Courtesy of UCLA Athletics
Complete Top-25 Rankings
The UCLA men's golf team will begin the 2011-12 season ranked No. 1 in the Coaches poll. UCLA is the first school to earn the preseason No. 1 ranking in both men's and women's golf in the history of the GolfWorld Coaches' Poll.
Led by the world's No.1 ranked amateur, sophomore Patrick Cantlay, the Bruins earned the top preseason billing for the first time since the 2008-09 season. UCLA returns three lettermen from its 2011 NCAA fivesome, plus three other players who earned varsity letters. In addition, the Bruins signed three local players who will begin their college careers later this month.
Cantlay has enjoyed a sensational summer, finishing among the top-25 in four professional events, including a tie for 21st at the U.S. Open where he was the low amateur. In addition, he won the SCGA Amateur Championship in July and was the runner-up in the U.S. Amateur last month. Finally, he and nine other top American amateurs will represent the United States in the Walker Cup Matches this weekend in Scotland.
Teammates Alex Shi Yup Kim, Pontus Widegren, Pedro Figueiredo, Anton Arboleda (pictured), Mario Clemens and Bobby Lange have also been busy this summer. Kim and Arboleda played in the U.S. Amateur, and Kim tied for seventh at the SCGA Amateur. Aboleda won the SCGA Match Play Championship in August. Both Widegren and Figueiredo have been playing in Europe this summer and Clemens and Lange have played locally.
The Bruins begin the season Oct. 10-11 at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in Columbus, OH.
The UCLA women's golf program, the 2011 NCAA team champion, will also begin the 2011-12 campaign as the nation's top-ranked team.
This is the second time in Head Coach Carrie Forsyth's 12-year tenure that the Bruins have been named the nation's preseason No.1 team. After winning the NCAA team title in 2004, the Bruins began the following season on top of the polls.
UCLA returns four of its five players from the 2011 championship fivesome, plus one additional letterwinner. Two freshmen will join the team later this month.
Senior and three-time first-team All-American Stephanie Kono (pictured) is the Bruins' most experienced player. Kono played in two USGA events this season, advancing to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur Publinks Championship in July. She also tied for eighth at Stage 1 of the LPGA's Q-School.
UCLA's other returning senior Brianna Do won the USWAPL, beating Kono in the quarterfinals. Do also played in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.
Juniors Tiffany Lua and Lee Lopez have also enjoyed competitive summers. Lua advanced to the semifinals of the USWAPL and the Round of 16 in the U.S. Women's Amateur. Lopez also played in both USGA events and tied for first at the Canadian Women's Amateur.
Sophomore Ani Gulugian played in the USWAPL, and incoming freshmen Erynne Lee and Kyle Roig also have enjoyed exciting summers. Roig advanced through Stage 1 of the LPGA's Q-School and Lee advanced to the quarterfinals of the USWAPL.
The Bruins will begin the 2011-12 season at the Fall Preview in Tennessee, Sept. 23-25.