Friday, Apr 25
Mountain West Championship
Tucson, Ariz.
All Day 
Saturday, Apr 26
Mountain West Championship
Tucson, Ariz.
All Day 
Sunday, Apr 27
Mountain West Championship
Tucson, Ariz.
All Day 
more events
Twitter
  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago
Aztec Men's Golf Heads North This Week to Compete in USC Invitational

The San Diego State men's golf team returns to the fairways this week when it travels north  for the USC Invitational, Feb. 23-24, in Westlake Village, Calif.
The San Diego State men's golf team returns to the fairways this week when it travels north for the USC Invitational, Feb. 23-24, in Westlake Village, Calif.

Feb. 20, 2009

SAN DIEGO -

Complete Release in PDF Format

Aztec Men's Golf Heads North This Week to Compete in USC Invitational
The San Diego State men's golf team returns to the fairways this week when it travels north for the USC Invitational, Feb. 23-24, in Westlake Village, Calif. USC will serve as host for the 54-hole tournament, which gets underway Monday with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. PST. The 12-team field will play at the par-71, 6,869 yard North Ranch C.C. A link to Golfstat's live scoring will be available on the home page of GoAztecs.com.

The two-day event features a field of 12 teams, including seven schools which currently rank in the top 50 according to the Golfweek/Sagarin performance index. The field is led by fourth-ranked host USC, No. 6 Stanford, ninth-ranked Washington and No. 19 UCLA. The Aztecs will also meet Brigham Young (84th), California (30th), Fresno State (105th), Loyola Marymount (123rd), Oregon (70th), Oregon State (73rd), Pacific (93rd), Pepperdine (40th) and UC Irvine (52nd). San Diego State enters the week at the 29th spot, according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings released Feb. 18.

USC is the defending team champion while USC's own Tim Sluiter is the defending individual champion.

Following the USC Invitational, SDSU will have a one-week hiatus before returning to action March 9-10 at the Fresno State Lexus Classic in Fresno, Calif. San Diego State looks to defend its team championship as it has won the event in 2007 and 2008. In last season's event, then-freshman Matt Hoffenberg completed regulation in a tie atop the individual leaderboard, but lost on the third sudden-death playoff hole to Texas' Charlie Holland.

This Week's Lineup
Head coach Ryan Donovan will employ a youthful lineup this week as the Aztecs head north to the Los Angeles area. Leading the way are sophomores Johan Carlsson and Matt Hoffenberg. The lineup also includes a trio of freshman with Andrew Cooley, Alex Kang and J.J. Spaun making the trip for the Scarlet and Black. Senior Ryan Citarella will also represent SDSU and play as an individual. This tournament marks the spring debut for Spaun, who competed in three events during the fall campaign. Carlsson, Cooley, Hoffenberg and Kang were all part of the squad that finished as runner-up at the Arizona Invitational earlier in the month.

Hoffenberg is currently first on the squad this year with a 71.67 stroke average, carding a season-best 4-under-par 67 in the third round of the Arizona Intercollegiate en route to a second place finish with a 9-under-par 204 overall. Carlsson is not far behind, currently holding a 72.40 stroke average while having 90.0 percent of his rounds count towards the team score. Cooley, meanwhile, has a 72.46 average and is tied with Spaun (73.33 stroke average) for the lowest 18-hole score this season (66). Citarella, meanwhile, fired a 1-over-par 217 (71-73-73) at the Sycuan Collegiate Invitational during the fall to tie for 46th position on the final individual leaderboard.

This will mark the third time that this lineup has competed for the Aztecs. The five some previously led the Aztecs to a third place showing at the 2008-09 season-opening Washington Husky Invitational (Sept. 29-30) and a runner-up finish at the Turtle Bay Resort Invitational (Nov. 10-12).

On Deck
Following the USC Invitational, SDSU will have a one-week hiatus before returning to action March 9-10 at the Fresno State Lexus Classic in Fresno, Calif. San Diego State is the defending team champion and has won the event the last two years. In last season's event, then-freshman Matt Hoffenberg completed regulation in a tie atop the individual leaderboard, but lost on the third sudden-death playoff hole to Texas' Charlie Holland.

Head Coach Ryan Donovan
Coming off San Diego State's best season since 1982 and the Aztecs' best showing during his tenure, San Diego State alumnus Ryan Donovan is now in his sixth season as the leader of the Aztec men's golf program. With Donovan at the helm, SDSU placed in the top 14 in all 15 outings with the 15th tournament being a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Overall, the Aztecs compiled a 266-21 head-to-head record and finished 20th in Golfstat's final collegiate poll.

Individually, Donovan helped a pair of athletes in senior Aaron Goldberg and junior David Palm earn All-America accolades. Additionally, both were all-Mountain West Conference and all-Southwest Region selections. Other players to earn season-ending honors under Donovan were Matt Hoffenberg (MWC freshman of the year, all-MWC, all-Southwest Region) and Johan Carlsson (all-Southwest Region). Donovan himself was named the Eaton Golf Pride Division I Coach of the Year for the southwest region given out annually by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

In 2006-07, SDSU secured three team tournament titles and reached the NCAA Regionals for the team's ninth straight appearance. Aaron Goldberg had one the program's finest campaigns, finishing with a scoring average of 70.71, while recording seven top-five finishes and capturing medalist honors at the District 7 Fall Shootout on his way to being named an honorable mention PING All-America honors, the program's first such honor since 2001.

The 2005-06 season was equally impressive as Donovan guided SDSU to three team tournament victories and its eighth consecutive NCAA regional appearance. Three Aztec golfers - seniors Andrew Scott and Josh Warthen and sophomore David Palm - all claimed individual titles during the season, while Scott and Goldberg garnered all-Mountain West Conference accolades.

Donovan was a four-year competitor for the SDSU golf squad from 1997- 2001. His most successful season came as a junior when he posted five top-30 finishes.