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Ducks Back in Action at Amer Ari Invitational
Release Date: 02/03/2014
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EVENT: 24 Annual Amer Ari Invitational
LOCATION: Waikoloa, Hawaii
DATES: Thursday, Feb. 6 – Saturday, Feb. 8
COURSE: Waikoloa King’s Course
PAR/YARDS: Par-72 / 7,074 yards
TEE TIME: 9:30 a.m. (PST) every day
FIELD (20): Arizona State, Auburn, Colorado, Georgia Tech, CSU Monterey Bay, Hawaii, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Osaka Gakuin, San Jose State, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, University of Hawaii – Hilo, UC Davis, UCLA, USC and Washington
UO LINE-UP: Max Carter, Zach Foushee, Thomas Lim, Brandon McIver, Sulman Raza, Ryann Ree, Jonathan Woo

EUGENE – A new year and a new season is upon the Oregon men’s golf team as they fly to Waikoloa, Hawaii, for the 24th Annual Amer Ari Invitational hosted by Hawaii and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. The three-day tournament will be played on the King’s Course at the Waikoloa Beach Resort.

Teams will tee off at 9:30 a.m. (PST) with shotgun starts all three days on the par-72 7,074-yard King’s Course. The 20-team tournament showcases some of the top-ranked teams in college golf with the likes of Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Washington, UCLA, Texas and USC, who are all ranked in the top-25 by Golfweek.

The 20-team tournament boasts two of the top three teams in the nation in Georgia Tech (No. 2) and Oklahoma State (No. 3) while Stanford comes in at No. 9. Other Pac-12 foes include Washington who comes in at No. 13, while UCLA (No. 16) and USC (No. 22) round out the top-25 with Texas sitting in the 18th spot in the Golfweek polls.

Other teams in the top-50 include Auburn (No. 28), Arizona State (No. 34), Oregon State (No. 47) and UC Davis (No. 50). The Ducks come in at No. 60 in the polls just behind Texas Tech and TCU, who come into the event ranked No. 58 and No. 59 respectively. Colorado rounds out the teams in the top-100 at No. 83.

Since taking over the golf program in the fall of 2006, head coach Casey Martin has led the Ducks to five top-10 finishes at the Amer Ari Invitational. The Ducks’ best finish at the tournament in Martin’s tenure came in 2010 when Oregon finished tied for second, firing in a score of 291-290-288—869 (+5).

Oregon placed 11th last year at the event with then-freshman Brandon McIver leading the pack, carding a 72-71-72—215 (-1) and finishing tied for 26th-place. UCLA and Washington tied for the top spot last year as both teams carded a 277-280-285—842 (-22). Dominic Bozzelli of Auburn secured the individual title by two strokes with a score of 70-68-67—205 (-5).

Oregon send seven of its golfers to the invitational stacked full of underclassmen and highlighted by Thomas Lim. Sophomores Sulman Raza, Brandon McIver, Zach Foushee and Ryan Ree join Lim in the Ducks’ pursuit of their first title of the 2013-14 season.

Junior Jonathan Woo and sophomore Max Carter also made the trip to Hawaii but will be participating in the tournament as individuals, separate from the team score.

The Ducks wrapped up their fall season with a 10th-place finish at a very competitive Gifford Collegiate on the Ocean North Course of the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, Calif. Sophomore Sulman Raza led Oregon, carding a 79-69-68—216 (+6) during the three-day tournament and finishing tied for 25th while UO fired a team score of 294-288-287—869 (+29).

Freshman Brandon Baumgarten also saw his first action in the collegiate ranks, tying for 47th-place with a score of 78-70-77—225 (+15).

Top-ranked Alabama won the tournament by three strokes over USC with a score of 275-276-285—836 (-4), but the Trojans’ Rico Hoey was able to claim the individual title by one stroke over teammate Anthony Paolucci with a card of 68-66-68—202 (-8).

Thomas Lim wrapped up his first term at Oregon with a high note, tying for a third-place finish at the Patriot All-America tournament. The freshman carded a 70-67-69—206 at the four-day event held in Arizona on the par-71 Wigwam Golf Resort. In cooperation with the Folds of Honor Foundation, Lim and the other NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA and AJGA All-Americans that participated in the tournament represented a fallen soldier. Lim represented Lt. Col. James L. Wiley of the U.S. Army, a North Bend, Ore., native who was a member of the 27th Bridge Combat Team from the New York Army National Guard.

Head coach Casey Martin signed Aaron Wise during the early signing period in the fall of 2013. Wise, a native of Lake Elsinore, Calif., is currently ranked 21st in his class nationally and fifth in California by Junior Golf Scorecard. The senior from Santiago High School took top honors this past summer at the USGA Junior Boys Qualifier in Oceanside, Calif., shooting a 65-64—129 and won by 13 strokes over a field of 77 golfers.

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