A Pacific roar in San Francisco Championship
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
It has been about a month since the University of Pacific men’s team has seen action at a college event. But the Tigers have hardly been sitting around taking it easy.
In fact, the Stockton, Calif., school will be well represented this year at the San Francisco City Championship, one of the longest-standing amateur events in the country.
Four Pacific golfers battled their way through stroke-play qualifying at Harding Park last weekend and earned spots in the upcoming match-play portion of the tournament. Led by T.J. Bordeaux's 68-71 that made him the second overall seed, the Tigers also saw Alex Edfort (71-71) finish seventh, Alex Johnson (76-70) place 17th and Patrick Kucich (71-76) finish 23rd. Danny Garcia (77-71) tied for 29th and lost in a playoff for the final spot.
This weekend’s play again takes place at Harding Park and will feature the round of 32 (three players were exempt from qualifying) and round of 16. Before the Tigers can take a deep breath, they will travel Sunday to play in the Fresno State Lexus Classic on Monday and Tuesday.
Pacific’s players haven’t been doing too bad in college events either, riding their biggest wave of momentum since perhaps the 2001 season, when the Tigers last qualified for the NCAA Championship. Following a third-place finish at the St. Mary's Invitational, the Tigers broke the school scoring record with a 25-under 827 on their way to a victory at the Pacific Invitational. In their lone spring start, they tied for third at the Arizona Intercollegiate.
With more than a month’s break from on-course competition, head coach Brandon Goethals planned ahead. The entire team, including himself, pre-qualified into the City Championship.
“We are going to the Callaway Match Play Championship in Atlanta in March and this will be a great tune-up for our guys,” said Goethals. “I'm really proud of all our guys and especially (of Garcia) winning the pre-qualifying with a 66. Hopefully, this will help give all of them some confidence as we get deep into the spring season.”
Currently No. 64 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, Pacific has a good chance to earn a NCAA postseason bid. Don’t be too surprised to see that happen.