Men's preview: Pac-12 Conference

Men's preview: Pac-12 Conference

Uncategorized

Men's preview: Pac-12 Conference

Where do Chris Williams and standout freshman Cheng-Tsung Pan rank among the most potent 1-2 combinations in college golf?

“I feel pretty good about it,” Washington coach Matt Thurmond said, smiling. “I feel really good about trotting those guys out in a match-play situation.”

And that’s the key now for the Huskies. Entering Year 4 of match play at the NCAA Championship, it’s become abundantly clear that a dynamic top of the lineup — particularly the No. 1 spot — is more important than ever. Consider Patrick Reed, who went 6-0 in match play at the 2010-11 NCAA Championships and led Augusta State to consecutive titles. The Jaguars seemingly were 1-0 in a best-of-5 format without even playing a match.

Washington may be viewed anywhere from second to fourth in the Pac-12 (behind favorite UCLA), but Williams, a U.S. Walker Cup member, and Pan, a top-5 recruit, give the Huskies a chance to win anywhere they play.

So, how did Thurmond land Pan?

“Well, I’d like to say I’m some awesome recruiter,” Thurmond said, “but he found us more than we found him. He was one of the easiest recruits we’ve ever had.”

One of the best, too.

Having entered the fall semester in the top 10 of the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com world rankings, Pan won The Prestige and posted two other top-10 finishes, putting himself in contention for national freshman of the year honors. Jordan Spieth (Texas) and Patrick Rodgers (Stanford) have been sensational, no doubt, but it’s time to include Pan in the discussion of the Big Three.

“I think he likes it, being under the radar a little bit,” Thurmond said. “He’s smaller, quieter and shorter (off the tee) than the other two guys, so I told him instead of golf he should have been an assassin — he’s cold-blooded, relentless, so focused, and he handles pressure so well. Everything he does surprises me.”

• • •

Top of the class: Oregon

Best player this fall: Eugene Wong, Oregon

• • •

Past champions

2007: USC

2008: Arizona State

2009: Washington

2010: Washington

2011: USC

• • •

Conference capsules

<!—->

• • •

Complete coverage

Wondering how your favorite conference is shaping up headed into the spring season? Who is our favorite to pick up the automatic qualifier? Check out our conference-by-conference break down with our complete coverage page here.

• • •

Going social with Golfweek

Want to follow our college gurus on Twitter? Here are some quick links:

• You can follow blogger Asher Wildman here

• You can find Lance Ringler’s college Twitter feed here

• Check out Ryan Lavner’s witty commentary here

• For the latest on golf in social media, as well as college and junior news, check out D.J. Piehowski on Twitter here.

• And follow all of college golf on Facebook by clicking here

Latest

More Golfweek
Home