AUBURN, Wash. -- The top-seeded UCLA men's golf team won its seventh tournament title this season by capturing the NCAA West Regional championship by one stroke over Arizona. The University of Washington hosted the tournament at Washington National Golf Course in Auburn, Wash.
The victory was the Bruins' first regional title in the 11-year history of the NCAA regional format. The Bruins will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 28-31, as one fo the nation's top three seeded teams. Oklahoma State will host the event at Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, OK.
The Bruins posted a score of 5-over par 293 in Saturday's final round, while Arizona, led by 2002 U.S. Amateur champion Ricky Barnes, made a charge with a 3-under par score of 285. The Bruins finally held off the Wildcats with a three-round total of 864, even par, and Arizona took second at 865. UNLV and Georgia tied for third at 871, and Arizona State and New Mexico tied for fifth at 879. Tied for seventh were Washington and USC at 880 and tied for ninth were Oregon and San Diego State. The tournament had not finished at press time, and the tie between the two ninth place teams would have to be settled to determine which team would advance to the NCAA Championships in two weeks.
Individually, the Bruins were led by junior Steve Conway who posted three straight rounds of 71 to finish at 213, 3-under par. John Merrick posted an even-par score of 72 in the final round and finished with a 54-hole total of 214, 2-under par. Merrick fired a course record 67 on Friday, which was matched on Saturday by Barnes and Georgia's Dan Kisner. Travis Johnson tied for 17th at 218, 2-over par. Roy Moon and John Poucher tied for 34th at 5-over par 221.
Although a few players remained on the course, it appeared New Mexico's Michael Letzig would win medalist honors at 208, 8-under par. Barnes was second at 211, followed by teammate Chris Nallen at 210.