors Daniel Miernicki (third, 210 (-6)) and Eugene Wong (seventh, 217 (+1). Andrew Vijarro followed in a tie for 20th (221, (+5)), six strokes ahead of Jack Paton (33rd-tie, 227 (+11)).

One other Duck - Robbie Ziegler - played as an individual (15th, 220 (+4)).

PAC-12 NOTES
In August, the Ducks were tabbed No. 14 and No. 23 in the preseason Golf World and Golf Week national polls, and were one of seven Pac-12 team spotted. Other teams hailing from the ‘Conference of Champions’ included No. 3/2 California, No. 4/5 UCLA, No. 5/6 Washington, No. 9/12 USC and No. 11/10 Stanford.

In last June's NCAA Championships, the ‘Conference of Champions’ featured one team in the quarterfinals (UCLA), and the Bruins led the stroke play scoring (872) by three strokes. Three other league members placed top 20 after the opening three rounds - USC (12th-t, 895), Arizona State (18th, 899) and California (19th-t, 902).

On the individual front, the Pac-12 featured three top-10 finishers in the 2012 NCAA Championships at the Riviera Country Club in L.A. - UCLA's Patrick Cantlay (fourth-tie, 74-72-66-212), California’s Max Homa (ninth-tie, 76-70-68-214) and Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers (ninth-tie, 69-72-73-214).

Eight others league players finished top 30 in stroke play – Oregon seniors Eugene Wong (11th-tie), Daniel Miernicki (21st-tie) and Andrew Vijarro (29th-tie), UCLA’s Anton Arboleda (13th-tie) and Pedro Figueiredo (13th-tie), USC’s Steve Lim (13th-tie) and Washington’s Chris Williams (21st-tie) and Cheng-Tsyng Pan (29th-tie).

Historically, five different Pac-12 teams (Stanford (7 - 1938, 39, 41, 42, 46, 53, 94), Arizona State (2 - 1990, 96), UCLA (2 - 1988, 208), Arizona (1 - 1992) and California (1 - 2004) have combined for 13 NCAA team titles since the first collegiate championship in 1897.

League individuals have claimed 14 national championships in the same span courtesy of Stanford's Frank Tatum (1942) and Tiger Woods (1996), USC's Scott Simpson (1976, '77), Ron Commons (1981) and Jamie Lovemark (2007), Arizona State's Jim Carter (1983), Phil Mickelson (1989, '90, '92), Todd Demsey (1993) and Alejandro Cañizares (2003),Washington's James Lepp (2005) and UCLA's Kevin Chappell (2008).


2011-12 SEASON REVIEW
Ranked top 15 nationally all season long, Oregon capped 2011-12 by matching its best-ever NCAA finish (third), tying for the Pac-12 Championships lead for the second straight season, and finishing second in the NCAA Regional by one stroke. During the year, UO opened arguably its greatest campaign ever with team wins in six events and three individual victories.

Capping UO’s greatest golf career, senior Eugene Wong topped the team in the final standings of six of its 13 stroke play events. His win in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational (65-63-67-195) last fall was his third career-wise, and his school-record 18-under score was a career best by eight strokes.

Among his 40 stroke play rounds on the season, he had a team-best 23 under-par rounds (and another at par), and paced the team 18 times. Besides his Alister MacKenzie Invitational victory, he added two runner-up finishes in 2011-12 in the Oregon Duck Invitational (-6) and U.S. Intercollegiate (even) and a third-place finish in the Gifford Collegiate ((-7).  In the postseason, he tied for third in the Pac-12, 13th in the NCAA and 19th in the NCAA Regional.

In the year-end Golfstat rankings, the 2010 Nickalaus Award winner and two-time Pac-12 Golfer of the Year stood fourth overall (70.35, +0.177) not far behind national leader and Texas then-freshman Jordan Spieth (70.92).
 
Four other Ducks were ranked top 250 by Golfstat – fellow All-American, All-Pac-12 pick and seniors Daniel Miernicki (11th, 70.70), senior Andrew Vijarro (136th, 72.57), freshman Jonathan Woo (222nd, 73.68) and redshirt junior Robbie Ziegler (236th, 73.46).

The three-time All-Pac-12 First-Team choice Miernicki had the team's hottest start, and opened the fall with nine straight rounds of par or better, including seven under-par. Overall, he led the team in 13 stroke play rounds last year, including seven of the last 14.

