The Washington men’s golf team opened its 2017 season with a third-place finish (21-over 873) at the Arizona Intercollegiate.
The two-day, 36-hole tournament held at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz., brought six Pac-12 teams together for the first time since early November. Joining Washington were defending national champions No. 20 Oregon and No. 39 UCLA among others.
The Huskies finished behind the Ducks (5-over 857) and the Pepperdine Waves (17-over 869). Of the Pac-12 schools competing, five finished within the top 10. Washington State was the only other conference team that wasn’t able to shoot 44-over 896 to make it past that mark.
Last year, junior Frank Garber led Washington to its second-place finish. This season however, sophomore Carl Yuan, the only other Husky to return to Sewailo, led the team as the UW jumped up three spots to claim a spot in the top three.
He finished in second place (3-under 210) after three rounds of play, trailing only Oregon redshirt senior Wyndham Clark. Yuan saved his best round for last, carding 6-under 65 early Tuesday morning.
After the first day of competition was brought to a halt due to play extending past sunset, the 18 teams had to resume round two Tuesday and continuously play into round three. Each round had a shotgun start — where all players tee off simultaneously from different holes throughout the course.
Yuan finished his second with three birdies and a bogey for a score of 1-over 72. He wouldn’t card another birdie until after the turn on the final round, and the par-3 15 would end up being the only blemish. He finished the third round with a total of seven birdies for a combined 13 over the course of two days — the third best of any player participating.
Senior Corey Pereira, a reliable member of Washington’s five-man roster, finished just inside the top 20 after shooting 6-over 219.
Ending the tournament in a two-way tie for 17th place, he made up significant ground after his 8-over 79 performance in round two. Pereira was more than perfect during the final 18 holes, recording four birdies and nothing but pars for the remaining holes.
Freshman Henry Lee finished the tournament tied for 29th place (11-over 224). Lee also saved his best round for last and was close to finishing at even-par until he carded a double bogey on the par-3 third hole.
Garber did not see the same success this year, and was plagued by a total of 16 bogeys throughout the three rounds. He finished in a five-way tie for 37th place (13-over 226).
Freshman Sam Warkentin, who so far in the 2016-17 season has placed outside the top 15 only twice, ended the tournament tied for 42nd place (14-over 227). Although he shot his best round to close competition, Warkentin’s even-par 71 on the final 18 holes was not enough to make up for the 14-over 85 performance the first two rounds.
Washington has a few weeks off before its next competition, which will be held Feb. 15-17 in Lihue, Hi.
Reach Sports Editor Alexis Mansanarez at email@example.com. Twitter: @almansanarez