Huskies back on the course against loaded field

At the San Diego Intercollegiate tournament two weeks ago, the Washington men’s golf team led wire to wire en route to the tournament championship Feb. 13 and 14. Now, the Huskies will look to continue that momentum.

After their two-week layoff, the Huskies will continue their season with the Del Walker Match Play Championship on Monday and Tuesday at the Virginia Country Club in Long Beach, Calif.

“During time off from competition, you get caught up on all of your school work and laundry and that stuff, and get fresh for the next tournament,” head coach Matt Thurmond said. “There is a natural process you sort of go through to get ready for the next tournament, and hopefully by that time you are fresh again. Competition wears you out, so for them to be fresh, they need that time off.”

The last time the UW — ranked eighth by golfweek.com — was seen on the course, it jumped out to an early lead and ran roughshod over the competition, defeating second-place USC by seven strokes and third-place UCLA by 14. The finish was due in large part to four Huskies finishing in the top 14 among individuals. Freshman Cheng-Tsung Pan and junior Chris Williams led the team by tying for third place.

Now, the UW will need a solid effort once again from its top performers to finish highly. The Huskies will likely lean on Williams, ranked 11th nationally among individuals by golfweek.com, and Pan, ranked 29th nationally. In addition, the Huskies will have sophomore Trevor Simsby and juniors Charlie Hughes and Larry Iverson competing this week.

Iverson will likely play a pivotal role for the Huskies this week. The junior will be competing in his first event of the year for UW and will hold down the fifth spot for the team. Thurmond pointed to Iverson, as well as Williams, as key players for this week.

“I think Larry Iverson is a really important one this week; he’s playing in his first event this year, and that fifth spot is very important,” Thurmond said. “If he plays well, we could be in good shape. I also think Chris Williams, as our number one, going against the other team’s number ones, is important. If he can do well, we are going to be in a great position.”

The Huskies will be in for a tough go if they hope to win the tournament. The field consists of eight West Coast teams, including four teams other than UW ranked in the top 10.

“I just expect them to compete hard,” Thurmond said. “We are playing against really good teams, and anybody here can beat anybody. I hope we win, that’s certainly the goal, but I think we will play well.”

Reach reporter Daniel Rubens at sports@dailyuw.com or on Twitter @drubens12.

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