With four of the Pac-12 teams in the Top 10, the conference is highly regarded as the premiere collegiate golf conference in the country.
No. 1 Cal (90-2-1)
The No. 1 Golden Bears have demolished the competition, winning six of their last seven tournaments. The only contest Cal did not win was the Arizona Intercollegiate, in which the team placed third. However, sophomore Michael Kim and junior Joël Stalter tied for first place at the Intercollegiate by each hitting -9. Stalter is ranked the No. 2 golfer in the country followed by Kim, who is ranked No. 3.
No. 2 Washington (67-12-3)
The Huskies have participated in seven tournaments dating back to September and have tied for first or won outright in three of them. Washington most recently went back to Seattle with a win at the Prestige at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., where the team tied with USC at -1. Like Cal, Washington carries two of the nation’s Top 10 golfers. Cheng-Tsung Pan, a sophomore from Taiwan, is No. 4 in the country, while junior Trevor Simsby holds the No. 8 spot.
The purple and gold is set to partake in its next contest from March 8 to March 10 at the Bandon Dunes Championship in Bandon, Ore.
No. 3 UCLA (64-10-3)
The team with the toughest schedule in the country has certainly shown up to play. Behind the lead of No. 12 senior Pontus
Widegren and No. 41 senior Pedro Figueiredo, UCLA has been able to win or tie for
first in three of its last four tournaments since November 2012.
No. 14 UCLA’s most recent first-place finish came at the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii, where its two leaders, Widegren and Figueiredo, finished in the top 10 and the Bruins tied for first place with Washington at -22 overall.
No. 4 USC (62-9-3)
Freshman Yi Keun Chang and sophomore Anthony Paolucci have put the Trojans on their backs to keep USC within the nation’s Top 10 teams. Chang has participated in five events over the course of the year, averaging 71.53 strokes per round with a career-best fifth-place finish at the Pac-12 Preview on Oct. 8 to Oct. 9, 2012.
Paolucci has also participated in five tournaments, averaging 71.20 strokes per round. His best finish came at the Prestige at PGA West tournament, where he tied for second. USC tied for first at the same tournament with Washington.
More recently, USC won the North Ranch Invitational in Westlake Village, Calif., last week. The next contest for USC will take place on March 8 to March 10 at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at Southern Highlands Country Club in Las Vegas.
No. 5 Stanford (50-25-1)
Under the leadership of coach Conrad Ray and star players, No. 16 Patrick Rodgers and No. 38 Cameron Wilson, the Cardinal has maintained its position within the top 15 throughout the year. Although Stanford hasn’t fared extremely well against the nation’s Top 25, going 18-20 against that part of the field.
With the second toughest schedule in the nation, Stanford has kept up with its competition. The team’s next tournament is also the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters.
No. 6 Oregon State (45-36-2)
Through seven tourments this year, the Beavers have only beat one team ranked in the Top 25. Oregon State does not have any players ranked in the to 50 individually either. However, they won a tournament — the Mark Simpson Invitational — in Colorado last September.
No. 7 ASU (68-56-2)
With a freshman-heavy roster, ASU has bright hopes for the future, but this season has been one of positives and negatives.
After a strong fall showing, freshman Jon Rahm Rodriguez seemed to be ASU’s leader coming into the spring. However, another freshman, Max Rottluff, has stolen the spotlight. Dating back to November, Rottluff has finished five straight contests within the Top 10 in the standings. Fellow freshman Alberto Sanchez has slightly struggled at the collegiate level, but has shown flashes of brilliance. Sophomore Austin Quick has also picked things up after a slow start to the spring.
The team’s main fault has been getting off too strong starts in each tournament, but it has improved throughout the spring. Whatever the issues may be, ASU has a solid squad that is ready to compete for years to come. A jump of almost 25 spots from 72 to 47 in the season’s first month is a good sign of it.
No. 8 Oregon (41-41-1)
The Ducks haven’t had a great year, but it hasn’t been a bad year for them either. Oregon’s top player, sophomore Rak Cho, has led the Ducks through four events this spring. His 72.75 per round scoring average is not met by anybody else on the team.
Hanging just outside of the Top 50, Oregon could be breaking in with a strong finish in their next tournament. Its next contest is in Oregon at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort from March 8 to March 10.
No. 9 UA (43-29-1)
In two tournaments this spring, the Wildcats have finished fifth and tied for fourth. Those respectable finishes have helped them hover around the Top 50 teams in the nation. Like Oregon, UA has the chance to make its way in with a couple more top five finishes.
The Wildcats are going to have to rely on junior Erik Oja, who is averaging a team best 73.06 strokes per round in six events since the last fall. Oja has placed in the top 10 in three of the six events he has participated in. UA will be hosting the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson from March 16 to March 17.
No. 10 Washington State (65-22-1)
With their record and conference-low schedule rank, the Cougars have played it safe this season. It has paid off for them, also staying close to the top 50.
Washington State have been all over the leader board this spring. In two February tournaments, the Cougs placed seventh in the first and second in the other, the Snowman Getaway, in Goodyear. The team features just one senior and four juniors, leaving the remaining six to be a mix of freshmen and sophomores. Ranked No. 56 with the majority of the team being filled by freshman and sophomores speaks good things about a program and signals good things for the future.
No. 11 Colorado (42-52-0)
Colorado is another freshman- and sophomore-heavy team in a bit of a rebuilding mode. There has been a bright spot for the Buffaloes, however.
Senior Jason Burstyn is putting up a 71.92 per round stroke average, which has heeled him to two individual victories in the past year. The Buffaloes as a team have not fared so well since the end of last September, when they had a first place and two second place finishes. SInce then, they have not finished better than 12th in a tourney.
No. 12 Utah (22-64-0)
The Utes are a true demonstration of the strength of the Pac-12′s golf talent. They are ranked No. 131, but have a schedule ranking of 65. The team ranked ahead of them at No. 130, Bethune-Cookman, has a schedule ranking of 231 and No. 132′s is at 152. It goes to show that despite Utah being in the conference’s cellar, it still schedule itself to go up against tough competition. Judging from their record, they could possibly use an easier schedule.
In three spring tournaments, the Utes have not placed better than 14th. Their next contest will be March 11 and March 12 at the SDSU Invitational in San Diego.
*Team records reflect entire 2012-13, not just spring.
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