SDSU Men's Golf Readies for 10th Straight NCAA West Regional Appearance
May 13, 2008
SAN DIEGO -
SDSU MEN'S GOLF READIES FOR 10TH STRAIGHT NCAA WEST REGIONAL APPEARANCE
SDSU, ranked 37th in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, is among 81 NCAA Division I schools selected to play in one of three regional tournaments. The other regionals will take place concurrently in Columbus, Ohio, (Central) and Chattanooga, Tenn., (East) and will also include 27 teams and six individual qualifiers each.
The three-day tournament features 18 holes of stroke play each day starting at 7 a.m. PT. The top 10 teams and two individuals on non-advancing teams will move on from each regional to the championship finals.
SDSU will be paired with Arizona State and Texas during the first two rounds. The teams will begin on the 10th tee at 12:35 p.m. on Thursday and will start at the first tee at 8:05 a.m. on Friday. Saturday's final round tee times will be based on the team standings through the first 36 holes. A live scoring link will be available on the home page of GoAztecs.com.
San Diego State is seeking its 25th trip to the national championships in school history and its fourth since the inception of the regional format in 1989. The Scarlet and Black has advanced to the championship series three times (1999, 2003 and 2005) under the regional-qualifying format.
The 2008 NCAA Championships will be held May 28-31 on the 7,465-yard, par-72 Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind.
THE 2008 NCAA WEST REGIONAL FIELD
The Aztecs have played 17 of the 26 other teams in the West Regional field during the 2007-08 season, compiling a 29-18-1 overall record in head-to head competition, while maintaining a winning mark against 11 of those squads. In the three regionals combined, SDSU has faced 34 of 80 schools, posting a 46-30-1record.
Individually, the NCAA West Regional boasts seven of the top 15 ranked players in the nation, according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index released May 4. Heading the list is third-ranked Kevin Chappell of UCLA, followed by USC's Jamie Lovemark (4th), Jonas Blixt of Florida State, USC's Rory Hie (8th), Sihwan Kim of Stanford (11th), Boise State's Troy Merritt (13th), who will be competing as an individual and Kevin O'Connell of North Carolina (15th).
THIS WEEK'S LINEUP
Goldberg will be making his third West Regional appearance, while Moscovic and Palm gear up for their second starts each. Last season in Tempe, Ariz., Moscovic posted the Aztecs' lowest score of the final two rounds, while a stomach ailment forced Goldberg to withdraw after the second round. In 2006, Palm and Goldberg were SDSU's top finishers at the regional in Tucson, Ariz., as both players carded a 2-under 214 to tie for 46th.
A LOOK AT THE COURSE
BACK SPIN: SDSU IN THE NCAA WEST REGIONALS
The Aztecs have placed in the top 10 on three occasions, with their best finish coming in 1999 when the team came in fifth after carding a combined 11-over 875 at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort. The lowest team score in regional competition for SDSU occurred in 2005 when it posted a 20-over 860 en route to a seventh-place tie at Stanford Golf Course.
That same season, Gilberto Rodriguez recorded the best individual finish by an Aztec when he tied for sixth after firing an even-par 210, which is lowest 54-hole total at a regional in school history. The best single round by an SDSU golfer at an NCAA regional was logged by Magnus Carlsson, who shot a 6-under 66 in 1999.
FLASHBACK: 2007 NCAA WEST REGIONALS
South Carolina claimed the West Regional title after posting a combined 44-under 820 to overtake runner-up UCLA (822) on the final day of competition by two strokes. Individually, Benjamin Alvarado of host school Arizona State captured medalist honors with a blistering 18-under 198, beating out a trio of golfers by three shots.
Adam Porzak was the Aztecs' top finisher for the tournament at 3-over 219, climbing six spots into a tie for 97th after shooting an even-par 72 over the final 18 holes. Cory Segall rebounded from a dreadful opening-day 81 to post back-to-back totals of 70 and 71, the Aztecs' lowest scores of the second and third rounds, respectively, en route to a 6-over 222.
Jamie Puterbaugh also showed improvement on the third day, shaving seven strokes off his second round score for a 3-over 74 to finish at 231. Chad Moscovic suffered a reversal of fortune, however, tumbling from the 68th spot into a tie for 121st on the heels of a final-round 82. Unable to complete his final round due to a stomach ailment, Aaron Goldberg withdrew from the competition.
Déjà Vu: 2008 MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS
After stumbling to an atypical 75 during the second round, Goldberg displayed his trademark consistency over the final 18 holes, notching two birdies with just one bogey to vault five places into the runner-up position along with Colorado State's Riley Arp and Robbie Fillmore of Brigham Young. With his effort, Goldberg landed in the top five for the sixth time in 13 events this season en route to tying his highest finish of the year. UNLV's Eddie Olson held on to his second-round lead, shooting a final-round 70 to walk away with medalist honors at 4-under 209.
