Tournament preview: Arizona Intercollegiate
Five of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings’ top-50 teams will kick off their spring slate Monday at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson. And for No. 4 Cal, it will be without Player of the Year Michael Kim.
Kim turned pro on Dec. 19 after playing out the fall with the Golden Bears. Cal will fill in its fifth slot with sophomore James Yoon, who did not play in the fall. Yoon joins four seniors – Brandon Hagy, Joel Stalter, Michael Weaver and Pace Johnson.
The tournament will be held at the par-71 Sewailo Golf Club, which just opened last month. The field for the tournament includes (with the team’s Golfweek/Sagarin ranking in parentheses): Arizona (153), BYU (38), Cal (4), Cal State Fullerton (54), George Washington (264), James Madison (143), Loyola Marymount (186), New Mexico (14), New Mexico State (65), Oregon State (49), Pacific (132), USC (22), Texas El Paso (105) and UC Riverside (168).
Three of the teams advanced to the NCAA Championships last year – Cal, USC and New Mexico. The three teams will be paired together on the first day of play along with Arizona.
The tee times resulted in a star-studded group. Group 2 features Hagy, the No. 3 player in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, Gavin Green of New Mexico, the No. 12 player, Rico Hoey of USC, the No. 15 player and Erik Oja of Arizona, the No. 73 player.
Both the team and individual champions from 2013 are set to return. New Mexico took home the title with at 844 and Cal’s Stalter won individual honors at 204.
“We’ve assembled a great field as always,” Arizona head coach Jim Anderson said in a release. “There are never a shortage of teams that want to come play in Arizona. … We have a great opportunity to knock off some teams that have had a lot of success and really kick start our spring.”
The 54-hole event will start with 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday.