It's always exciting to hear that UCLA will contend for a national championship, but I have a special place in my heart for Golf. Per GolfWeek magazine, the UCLA Men are 4th in the nation and the Women 2nd.
The Women bring back a team that includes Junior Stephanie Kono, GolfWeek's #3 player in the nation. The team will also bring back sophomores Lee Lopez and Stephanie Lua who made GolfWeek's 2nd-team (#s 11-20, in what seems to be no particular order). Additionally, the team adds 3rd-teamer and 5th ranked freshman Ani Gulugian.
The Men will "only" have one ranked returner in 2nd-teamer Gregor Main, but add two top-10 freshmen in PatrickCantlay (3rd-team, #1 Freshman) and Anton Arboleda (#8 Freshman).
Stephanie Kono, UCLA Junior
Excerpts after the jump.
For the Men:
Go-to-guy: Gregor Main
2009-2010 Golfweek rank: 9
Can win national championship if . . . the Bruins’ foreign players benefit from a year in the States. Sweden’s Pontus Widegren and Portugal’s Pedro Figueiredo performed admirably as freshmen last season but are capable of more. Incoming freshman Patrick Cantlay had a strong summer, including runner-up at the Southern Amateur and semifinals at U.S. Amateur.
For the Women:
2009-2010 Golfweek rank: 1
Go-to-girl: Stephanie Kono
Can win national title if . . . redshirt sophomore Lee Lopez and freshman Ani Gulugian come up as huge as head coach Carrie Forsyth has predicted. The Bruins ended last season ranked No. 1 despite a disappointing sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championship, where they were nonfactors. "We had one bad round," Forsyth said.
3.) Stephanie Kono:
School: UCLA, Junior
2009-2010 Golfweek rank: 7
The scoop: Plagued by a back injury most of last season, Kono had to curtail her practice regimen. "That puts question marks in your brain," coach Carrie Forsyth said. Kono is stronger this year and, hopefully for the Bruins, healthier.