After a successful fall season, the UC Irvine Men’s Golf team has had a hard time getting into a rhythm this spring. Despite five top-five finishes over the course of the year, they’ve also had three of their four tournaments in the spring either shortened or cancelled by the weather.
‘The spring season so far has been very wet,’ said UCI Head Coach Paul Smolinski. ‘We have not played as much golf as we wanted to at this point in the season.’
The team’s best finish so far this year was a second-place finish to Oregon State at the Northwest Collegiate Classic at the Trysting Tree Golf Club in Oregon in September. In that tournament UCI beat out 13 other teams, including conference foes Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and Pacific.
‘The team played well in the fall,’ Smolinski said. ‘Especially the last few events that culminated with our third-place finish at the Prestige against a national field.’
On an individual basis, the Anteaters boasted nine top-10 finishes, including freshman Tim Cha’s overall victory at the Prestige at PGA West in October.
‘Individually, Brian Edick and Kenny Kim each had three top-10 finishes,’ Smolinski said. ‘Garrett Sapp and Derek Uyesaka each had one top-10 finish as well.’
The team also had seven golfers finish in the top-20.
Going into the home stretch of the season