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No. 30 Aztec Men's Golf Kicks Off 2009-10 In New Mexico

Alex Kang is one of three Aztec sophomores to compete this week.
Alex Kang is one of three Aztec sophomores to compete this week.

Sept. 10, 2009

Aztec Men's Golf Tournament Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Aztec Men's Golf Kicks Off 2009-10 In New Mexico
Less than two weeks after the 2009 fall semester officially began, the San Diego State men's golf team kicks off its season on Friday at the two-day William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M. The Aztecs will be among an elite field of 17 schools at the par-72, 7,591-yard University of New Mexico Championship Course.

Headlining SDSU's list of opponents this week is defending NCAA team champion Texas A&M, along with fellow MWC schools Air Force, BYU, New Mexico, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming.

The Aztecs will play two rounds on Friday, followed by the final 18 holes on Saturday. Both days tee-off at 7:30 a.m. MT with a shotgun start. Live stats are available at www.golfstat.com.

The William H. Tucker Intercollegiate is currently in its 55th year and is the second-oldest men's college tournament in the country. Previous individual participants include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ben Crenshaw, Johnnie Miller, Cory Pavin, Mike Weir, Colin Montgomery, Fuzzy Zoeller and Jim Furyk.

Aztec Line-Up For This Week
Aztec head coach Ryan Donovan will take two juniors and three sophomores to this week's season-opening tournament in Albuquerque. The five players each finished in the team's top five in stroke average a year ago and four of the five represented SDSU in its 11th straight NCAA regional appearance.

Both juniors, Johan Carlsson (Gothenburg, Sweden) and Matt Hoffenberg (Simi Valley, Calif.), participated in the William H. Tuck Intercollegiate in 2007, while sophomores Andrew Cooley (New Haw, England), Alex Kang (Oak Park, Calif.) and J.J. Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.) will play at UNM for the first time.

Flashback: SDSU At The William H. Tucker Intercollegiate
San Diego State will play at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate for the second time in the last three years and the eighth occasion since 2000.

Two years ago, the Aztecs were tournament runners-up, posting a 4-over 868, including a final round 1-over 289. SDSU finished four strokes in back of champions Pepperdine and had three players end up in the individual top 20, including then freshmen Johan Carlsson (t-5th) and Matt Hoffenberg (t-19th).

The second-place performance is the school's best ever at the Tucker Intercollegiate. The Aztecs have ended up in the top 10 five times in their seven appearances since 2000.

Preseason Rankings
San Diego State, which ended 2008-09 ranked 21st nationally by golfstat.com, has been rated 30th by Golfweek Magazine in the publication's preseason poll. The Aztecs are among four MWC schools, including No. 14 TCU, No. 23. Colorado State and No. 29 UNLV.

SDSU also has the 28th-most votes in the Golf World/Nike Men's College Poll, released earlier this week.

2008-09 Review: Aztecs Earn 11th Straight NCAA Bid
The San Diego State men's golf team posted 10 top-five finishes, including six runner-up performances en route to its 11th consecutive and 14th overall NCAA regional appearance. The Aztecs ended the season ranked 21st nationally by golfstat.com and 24th by Golfweek/Sagarin, while narrowly losing in a playoff hole to TCU for the 2009 league crown.

Individually, three players finished as tournament runners-up, including Johan Carlsson at the Washington Husky Invitational, Matt Hoffenberg at the Arizona Invitational and Colin Featherstone at the Fresno State Lexus Classic.

Carlsson received MWC player-of-the-month honors in November 2008 and was later named all-conference. The Aztecs also had three all-league academic selections.

Summer Update
SDSU junior Matt Hoffenberg finished in a tie for 61st place at the 2009 U.S. Amateur, Aug. 24-30, at the Southern Hills and Cedar Ridge Country Clubs in Tulsa, Okla. Hoffenberg just barely missed the cut for match play, tying for 61st place with a 4-over 148, following 36 holes of stroke play.

He qualified for the championship by shooting a 138 on Aug. 4, at the Crystalaire Country Club in Llano, Calif., which is located 20 miles southeast of Palmdale. Hoffenberg was one of three golfers to advance, as Russell Boring was the medalist with a 136, while Patrick Duncan finished third with a 139.

Up Next
After this week's season-opening tournament in New Mexico, the Aztecs play three other fall events in three different states. SDSU travels to the prestigious Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invite in Olympia Fields, Ill., Sept. 18-20, before taking nearly a month off before the Alister Mackenzie Invitational in Fairfield, Calif., Oct. 12-13.

The squad rounds out its fall campaign with its annual trip to Hawaii to compete in the Turtle Bay Resort College Invitational, Nov. 2-4. The spring season won't get underway until the first week in February 2010 in Arizona.

Head Coach Ryan Donovan
Head coach Ryan Donovan is in his seventh season at the helm of the SDSU golf program after serving as an assistant in 2003. A native of Yorba Linda, Calif., Donovan was a four-year member of the Aztec golf squad, before graduating in 2001.

He is assisted by former head coach and current director of golf operations, Dale Walker.