Aztecs garner seventh seed in Washington Regional
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
May 4, 2017 (San Diego) - The San Diego State men’s golf team will venture to the Pacific Northwest for the 2017 Washington Regional May 15-17 as announced Thursday by the NCAA selection committee. The 37th-ranked Aztecs earned a No. 7 seed for their school-record 19th consecutive regional appearance and 22nd overall since the regional format was launched in 1989.
Under the direction of 14th-year head coach Ryan Donovan, SDSU claimed one of 50 at-large bids after posting their sixth top-five team finish of the season with a fourth-place performance at the Mountain West Championship, April 21-23. A total of 81 NCAA Division I schools received invitations to compete in one of the six regional tournaments that will also be played concurrently in Stanford, Calif. (Stanford), West Lafayette, Ind. (Purdue), Baton Rouge, La. (LSU), Austin, Texas (Texas) and College Grove, Tenn. (Middle Tennessee).
The top five squads and lowest individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, slated for May 26-31, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
The fifth-seeded Washington Huskies will serve as host to the Washington Regional, which features 14 teams and five individuals in addition to the Aztecs. The teams and individuals will play 18 holes (54 total) on each of the three days at the par-71, 6,885-yard Aldarra Golf Club, following a practice round on Sunday, May 14. A live hole-by-hole scoring link will be available for all three rounds courtesy of Golfstat on GoAztecs.com.
SDSU was one of just three Mountain West schools to earn a regional berth in 2017, joining UNLV (No. 3 seed) and New Mexico (No. 8 seed), which will both compete in the West Lafayette Regional. In addition, the conference will be represented by four individuals, including Nevada’s Grant Booth (Stanford Regional), Boise State’s Brian Humphreys (Stanford Regional), Colorado State’s Jake Staiano (Austin Regional) and Wyoming’s Ryan Wallen (Washington Regional).
The Aztecs last traveled to the Evergreen State in Sept. 2014 for the Husky Invitational, where the Scarlet and Black placed third out of 15 teams at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.
Despite the loss to graduation of two star seniors, coupled with some nagging injuries, SDSU has produced yet another successful campaign, recording two tournament victories thus far to go with six top-five placements, while five different golfers have led the squad through 11 events.
Individually, junior PJ Samiere tops the Aztecs with a 72.06 scoring average, followed closely by senior Nahum Mendoza III (72.36) and junior Blake Abercrombie (72.42). The trio recently collected all-Mountain West honors, giving SDSU three all-conference picks for the fourth year in a row. In addition, the Scarlet and Black has received a boost from senior Gunn Yang (72.74), who is coming off a third-place tie at the MW Championship.
The Aztecs have qualified for nationals 23 times in school history, including eight occasions (1999, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016) since the regional format was adopted. SDSU claimed its first-ever NCAA regional crown in 2011, after finishing in the top spot by seven strokes as the No. 2 seed in Tucson, Ariz., followed by runner-up performances at Stanford, Calif., and New Haven, Conn., respectively, in 2012 and 2015.
Last season in the Albuquerque Regional, the Aztecs gained the fifth and final spot to the NCAA championship series after defeating Texas A&M on the first hole of a dramatic sudden-death playoff.
NCAA Washington Regional
Aldarra Golf Club (Par 71, 6,885 yards)
Teams (Seeds in descending order; automatic berths in parentheses)
2. Kent State (Mid-American Conference)
3. Texas A&M
4. Florida State
7. San Diego State
8. UTEP (Conference USA)
9. Penn State
11. Michigan State
12. Seattle (Western Athletic Conference)
13. Marquette (Big East)
14. Bryant (Northeast Conference)
1. Hidetoshi Yoshihara, UCLA
2. Tim Widing, San Francisco
3. Ryan Wallen, Wyoming
4. Cole Madey, UCLA
5. Michael Colgate, Nebraska