Freshman Matt Hoffenberg also demonstrated upward mobility, trimming four shots off his second-round score to finish the afternoon at even-par 71. With his round, the Aztec lefty climbed six spots into a tie for 26th at 7-over 220. Fellow classmate Johan Carlsson, who tied for second among the 45-golfer field with 11 birdies for the tournament, had his putter working once again during the final round as the Gothenburg, Sweden, native added four more circles to his scorecard en route a 1-over 72. Despite three bogeys and a double-bogey, Carlsson still managed his eighth top-20 showing in 13 starts this year after finishing in a tie for 14th at 3-over 216.
Junior David Palm completed the scoring for the Scarlet and Black as the Landvetter, Sweden, product tied for the 38th position with a combined 13-over 226. Palm played bogey-free golf over his final 13 holes to finish the day with a 2-over 73.
Colorado State was the only team to break par over the final 18 holes, shooting a collective 4-under 278 to finish the championships at 2-under 850, vaulting over second-round leaders TCU (+2) and Brigham Young (+5) for the team title. Meanwhile, UNLV (+7) and Utah (+16) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
AZTEC TRIO RAKES IN ALL-MWC HONORS
Goldberg, who ranks second in the MWC with a 71.41 stroke average, has recorded nine finishes within the top-10 during the 2007-08 campaign and is a three-time all-conference performer. The La Costa Canyon High alumnus is also the third Aztec to garner the league's top honor after Lars Johansson (2001) and John Lieber (2002).
Hoffenberg sits right behind Goldberg on the MWC individual leaderboard in third place with a 71.89 scoring average. The talented lefty has four top-10 finishes to his credit this season en route to becoming the first MWC freshman of the year honoree to don the Scarlet and Black.
Palm, meanwhile, enjoyed a successful return to the lineup in 2007-08, posting a 72.91 stroke average and three top-10 finishes after undergoing back surgery last season. The all-league recognition was the second for Palm, who garnered second-team all-Southern Conference accolades while capturing freshmen of the year honors at Georgia Southern in 2005. Along with Goldberg and Hoffenberg, Palm's selection gave SDSU three all-MWC golfers for the first time in the same season since the league's inception in 1999-2000.
GOLDBERG NAMED TO U.S. PALMER CUP TEAM
Joining Goldberg on the Palmer Cup squad will be UCLA's Kevin Chappell, Derek Fathauer of Louisville, Oklahoma State's Rickie Fowler, Chesson Hadley of Georgia Tech, Florida's Billy Horschel, Adam Mitchell of Georgia and Alabama's Michael Thompson. Stanford head coach Conrad Ray will serve as the team's captain.
The United States holds a 6-4-1 lead in the series dating back to 1997, including an 18-6 triumph last year at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. The Americans, however, have lost the last two times the event has been held in Europe.
In addition, Goldberg was one of 20 Division I golfers named to the 2008 Jack Nicklaus Award watch list as announced by the GCAA on April 8. The Nicklaus Award is presented to the player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as the NAIA.
The Nicklaus Award recipients will be named immediately following the final round of each respective national championship. All four Nicklaus Award honorees will be invited to Muirfield Village for the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside Nicklaus' hometown of Columbus to receive their trophies from Mr. Nicklaus. Additionally, a 20-player All-Nicklaus Team - which will include outstanding players from NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA - will be named June 10.
HEAD COACH Ryan Donovan
The 2006-07 season was equally impressive as Donovan guided the Scarlet and Black to three tournament victories and a berth in the NCAA regionals, while coaching Goldberg to seven top-5 finishes, including medalist honors at the District 7 Fall Shootout. For his efforts, Goldberg was named to the all-MWC squad and received honorable mention PING All-America accolades, the program's first such award since 2001.
Donovan also witnessed tremendous success during the 2005-06 campaign, leading the Aztecs to three team tournament wins and their eighth consecutive NCAA regional appearance. Three SDSU golfers - seniors Andrew Scott and Josh Warthen and sophomore David Palm - all claimed individual titles during the season, while Scott and Goldberg garnered all-MWC honors.
Prior to coaching at SDSU, Donovan was a four-year member of the Aztec golf squad and returned to his alma mater after a stint in the professional ranks.
Donovan competed for the Aztecs from 1997-2001. His most successful season came as a junior when he posted five, top-30 finishes. During his senior year, Donovan shot a career-best 4-under 212 at the Aztec Invitational, placing second overall and helping SDSU to the tournament title.
Donovan also has national experience on his playing résumé. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur in 1996 and 1999, and also played in the British Amateur in 2001 before turning pro. He then competed on the Golden State Tour in 2001 and the Gateway Tour in 2002.
A native of Yorba Linda, Calif., Donovan was a four-time all-Sunset League performer at Esperanza High School and was named first-team all-Orange County his senior season. Donovan graduated with a degree in public administration and currently resides in San Diego.