By Gavin Chanin
March 29, 2006 9:00 pm
After winning three tournaments in a row, the inevitable
happened Tuesday Ã¯Â¿Â½ the UCLA menÃ¯Â¿Â½s
golf team finally lost.
Both the Gold and Blue teams played in tournaments that
concluded Tuesday. The Gold team finished tied for fourth in the
Ashworth Collegiate Invitational, ending what could have been
UCLAÃ¯Â¿Â½s unprecedented fourth consecutive tournament
win. The Blue team came in fifth during the CSU Bakersfield Spring
The Gold team faced some of its toughest competition of the year
during this tournament as they finished under Pepperdine, USC and
The team shot a combined 23-over par to score 875, 14 strokes
short of PepperdineÃ¯Â¿Â½s tournament-winning 861. USC
and Stanford finished second and third respectively.
UCLA sophomore Craig Leslie, who was moved up to the Gold Team
prior to this event, shot an impressive 4-over par and was
consistent as he shot a 72, 72 and 73 during the three rounds of
Leslie ended the tournament tied for 14th place overall and as
the top golfer on his team as his teammates struggled to find
consistency on the wet course.
The team had some noteworthy individual rounds, but they were
sporadically placed between disappointing rounds.
Daniel Im shot a 1-under par 70 in the first round but followed
it with a 5-over par 76 in the second and a 2-over par 73 to finish
the tournament tied for 19th place.
Similarly, Eric Flores shot his first two rounds over par (with
a 4-over 75 and a 3-over 74) before he found his groove and shot a
team-best 2-under par 69 on his last round.
Besides the two rounds by Flores and Im, there were no other
under-par rounds for the Bruins.
Conditions on Monday were so severe that the second round of
golf was canceled as winds blew so hard that balls were rolling on
the rain-slicked greens.
Assistant coach Gus MontaÃ¯Â¿Â½o, who traveled with
the Blue team, was irritated by the extreme conditions as it turned
a game of skill into a game of luck.
Ã¯Â¿Â½It was frustrating because we were on such a
good roll,Ã¯Â¿Â½ said MontaÃ¯Â¿Â½o, who
cited MondayÃ¯Â¿Â½s conditions as the worst he had ever
seen during competitive play. Ã¯Â¿Â½I wanted to see
what our boys could do. The conditions hit (and) it took a lot of
skill out of the game. Whoever had the good breaks and made their
putts was able to advance.Ã¯Â¿Â½
Ã¯Â¿Â½To me it wasnÃ¯Â¿Â½t a true test
of golf,Ã¯Â¿Â½ MontaÃ¯Â¿Â½o added.
Ã¯Â¿Â½It was just a test of
The Bruins did not get the lucky breaks they were hoping for and
had difficulty with their short game during both rounds.
The Blue and Gold teams hope to learn from their mistakes and
put this week behind them as UCLA continues to move toward its goal
of winning the NCAA Championship.