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Taylor & Wong Named Pac-10 Co-Players of the Year
The University of Washington's Nick Taylor and Oregon's Eugene Wong have been named the Pac-10's Co-Golfer of the Year. The Huskies won the Pac-10 tournament in late April.
The UW's Chris Williams and USC's T.J. Vopel earned Co-Freshman of the Year honors, and Oregon's Casey Martin was voted the conference's Coach of the Year by his peers.
For Taylor, the top-ranked amateur in the world, it was the second straight year he's shared the top honors in the Pac-10. In 2009 he and Southern Cal's Matthew Giles were given the award.
Taylor, a senior from Abbotsford, B.C., led the Huskies in multiple categories. He was a top-10 finisher in 9 of 11 events and had a team-best scoring average of 70.73. He became just the fifth player in conference history to win the award multiple times. He led the UW with 18 rounds played under par and shot 10 rounds in the 60s. He is currently ranked the No. 3 player in the country.
"In back-to-back years Nick is the Pac-10 Player of the Year in the best conference in the country. That's pretty awesome," said Husky coach Matt Thurmond. "It's a thrill for him and he's very deserving."
Wong, a sophomore from North Vancouver, B.C., had a breakout season with eight top-10 finishes in 13 tournaments, including two victories along with two second-place and two third-place finishes. The victories came in the USC Collegiate Invitational and Western Intercollegiate. Only once in 13 events did Wong finish outside the top 20. Wong has a stroke average of 69.4 in 39 rounds of play, with 29 of those rounds being played at par or below.
Williams, a native of Moscow, Idaho, is the first Husky to be named the Pac-10's top freshman. "We challenge each of our freshmen every year to be the freshman of the year in the conference and we've never had one," said Thurmond. "Chris has had an amazing year and I'm just excited for him. This was one of the best crops of freshmen ever in the Pac-10 and to come out on top of that is pretty awesome for him."
Williams won two tournaments and had five top-10 finishes in eight events this year. His victories came in the ASU Thunderbird Invitational and the Battle at the Beach in Newport Beach, Calif. Williams also finished eighth at the Pac-10 Championships in helping the Huskies win the team title. He averaged 71.28 stokes in 25 rounds this year.
Vogel, a freshman from Cooper City, Fla., posted three top-10 finishes in nine tournaments, including a pair of runner-up finishes in the USC Invitational and the Southern Highlands Collegiate at Las Vegas. Vogel is the top-ranked player on a USC squad that is currently ranked No. 9 in the nation. He has a stroke average of 72.1 in 28 rounds this year.
Martin, in his fourth year as head coach, directed Oregon to a stellar year that saw the Ducks win four of the 13 tournaments they entered and finish in the top four in 12 of their events. The Ducks four tournament wins came in the USC Intercollegiate, the Oregon Duck Invitational, the U.S. Intercollegiate and the Western Intercollegiate. At the conclusion of regular season play, Oregon is ranked the nation's No. 2 team in the Golf World coaches' poll.
The Pac-10 golf awards and the All-Pac-10 Team are voted on by the conference's head golf coaches. Players on the All-Pac-10 First Team include:
David Chung, Stanford, So., Fayetteville, N.C.
Jesper Kennegard, Arizona State, Jr., Klippan, Sweden
Alex Shi Yup Kim, UCLA, So., Fullerton, Calif.
Daniel Miernicki, Oregon, So., Santee, Calif.
Eric Mina, California, Jr., Fremont, Calif.
Nick Taylor, Washington, Sr., Abbotsford, B.C.
Diego Velasquez, Oregon State, Sr., Bogota, Colombia
T.J. Vogel, USC, Fr., Cooper City, Fla.
Eugene Wong, Oregon, So., North Vancouver, B.C.