Men's countdown: No. 7 Washington
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
We are counting down the top 30 men's teams heading into the fall college season.
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2012-13 Golfweek ranking: 6
Go-to guy: Junior Cheng-Tsung Pan
Season outlook: The 2013-14 Washington team could be one of Matt Thurmond’s more challenging jobs as a coach. For the first time in four years, Thurmond will send his Huskies onto the course without all-everything Chris Williams. Though it's a key loss to overcome, this Washington squad can remain one of college golf's top teams behind player of the year candidate Cheng-Tsung Pan.
Pan finished last fall at No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings and ended his sophomore season at No. 14. He posted eight top 10s in 13 starts, including two victories (Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational, NCAA Tallahassee Regional), and will step into the No. 1 slot vacated by Williams.
He is joined by two other returning starters in senior Trevor Simsby – who notched five top 5s last season, including a victory at the Pac-12 Preview – and sophomore Jonathan Sanders, who had three top 10s. Freshmen Corey Pereira and Kevin Kwon will join a competition for the Nos. 4 and 5 spots, a mix that also includes senior Gerrit Chambers and sophomores Tyler Salsbury, Chris Babcock and Kyle Bowser .
Since the NCAA Championship went to a match-play format in 2009, Washington is one of just three programs that have advanced to match play three times (Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech are the others). If the Huskies get back there this year, it likely will be on Pan's and Simsby's shoulders.
– Lance Ringler