Former Miner wins Pac-10 honor |

Former Miner wins Pac-10 honor

Nevada Union graduate Erik Flores, who is golfing for the University of California, Los Angeles, was recently named Pacific-10 conference Freshman of the Year in addition to be voted first-team all-conference.

Flores registered seven top-10 finishes in 10 events this season, with six of those being top-3 finishes. His stroke average was 72.10, after nine of the 30 rounds he played came in under 70.

“I’m pretty proud of the accomplishment,” Flores said. “It was definitely one of my goals, along with being named the conference’s player of the year. I was very close to being named player of the year and barely missed the cut. I know I aimed pretty high, but I was right there. Overall I’m pleased.”

Only six golfers were named first-team Pac-10 and Flores was the only freshman on the team. The others were two were seniors, one a junior and the other two sophomores.

Sharing Player of the Year honors were Arizona State’s Alejandro Canizares, a senior, and Stanford’s Rob Grube, a sophomore. Flores finished four points short of sharing in the honor.

UCLA coach O.D. Vincent was named Coach of the Year after his team won the conference title. The team has won a total of 11 team championships this season.

In addition to Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Flores is still in the running with three other golfers for the national Freshman of the Year Award. Much of that decision will be based upon how the finalists do compared to one another at the regional and national tournaments.

Asked how much he felt like his golf game has improved throughout his first year, Flores said his mental approach to the game improved more than his physical game in terms of putting or hitting.

“I think I learned more how to play in terms of course strategy and demeanor,” Flores said.

Thus far, Flores’ favorite course to play was Omni Tucson National in Tucson, Ariz. – a course he played during the National Invitational Tournament. He shot a first-round 65. Coincidentally, Flores and his UCLA Bruins play at that same course in two weeks for the NCAA West Regional.


To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail or call 477-4244.

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