Men's fall countdown: No. 10 UCLA
Next up on our men's 2014 fall countdown, No. 10 UCLA:
Editor's note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won't be available until a couple of the weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.
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Preseason rank: 10
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 15
2013-14 in review: The Bruins walked away with one victory last season. Thanks in large part to timely putting in the final round of NCAA Championship stroke play, UCLA advanced to match play but fell in the quarterfinals to LSU.
Notable departures: Anton Arboledo
Key returnees: Juniors Jonathan Garrick and Lorens Chan, seniors Jay Hwang, Matt Pinizzotto and Preston Valder
Newcomers of note: Freshmen Corey Shaun, Brandon Mai and Victor Ponte
Circled on the fall calendar: Erin Hills Intercollegiate, Oct. 5-7; U.S. Collegiate Championship, Oct. 17-19; Gifford Collegiate Championship, Nov. 3-5
Fall outlook: The team’s true test will come three tournaments into the season, when the Bruins head east to the U.S. Collegiate for one of the year’s first major tournaments. Neither Garrick nor Chan – the Bruins' top returners – won an individual title last year, but between the two, they amassed 10 top-10 finishes. Garrick also advanced to the Round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur and lost in a playoff at the Canadian Amateur. Plus with three seniors returning – Jay Hwang, Matt Pinizzotto and Preston Valder – experience will be key for the Bruins this season.
Coach’s perspective: “We are very excited about the upcoming year because we were satisfied with how the year ended in the spring. We only lost one player, and we are bringing in three very talented freshmen. The players are hungry, and they have some very ambitious goals they want to accomplish.
“Lorens and Jonathan are both looking to break through and win events this year. Both are very capable, and I would expect them to have very successful years.” – head coach Derek Freeman