Men's Golf Set for NCAA Washington Regional

May 11, 2017

SDSU Tournament Notes | Live Results

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego State men's golf team embarks on its quest for postseason glory next week when it travels to the Pacific Northwest to compete in the NCAA Washington Regional, May 15-17, in Sammamish, Wash. The 37th-ranked Aztecs, who are making their 19th consecutive regional appearance and 22nd overall, will be among the field vying for a spot in the NCAA national championship series, scheduled for May 26-31 in Sugar Grove, Ill.

SDSU received the No. 7 seed out of 14 teams in the Washington Regional, earning one of 50 at-large bids to the NCAA tournament after finishing fourth at the Mountain West Championship on April 23. A total of 81 NCAA Division I schools received invitations to play in one of six regional events that will be held concurrently this week in Stanford, Calif. (Stanford), Sammamish, Wash. (Washington), Austin, Texas (Texas), West Lafayette, Ind. (Purdue), Baton Rouge, La. (LSU) and College Grove, Tenn. (Middle Tennessee).

Joining the Aztecs at the par-71, 6,885-yard Aldarra Golf Club in suburban Seattle this week will be 13 other teams, including seven foes ranked in the Golfstat top 50, along with five individual competitors (75 golfers overall). The top five squads and low individual not on an advancing team will move on to nationals from each of the six regionals.

Teams will complete 18 holes (54 total) of stroke play each of the three days, following a practice round on Sunday, May 14. SDSU will be paired with UTEP and Penn State for Monday's first round, which is set to begin on the No. 1 tee at 8:55 a.m. PT, while starting times for Tuesday and Wednesday will be determined by team finishes.

Aztec Regional Lineup
San Diego State head coach Ryan Donovan will accompany five golfers to the Evergreen State, including all-Mountain West performers Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego, Calif.), PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii) and Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.), along with Gunn Yang (Pyeongchang, South Korea) and Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.). The aforementioned quintet lifted the Aztecs to a team title at the Saint Mary's Invitational, conducted Oct. 24-26, in Pebble Beach, Calif., as well as a fourth-place standing last month at the Mountain West Championship in Tucson, Ariz. The combination also comprised five-sixths of the SDSU delegation at the Western Intercollegiate, held April 8-9, in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Mendoza will be making his fourth consecutive regional appearance, while Samiere finds himself in the thick of fight for the third year in row, joining Yang, a two-time participant. In addition, Abercrombie earned his initial postseason start, along with Norby.

At the Albuquerque Regional last year, Yang helped the Aztecs advance to the national championships after posting a double-eagle on the first hole of a thrilling sudden-death playoff, as the Scarlet and Black knocked off Texas A&M to gain the regional's fifth and final berth in the NCAA Championships.

Samiere (72.06), Mendoza (72.36) and Abercrombie (72.42) are the only three players to have started all 11 tournaments for the Aztecs during the 2016-17 campaign.

SDSU At NCAA Regionals
Since the NCAA regional format was adopted in 1989, SDSU has received a bid on 22 occasions, including a current streak of 19 straight from 1999 to 2017. However, this season marks the first time in four years in which Aztecs will participate in a regional event based in the Pacific time zone after traveling to Columbia, Mo., New Haven, Conn., and Albuquerque, N.M., respectively.

SDSU has advanced through regional competition into the national championship series on eight occasions, including last season when the Scarlet and Black defeated Texas A&M on the first hole of a dramatic sudden-death playoff to secure the Albuquerque Regional's fifth and final spot at the NCAA Championships. The Aztecs captured the team title at OMNI Tucson National Golf Club in 2011, posting the program's lowest combined score in regional play with a 19-under 833 en route to a seven-stroke victory.

The following season at Stanford Golf Course in 2012, SDSU turned in a second-place finish, with two-time All-American J.J. Spaun setting three team regional records, including lowest score (12-under 198), lowest round (7-under 63) and best individual finish (2nd).

The Aztecs also landed in the runner-up spot at the New Haven Regional in 2015, where four players finished among the individual top-25, including All-American Xander Schauffele, who tied for fifth at 3-under 207.

The Competition
The Aztecs are one of nine teams in the Washington Regional ranked among the top 50 in the latest Golfstat rankings released May 11. Of those squads, five reside in the top 30, including No. 1 USC, followed by Kent State (11), Texas A&M (13), Florida State (22) and Texas A&M (27).

The Aztecs own a 7-6-1 record in head-to-head results against seven of their regional foes during the 2016-17 campaign, including unblemished marks vs. Michigan State (2-0), Kent State (1-0) and Seattle (1-0). SDSU has also maintained the upper hand against Washington (2-1-1) and has split with UTEP (1-1), but has come up short against Michigan (0-1) and USC (0-3).

A Look At The Course
Built on the original site of the Boeing family farm, Aldarra Golf Club offers a challenging par-71 layout that meanders through rolling terrain, mountain streams and old growth timber of cedar, oak and maple to create an environment that is free of distraction and hassle. Located just minutes east of Seattle, Aldarra provides stunning views of nearby Mount Si and the Cascade Mountain range and is the only golf course in the state of Washington designed by world-renowned architect Tom Fazio. The absence of homes on the course, coupled with its pristine condition and a world-class design make Aldarra a true golfers paradise.

In the fall 2007, Aldarra was ranked 31st nationally by Golf Digest Index in the modern club category, which rates private clubs across the United States built since 1990.

Just A Chip Shot Away
The top five schools and two individuals (not on those qualifying teams) will advance out of the Washington Regional to the NCAA championships, May 26-31, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. The Aztecs have qualified for the national championships 29 times in school history, including eight occasions (1999, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016) since the regional format made its debut.

A total of 30 teams and six individuals will play 54 holes of stroke play over a three-day period to determine the individual national champion. The final three days will feature match play between the top eight squads for the national team title.

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