April 25, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. - When you're up against the best and toughest competition in the nation, you have to be optimistic and expect to either create a Cinderella upset or settle for a gratifying finish.
The latter is just what the WSU men's golf team looks forward to accomplishing when it heads to the Pac-10 Championships held at the Orinda Country Club in Berkeley, Calif. on April 27-29. The Cougars hope to erase last year's disappointing 10th place finish in its memory banks and start off fresh by making room for improvement at this season's conference meeting.
"The men go into the conference meet with a stronger team," WSU interim coach Melissa Arthur said. "If we go there and play well and post some good scores - I think we can have a really good finish for WSU."
The WSU men have improved this spring by recording a team best finish at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate on March 25-26. The Cougars placed 11th among an 18-team bracket. They also finished closely behind Oregon State and beat No. 46 California by six strokes with a 904 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational last week, Arthur said.
Pac-10 dominance can definitely show when seven conference schools that will be present are ranked among the Top 50 in the nation. Besides host Cal, other ranked schools to challenge are Arizona (4), Arizona State (14), UCLA (23), Southern Cal (24), rival Washington (35), and Stanford (43).
Three veteran seniors will be competing in their last contest as a Cougar. Max McCain (Seattle), Sean Clements (Colbert, Wash.), and Alex Kouzmanoff (Palos Verdes, Calif.) will be leading the Cougars toward its goal of improving on the team finish at Pac-10's. All have given five years to the program after red-shirting one season and competing for the remainder of their four-year eligibility.
McCain is No. 1 in the Cougar lineup for the tournament and maintains the best overall individual season average with a 72.4. He tied for 22nd at the ASU invite with three good rounds of 74, 74, and an even par 72 for a 220. Junior Jeremy Champoux (Yakima, Wash.) holds the best spring season average with a 75.4. Champoux finished in a tie for 14th at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate.
OTHER NOTES The WSU women's golf team may still have a chance at a regional berth come April 28th, when a committee decides on the post-season field ... There is still an outside chance to obtain the 11th spot in the Far West District, Arthur said.
1998 SPRING SCHEDULE
- March 9-10 12th (16 teams) Oregon Duck Invitational Eugene, Oregon
- March 25-26 11th (20 teams) 'Bite' Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Santa Barbara, California
- April 11-13 T16th (20 teams) U.S. Intercollegiate Stanford, California
- April 18-19 17th (18 teams) ASU Thunderbird Invitational Tempe, Arizona
- April 27-29 UP NEXT Pac-10 Championships Berkeley, California
- May 14-16 NCAA Western Regional San Antonio, Texas
1998 WSU PAC-10 ROSTER AND TEAM LINEUP
# 1 MAX McCAIN RS-SR / 5-8 / Seattle, Wash. (Ballard)
# 2 JEREMY CHAMPOUX JR / 6-0 / Yakima, Wash. (West Valley)
# 3 ERIC TOOMEY SO-TR/ 5-10/ Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish / Nevada)
# 4 JEREMY TAYLOR FR / 5-8 / West Richland, Wash. (Hanford)
# 5 ALEX KOUZMANOFF RS-SR /5-11/ Palos Verdes, Calif. (Rolling Hills)
# 6 SEAN CLEMENTS RS-SR / 5-10 / Colbert, Wash. (Mead)