Arizona Wins College Golf California Regional

The conditions and course for the second California Regional Tournament were like night and day when compared to the first college golf club tournament of the season. The second regional tournament brought golfers to Indian Palms Country Club in beautiful Palm Springs, where the weather was much warmer and the course was even narrower. The first round was played on Saturday, March 2nd on the Royal and Mountain courses. These two courses had a combined yardage of 6316 yards with a rating of 71.7 and slope 128. The weather was sunny and hot, creating a perfect golfing environment. The field was composed of 4 teams:UCLAArizona, National University Golf Academy, and the University of Southern California college golf club teams were all in attendance. Having won the first tournament of the season, UCLA hoped to use their momentum to bring back another win, but, having been just one stroke from first place in the previous tournament, Arizona arrived ready to compete. Despite the relatively flat layout of the course, with its water hazards, narrow fairways, out-of-bounds on every hole, and undulating fairways, proved to be a challenge for all competitors.

At the end of Round 1 all of the teams were within just a couple of strokes of each other. NU was in the lead, Arizona was in second by two strokes, and UCLA was sitting in third just four strokes off the lead. Despite the high average scores for the day, Jerry Vang (NU) came out in the lead, shooting an impressive 73 (+2) trailed by Kevin Koziol (Arizona) with a round of 75 (+4) and Nick Uyeda (UCLA) with a round of 77 (+6).

The second round teed off on the Indian and Royal courses at the same time on Sunday, March 3rd. The combined yardage for these two courses was 6554 yards with a rating of 72.6 and slope 123. The weather switched between overcast and sunny throughout the day, with wind speeds picking up during the latter half. The Indian nine presented the players with a more traditional layout, with adjacent fairways. Only Arizona seemed to take advantage of this wiggle room, though, since they were the only team to improve their score from Round 1.

In addition, unfortunately, in a case where knowledge of the USGA rules would have helped, two golfers, Sam Thomson (Arizona) and Dustin Watanabe (UCLA), were disqualified for each hitting the wrong golf ball and for teeing off on the next hole before correcting the mistake. The tournament concluded with Arizona winning first place with a score of 797 (+82), NU winning second place with a score of 811 (+96), and UCLA finishing in third with a score of 838 (+123).

The individual tournament concluded with Kevin Koziol (Arizona) being named medalist with a 2-day total score of 145 (+2) after shooting a 70 during the final round, the only round under par for the whole tournament. Jerry Vang (NU) finished in 2nd place with a score of 153 (+10), Jorge Betencor (NU) in 3rd with a score of 154 (+11), Alex Rosenbaum (Arizona) and Dorian Patel (Arizona) tied for 4th with scores of 157 (+14), Candace Dechant (USC) in 6th with a score of 161 (+17), Nick Uyeda (UCLA) in 7th with a score of 162 (+19), and Ryan Hendler (UCLA) in 8th with a score of 163 (+20).

The golf course was in great condition and despite the seemingly straightforward layout, all of the golfers were challenged. Arizona finished the Spring 2013 college golf club season with 9 points, UCLA with 7 points, and NU with 4 points. Based on these results, Arizona will be representing the California Region again at Nationals at the Kampen Course at Purdue in late April.