Men's Golf Heads West for Thunderbird Invitational

April 7, 2006

ORLANDO - Coming off its best finish of the season, Nick Clinard's UCF men's golf team will head west to face a strong field at the Thunderbird Invitational this weekend in Tempe, Ariz. The field of 15 teams will play 54 holes over the 7,037-yard, par 72 Karsten Golf Course.

Five teams in the field are currently ranked in the top 25 in the nation according to Golfweek, including seventh-ranked UNLV and ninth-ranked Arizona State, the tournament host. The teams will play 36 holes Saturday and 18 holes Sunday.

"We have been playing pretty well this spring and if we can keep up that trend against this field, we have another opportunity to move up in the national rankings," Clinard said. "We gained a measure of confidence in our last tournament that should help us this week."

UCF moved up six spots to 60th in the Golfweek rankings as a result of its tie for second at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in South Carolina two weeks ago. Sonny Nimkhum earned Conference USA Golfer of the Week honors for his play at the Hootie, where he posted a career-best third-place finish.

UCF also got strong play from Stefan Wistorf, Giwon Suh and Kyle Davis as all three finished in the top 20 in the individual standings. Greg Forest will rejoin those four golfers in the lineup this week after tying for 42nd at the Hootie.

UNLV is the defending champion of the event, but Arizona State claimed the title five of the previous six years.

Thunderbird Invitational field: Arizona, Arizona State (two teams), Arkansas, California, Colorado State, Illinois, Kansas State, Oregon, Penn State, San Diego State, Stanford, South Carolina, Texas Tech, UCF, UNLV.