The Washington men’s golf team continues its quest in California as the Western Intercollegiate begins Saturday. The two-day, three-round tournament will be held at the Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.

The nationally ranked course will feature some of the NCAA’s top collegiate men’s teams, including No. 1 USC, No. 5 Oregon, No. 14 Stanford, and No. 24 Arizona State. Washington is among the other eight unranked colleges, including host school San Jose State, joining the field at the 71st annual intercollegiate tournament.

Washington enters the weekend with three consecutive top-five finishes. The Huskies ended the month of February in Mexico, playing in the Querencia Cabo Collegiate and finishing tied for third after shooting 7-under 845.

It was in Cabo San Lucas that senior Corey Pereira earned his fourth career individual title. He led the field after two consecutive 4-under par outings for his first win in his final year in purple and gold.

Pereira also had the best finishes for the UW in the two tournaments last month. He led the Huskies to a fifth place finish (20-over 860) at the Goodwin last weekend after he tied for eighth place shooting 1-over 211.  

This weekend, Pereira and the remaining Huskies will need to have few, if any, hiccups on their scorecards if they want a chance at toppling the nation’s best.

The Trojans, by all means the favorites, come in with consecutive first- and second-place finishes dating back to a match-play tournament in November 2016. Despite the team’s impressive collective performance, they only took home one individual title during the streak.

In its first outing of 2017, USC competed in the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii, where senior Rico Hoey tied for first place after carding 16-under 200.

Other top contenders include the remaining ranked teams. Oregon was on a three-tournament winning streak before finishing in fourth place at The Goodwin. In that same tournament, held March 30-April 1, Stanford earned its first top finish of the 2016-17 season. Junior Franklin Huang led the Cardinal’s charge after shooting 4-under 66 on the final round to claim second place overall.  

After a practice round Friday, play will begin at 8:45 a.m. Saturday with a shotgun start.

Reach reporter Alexis Mansanarez at Twitter: @almansanarez

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