Men's Golf Gearing Up for MW Championship

Nahum Mendoza III will be making his final MW Championship appearance for SDSU this weekend.
April 19, 2017

SDSU Tournament Notes | Live Results

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State men’s golf team will be aiming for its fourth conference title in the last seven seasons this weekend when it travels to the desert for the Mountain West Championship, April 21-23, in Tucson, Ariz. For the 11th consecutive season, the 54-hole event will be contested on the Catalina Course at the OMNI Tucson National Golf Club, which will play as a par-72, 7,194-yard track.

The 11-team field will complete 18 holes on each of the three days, following a practice round on Thursday. The Aztecs, who have been idle since April 9, earned the No. 2 seed are slated to tee off with No. 1 UNLV in the first group on Friday, starting at 7 a.m. PT, while the pairings for the final two rounds with be based on team standings. A live scoring link courtesy of Golfstat will be available on GoAztecs.com.

SDSU, which received a No. 36 national ranking in the latest Golfstat team index, will be traveling to Tucson without having played the Catalina Course in a regular-season tournament prior to the MW Championship for just the second time since the 2010-11 campaign.

Aztec Lineup For This Weekend
For the just the third time this season, San Diego State head coach Ryan Donovan will utilize the starting lineup of seniors Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego, Calif.) and Gunn Yang (Pyeongchang, South Korea), juniors Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.) and PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii), along with redshirt freshman Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.). The combination led the Aztecs to a team title at the Saint Mary’s Invitational, held Oct. 24-26 in Pebble Beach, Calif., and comprised five-sixths of the SDSU delegation at the Western Intercollegiate, conducted earlier this month in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Norby and Yang are the two newcomers for the Scarlet and Black at this year’s MW Championship, while Mendoza will be making his fourth straight appearance, joining Samiere, a three-time participant, while Abercrombie is back in the mix for the second year in a row.

Samiere, Abercrombie and Mendoza are the only Aztec golfers to have competed in all 10 events so far this season, while Yang has played seven tournaments, followed by Norby, who has cracked the starting lineup on three occasions to go with a pair of individual appearances.

In addition, Samiere (4), Abercrombie (5) and Mendoza (5) enter the weekend occupying three of the top seven positions in the latest Golfstat Mountain West head-to-head rankings, followed by Yang (14) and Norby (24).

The Competition
Four of SDSU’s opponents this weekend find themselves among the top 100 in the latest Golfstat rankings released April 18. UNLV is the highest rated team of the group, checking in at No. 16, followed by New Mexico (45), Colorado State (80) and Nevada (92). The Aztecs will also battle Nevada (135), Utah State (141), San José State (166), Boise State (199) and Air Force (210).

SDSU owns a 14-2-1 record in head-to-head results against nine conference adversaries during the 2016-17 campaign, including unblemished marks against Fresno State (3-0), San José State (3-0), Colorado State (2-0), Boise State (1-0), Nevada (1-0) and Wyoming (1-0). In addition, the Aztecs have maintained the upper hand against New Mexico (2-1-1) while splitting two encounters with UNLV (1-1). Air Force is the lone MW school the Scarlet and Black has not faced in a regularly scheduled tournament this year.

Twelve of the top individual finishers return from last season’s conference championship, including medalist Trevor Clayton of Fresno State, runner-up Corey Eddings of Nevada and the Aztecs’ own Nahum Mendoza III (-6), who tied for third. Also back in the mix are Wyoming’s Drew McCullough (T-6th) and Ryan Wallen (T-15th); UNLV’s John Oda (T-8th), Henry Hall (T-8th) and Shintaro Ban (T-15th); New Mexico’s Andrej Bevins (T-11th), Andre Garcia (T-11th) and Gustavo Morantes (T-15th); Nevada’s Grant Booth (T-11th) and Colorado State’s Max Oelfke (T-15th).

Also expected contend are SDSU’s PJ Samiere, Blake Abercrombie and Gunn Yang; Colorado State’s Jake Staiano and Blake Cannon; New Mexico’s Sean Carlson and UNLV’s Justin Kim, all of whom find themselves among the top 15 in this week’s MW head-to-head rankings.

SDSU At The MW Championship
In the 18-year history of the Mountain West, San Diego State has won three team championships, capturing back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, followed by a thrilling victory in 2015. The Aztecs also tied for the top spot in 2009, but lost in a team playoff to TCU after rallying from a five-stroke deficit in regulation.

In addition, SDSU has finished second seven times (2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2003, 2001), placed fourth on four occasions (2005, 2004, 2002, 2016), came in fifth twice (2007, 2000) and ended up in the seventh position once (2008).

The Aztecs’ best individual finish was recorded in 2001 when John Lepak posted a 3-over 219 to win by one stroke at Sunriver Resort in Oregon. SDSU’s Adam Porzak also tied for first place in regulation in 2007, but came up just short in a one-hole playoff loss to Robby Ormand of TCU, while Riccardo Michelini experienced a nearly identical fate in 2014, falling to New Mexico’s Gavin Green on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. In 2015, former All-American Xander Schauffele finished just two shots off the pace in second at 9-under 204 to set an SDSU record for lowest 54-hole score at a conference tournament, while Nahum Mendoza III tied for third last season at 6-under 210.

The Aztecs have fared routinely well on the individual leaderboard at the MW tournament, placing at least one player among the top four in each of the last 11 seasons and 16 times overall.

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