TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's golf team posted a final-round 8-under-par total to capture the 2003 PING-Arizona Intercollegiate. It marks the 58th team title in program history.
Bolstered by four players in the top 19 places, Arizona carded a final round 276 (-8) to post a three-round 829 (-23) and win the event by two strokes over UCLA (831). The Cats' closing charge erased UCLA's two-stroke lead entering Tuesday's final 18 holes. Pepperdine (840), USC (845) and Wake Forest (846) rounded out the top five finishers.
The win was Arizona's first team title since April 2001, when the Wildcats captured the U.S. Intercollegiate in Palo Alto, Calif. Arizona's total of 23 strokes under par equaled the eighth-best finish in relation to par in school history.
Chris Nallen led the way for Arizona as the junior shot a final-round 69 (-2) to finish in second place individually with a 204 (-9) total. It was Nallen's fourth top-10 finish of the season and the 12th of his career. With three rounds in the 60s in this event, Nallen has posted six scores in the 60s in his last eight rounds played. He finished one stroke behind UTEP's Chris Baryla, who captured individual medalist honors with a three-round total of 203 (-10).
All told, four or Arizona's five varsity golfers in the event posted a final-round total at par or better. Nallen was one of four UA golfers to finish in the top 20. Senior Ricky Barnes earned his third top-10 finish of the year with a tie for third place at 205 (-8). His 8-under-par total is a 2002-03 season low for Barnes. Senior Reid Hatley finished in a tie for 10th place at 210 (-3), two strokes ahead of teammate Andrew Medley, who finished tied for 19th place at 212 (-1) in his UA debut
Also competing for the Wildcat varsity was freshman Blaine Peffley, who tied for 42nd place at 216 (+3). Peffley's tournament total was a career low effort.
The Arizona junior varsity finished in a tie for eighth place with an 851 (-1) total. Sophomore Kipp Riehle finished tied for 10th place at 210 (-3), junior Nick Juszczak finished tied for 15th place at 211 (-2), senior Brian Woolf finished tied for 33rd at 214 (+1), sophomore Nathan Lashley finished tied for 61st at 221 (+8), and freshman Zack Amole finished tied for 72nd at 224 (+11).
The 54-hole tournament was contested at Arizona National Country Club at Sabino Springs, a par 71, 6,793-yard facility. It is the fourth time Arizona has won this event, and the first since 1996.
Arizona will next be in action Feb. 19-21 at the John Burns Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii.