March 6, 2002

Golf Prepares To Host Bite/Pacific Coast Intercollegiate At La Purisima Golf Course

March 6, 2002

Santa Barbara, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara is set to host the Bite/Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Tournament at La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc, Calif. on Thursda and Friday, March 7-8. The tournament will be 54 holes, 36 on the first day and 18 on day two.

The Bite/Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Tournament is in its 28th, and is making its third appearance at La Purisima. The 2001 even was canceled due to torrential rains. UCSB head coach Steve Lass is very excited about the event.

"La Purisima Golf Course is not only a great golf course," Lass began, "but it is a beautiful setting, and it is in the best shape I have ever seen. In addition, we have an outstanding field and if the weather will cooperate this year, I expect to see a very exciting final day."

The field is definitely an outstanding one. Of the 19 teams in the tournament, nine are currently ranked in the nation's Division I top-100. In addition, the nation's top-ranked and fourth-ranked Division II teams, Cal State Bakersfield and UC Davis, will be competing. Seventh-ranked Fresno State, led by senior sensation Nick Watney, is the top team in the field. In addition to 94th-ranked UCSB, the other 15 teams will be 20th-ranked Nevada, 37th-ranked San Diego State, 53rd-ranked Pacific, 59th-ranked UC Irvine, 71st-ranked UC Riverside, 74th-ranked Colorado State, 83rd-ranked Denver, USF, Santa Clara, Wyoming, Long Beach State, New Mexico State, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and San Jose State.

While Watney is the highest ranked individual in the tournament at 13th, there are seven others ranked in the top-125. Watney is joined by his Fresno State teammate Jonathan Echols (39th), Pacific's Jason Higton (49th) and Troy McKinley (104th), Nevada's Sprague Kolp (72nd), Denver's Erik Bilinger (76th), UC Riverside's Brandon Hillpot (88th) and San Diego State's John Leiber (102nd)

The 20-team field (UCSB will have two teams) will play a practice round on Wednesday, March 6. The 36 holes on Thursday, march 7 will have a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start. The final 18 holes on Friday, March 8, will also begin at 7:30 p.m. La Purisima Golf Course is a 7,015 yard, par 72 course. It played host to the 1997 PGA Tour School Finals.

Past individual champions of the event include Craig Stadler (1973), Scott Simpson (1977) and Duffy Waldorf (1985).