The former honorable mention All-American posted his second U.S. Intercollegiate victory in late March (66-72-66-204 (-6)) – his fifth career win – and five days after he placed third in the Oregon Duck Invitational (71-69-72-212 (-4)). In early April, he added another of his eight top-10 finishes in the Western Intercollegiate (ninth, 73-70-69-212). In the final month of the season, he staked three straight runner-up finishes in the Aggie Invitational (73-70-74-217), Pac-12 Championships (68-72-66-71-277) and NCAA Ann Arbor Regional (71-65-70-206), then scored his best NCAA finish (21st-tie, 73-70-73-216).

In the fall, Miernicki posted top-20 placings in his first four events - the St. Mary's Invitational (3rd, 72-68-70-210), The Prestige (fifth, 70-69-68-207), Alister MacKenzie Invitational (12th-t, 67-68-71-206) and the Gifford Collegiate (20th-t, 73-73-72-218) – and also in the Bandon Dunes Championship in early March (15th-t, 73-57-72-220).

Vijarro staked his first collegiate win in the Oregon Duck Invitational (71-70-69-210) at the Eugene Country Club in late March. The Bend, Ore., native shot three, same-tourney, under-par scores for the second time in his career. His six-under score was his third under-par tourney total of the season and ninth career-wise (and only three off his career best (-9) that came in The Prestige event last fall (fifth, 68-71-68-207)).

Among other spring highlights, he scored a best-finish in the NCAA finale (29th-tie, 70-75-72-217), and four top-25 finishes in the Bandon Dunes Championship (12th, 71-74-74-219) and top 25 in the Aggie Invitational (20th-t, 78-79-71-228), Pac-12 Championships (21st-t, 79-72-68-72-291 (+3)) and U.S. Intercollegiate (25th-t, 69-74-74-217).

In other fall action, he added two more top-20 finishes in the St. Mary's Invitational (20th-t, 73-72-76-221) and Gifford Collegiate (17th, 75-74-68-217). His other fall effort - the Alister MacKenzie Invitational - featured two under-par rounds (31st, 73-69-69-211).

Overall in Oregon history, Miernicki, Wong and Vijarro capped their careers ranked 1-2-3 in career rounds of par or better (90-82-58).

Redshirt senior Robbie Ziegler played three fall events for the Ducks in 2011 after redshirting the 2010-11 campaign. The Canby, Ore., native kicked off the season with a 15th-place finish in the St. Mary's Invitational (20th-t, 73-72-76-221), and his two-under second-round was his season best and among eight under-par scores on the campaign (to go along with two more at par).

Last spring, Ziegler led UO’s team entries in the Bandon Dunes Championship in the overall results (ninth, 70-74-72-216) for the first time this year. He added top-25 overall placings in his late March/early April outings - the Oregon Duck Invitational (eighth-tie, 73-71-71-215 (-1)), U.S. Intercollegiate (fifth-tie, 68-70-72-210 (E)) and Aggie Invitational (21st-t, 72-74-71-74-291)).

Ranked top 250 for the Ducks the last two months of the campaign, sophomore Jonathan Woo jumped 84 places to his season-high national ranking (164th, 73.21) after he placed seventh in the NCAA Regional (72-66-70-208 (-5)). The Singapore native shot par or better scores in four of his seven rounds in the Pac-12 Championships and NCAA Regional to give him six overall among his 19 on the spring and season. In the NCAA Regional Ann Arbor in mid-May, he shot his first-under par tourney total – a five-under 208 (72-66-70) that included a five-under career-best second round.

He led UO for the first time in his career in the Western Intercollegiate with his first-round 69 in his first appearance as a team entrant (42nd-tie, 69-82-73-224).

A month before in his collegiate debut, he shot a three-under, first-round 68 in the Bandon Dunes Championship en route to his highest collegiate tourney placing (seventh, 68-74-73-215 (+2)). In his second collegiate appearance (and as an individual), the Singapore native added his second top-20 effort in the Oregon Duck Invitational (16th, 73-73-73-219), and his three-over tourney score was only one stroke off his then-career best.

Sophomore Rak Cho connected on under-par scores in six of his first nine rounds for the Ducks last fall, including a season-best five-under-67 in the finale of his collegiate debut, the St. Mary's Invitational (second, 74-68-67-209). He added a third-place effort in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational (67-68-66-201) en route to a 12-under tourney score that ranks fourth all-time for UO.

In the spring, Cho tied his season low round with his five-under 67 in the Amer Ari Invitational opener in early February. In March action, he added another under-par and par round on the par-71 Bandon Trails course en route to a third-place Bandon Dunes Championship finish and two-under tourney score (third, 72-68-71-211).

