Former Aztec Golfer J.J. Spaun Victorious on Tour

Written by San Diego State Athletic Media Relations

SAN DIEGO – Former San Diego State men’s golf standout J.J. Spaun emerged victorious at the Tour’s News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot on Sunday after shooting a 5-under-par 66 during the final round at Fox Den Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn.

Spaun drained a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole to seal his first-ever win on the Tour, edging Sam Ryder by one stroke. Ryder had a chance to force a playoff, but misfired on his own birdie attempt within 10 feet on the final hole shortly thereafter.

With his finish, Spaun established a tournament record with a collective 26-under-par 258 (66-62-64-66), breaking the previous standard of 23-under set by Tim Conley in 1993 and equaled by Heath Slocum in 2001.

In addition, Spaun collected a winning paycheck of $99,000 to climb from fifth to third on the money list this year with $335,432.

Prior to Sunday’s breakthrough win, Spaun lost a playoff to Ollie Schniederjans in June at the Air Capital Classic in Wichita, Kan., before falling short by two strokes last month at the Utah Championships presented by Zions Bank in Lehti, Utah. Despite the near-misses, Spaun has already secured his PGA Tour card as a top-25 finisher.

Spaun, who twice received All-America recognition by both the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and Golfweek, won five tournaments during his collegiate career at San Diego State, which is tied for the most in school history with Aztec Hall of Famer Lennie Clements.

A native of Los Angeles, Spaun also earned Mountain West Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2012 and collected three consecutive all-conference certificates. He ended that season ranked 17th by and 21st nationally by Golfweek after leading SDSU to its best-ever Division I team finish with a fifth-place tie in the match-play phase of the NCAA Championships.

The Aztecs open their 2016-17 fall schedule next month when they compete in the University of Minnesota’s Gopher Invitational, Sept. 10-11, at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minn.