Men’s golf looks to Pac-12 championship following worst 3 performances of season
Junior Bryan Wiyang Teoh and UCLA men’s golf will tee it off at Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, California, for the Pac-12 championship beginning Monday. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)
By Lauryn Wang
April 26, 2021 9:26 a.m.
After finishing outside the top-15 in its last three tournaments, the Bruins are starting their postseason run.
UCLA men’s golf will compete in the Pac-12 championship starting Monday at Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, California. The team is coming off three of its worst performances of the season since the Prestige in February, in addition to the cancellation of the Western Intercollegiate two weeks ago.
The Bruins secured first place in both team and individual at the Lamkin Invitational in early March but have not been able to replicate their success. They posted a 25-over 865 at the Goodwin Invitational and placed 16th. The next week at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic, they carded a 17-over 881 to finish in 17th.
The blue and gold’s packed schedule was made a little lighter when the Western Intercollegiate was canceled, but coach Derek Freeman said the team adjusted accordingly and capitalized on the extra week to prepare for the two-day Thunderbird Collegiate in Phoenix.
“Once we were able to get back into practice mode, we had a nice job of working hard and just going back to our basics of getting better,” Freeman said.
The Bruins’ opportunity to rebound came up short as they finished alone in last place with a 23-over 875, 57 shots off the lead.
The upcoming Pac-12 championship will be held at Mayacama Golf Club, where Freeman said it is possible to go low if his players are smart around the greens. Mayacama isn’t known to be a long course, but Freeman said its greens pose a challenge on approach shots.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to make some good scores, so that’s pretty exciting for us,” Freeman said. “The greens are a big challenge – there’s a lot of undulation. They’re really quick, and they’re really hard. That will definitely be the defense of the golf course.”
The Pac-12 championship marks the start of the postseason, and senior Devon Bling said the team knows the stakes are high.
“We have to play really well at the Pac-12 championship to have a chance to go forward in the postseason,” Bling said. “We have six guys that are capable of playing really well, we just all have to do it at the same time. I think it’s very possible to do it at the Pac-12 championship, and I believe in everybody on our team.”
Joining Bling in the starting lineup are junior Bryan Wiyang Teoh, senior Eddy Lai, junior transfer Kengo Aoshima, sophomore Mason Greene and freshman Dylan Vizanko.
While each player is honing in on different skills to prepare, Wiyang Teoh said the most important factor for his team’s success is cooperation.
“Cooperation is probably the number one thing right now – that everyone is on the same page and has the same goals and ideals to hopefully play really well,” Wiyang Teoh said.
With the goal being to contend at the Pac-12s, Freeman said the Bruins are up for the challenge.
“We embrace the fact that we’re trying to win championships,” Freeman said. “The guys know what it’s for, and they know what they have to do. We love the challenge, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”