Junior Ben Itterman played four spring events for the Ducks in 2011-12 and placed top 35 in three of them – the Aggie Invitational (20th, 77-79-72-228), Bandon Dunes Championship (30th-tie, 79-75-69-223) and Oregon Duck Invitational (32nd-tie, 73-76-74-223). He had three rounds of par or better this season (including a career-best-tying two-under 69) among his seven career-wise, and another at one over in the league finale.

Redshirt senior Jack Paton played seven events and carded three rounds at par and two more under par. The Hillsborough, Calif., native placed top 50 in five events this season, with his top-two placings in his first stops of the fall - the St. Mary's Invitational (33rd-tie, 70-81-76-227) and Alister MacKenzie Invitational (31st, 71-72-77-220).


TOP DUCK PROFILE
Seventh-year Duck head coach Casey Martin has established himself as one of the nation's most respected coaches after an equally noteworthy collegiate and pro playing career.

Under his direction in 2011-12, Oregon capped arguably its greatest season by matching its best-ever NCAA finish (third), tying for the Pac-12 Championships leader for the second straight season, and finishing second in the NCAA Regional by one stroke. During the year, UO ranked top 15 nationally all season long as it staked team wins in six events and three individual victories in 2011-12.

Two years before, the Eugene native was tabbed the Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2010 after he led the Ducks to a then-school-record five tournament victories and its first-ever NCAA Regional title. UO followed with a school-best tie for third place in the NCAA Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn., thanks to a fifth-place effort in stroke play, and quarterfinal match play win over league rival Washington, 3-2.

That same 2009-10 season, then-sophomore Eugene Wong was tabbed the co-Pac-12 Golfer of the Year, won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the Division I player of the year and was named a first-team PING All-American. Wong's tie for ninth at the NCAA Championships is believed to be the best finish ever by a UO golfer.

Other highlights his first few seasons included, wins in the 2006 Northwest Collegiate Classic - his second event at the Duck helm - and the 2007 Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe. Prior to becoming head coach, he served as a volunteer assistant for the Ducks during the 2005-06 season.

Before that he was one of the nation's most recognized professionals since the start of his pro career in 1998. He earned his PGA Tour card in 2000 - the same season he recorded five top-50 finishes. His best showing was a tie for 17th in the 2000 Tucson Open, and he also placed 23rd in the the 1998 U.S. Open.

A graduate of South Eugene High School, Martin was a three time all-conference selection and a two-time All-American at Stanford. In 1995, he received Academic All-America honors while graduating with a degree in economics. He was a member of the 1994 Stanford team that won the NCAA championship.


LANNING LENDS A HAND
The Oregon men's golf team welcomes back Brad Lanning to the program for his second year as an assistant coach. Well known as highly successful high school golf coach, Lanning rejoined forces with head coach Casey Martin - his former Stanford teammate from three seasons, including the Cardinal's 1994 NCAA Championship squad.

After college, Lanning spent six years playing professionally with stints on the Hooters Tour, South American Tour and Canadian PGA, and also worked as a stock broker before entering the coaching ranks.

Success came quickly for Lanning as a high school assistant coach with a state title and runner-up finish in two years at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton, Fla. After relocating to Colorado to enter a master’s program at Denver Seminary, Lanning assisted Valor Christian High School to a pair of state championships in his three seasons at the helm.

A 1994 Stanford graduate with a degree in Political Science, Lanning, 41, earned his master’s in Counseling at Denver Seminary in 2011.

 
MORE ONLINE GOLF INFORMATION
Pac-12 Conference – www.Pac-12.org
NCAA – www.NCAA.org / www.NCAAsports.com
Golf Coaches Association of America - www.collegiategolf.com
Golfstat - www.Golfstat.com
Golfweek - www.Golfweek.com
Junior Golf Scoreboard - www.njgs.com
USGA - www.usga.org
PNGA - www.thepnga.org
OGA - www.oga.org

OREGON GOLF MEDIA
Daily Emerald Student Newspaper: www.dailyemerald.com
Eugene Register Guard: www.registerguard.com
Oregonian: www.oregonlive.com
KEZI-TV (ABC): www.kezi.org
KMTR-TV (NBC): www.kmtr.org
KVAL-TV (CBS): www.kval.org
KUGN-590 AM (Radio): www.kugn.com
Duck News (Online): www.DuckNews.com

MEDIA SERVICES INFORMATION
Assistant AD, Media Services: Andy McNamara
Assistant Dir. (M Golf Contact): Geoff Thurner, (541) 346-2250
E-mail: gthurner@uoregon.edu
Department web site: www.goducks.com
Address: 2727 Leo Harris Parkway, Eugene, Ore. 97401
Office Phone: 541/346-5488
Office FAX: 541/346-2244
 

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