Men's Golf Opens 2012 With S.D. Intercollegiate Monday

Feb. 10, 2012

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The San Diego State men's golf team kicks off its 2012 spring campaign next week when it plays host to the San Diego Intercollegiate, Feb. 13-14. The 54-hole event will take place at the par-72, 7,033-yard San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif.

The Aztecs, who are returning to action for the first time in nearly four months, finished their short three-tournament fall schedule ranked as high as 18th nationally by golfstat.com. They will be joined by co-host USD, as well as Arizona State, Augusta State, Cal State San Marcos, Coastal Carolina, Lamar, Point Loma Nazarene, San Diego, Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas-Arlington, UCLA, UC San Diego and Washington.

Seven of the 15 schools are ranked in the nation's top 50, headlined by No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 Washington, No. 8 Stanford, No. 12 Southern Cal. Two-time defending national champion Augusta State will also make their second trip to the San Diego area in the last three years after competing in the 2010 NCAA regional at Carlton Oaks.

Day one action, which includes two rounds, gets underway Monday morning with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. PST. The final 18 holes begin with tee times on No. 1 and No. 10 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Live scoring will be available on golfstat.com and the event is free to the public.

Aztec Line-Up For This Week
Ninth-year head coach Ryan Donovan will bring a veteran line-up with him to the spring opener, taking seniors Matt Hoffenberg (Simi Valley, Calif.), Alex Kang (Oak Park, Calif.) and J.J. Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.), junior Tom Berry (New Haw, England) and freshman Wilson Bateman (Edmonton, Alberta).

In addition, senior Colin Featherstone (Fallbrook, Calif.), junior Evan Emerick (Oceanside, Calif.) and newcomer Cameron Tennant (Woodland Hills, Calif.) will all compete as individuals.

Featherstone has participated three times at the San Diego Intercollegiate previously, while Berry, Kang and Emerick have been in the field twice.

San Diego Intercollegiate History
The San Diego Intercollegiate is entering its fifth season and second as a two-day, 54-hole event. The tournament has previously served primarly as an opportunity for the local schools to compete against one another.

This is the third time and the second year in a row that the San Diego Intercollegiate will take place at the San Diego Country Club. The inaugural event took place at the Chula Vista course, but then moved to the La Jolla Country Club in 2009 and then to The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., in 2010. It was a one-day, 36-hole tournament up until a year ago.

The Aztecs have brought their top squad to the San Diego Intercollegiate twice previously, placing second out of four teams in 2008 and ending up third last season. In both 2009 and 2010, SDSU sent only individual competitors.

USD took home the team title in 2008 and 2010, Point Loma Nazarene won in 2009 and SMU finished first in 2011.

Flashback: 2011 San Diego Intercollegiate
The sixth-ranked San Diego State men's golf team carded the field's best score for the second consecutive round, but was unable to rally from a seven-stroke deficit in the final 18 holes, placing third overall at the 2011 San Diego Intercollegiate Classic, presented by TaylorMade Golf and Lamkin Grips. The Aztecs, who posted a final-round 364, trailed UT-Arlington and SMU by just two strokes in the standings with a 54-hole total of 15-over 1,095.

San Diego State had four golfers in the top 15 on the individual leaderboard, including freshman Todd Baek, who posted a final-round 73 to tie for seventh place at 2-over 218. Aztec juniors J.J. Spaun and Colin Featherstone tied for 11th place with a 219, while senior Johan Carlsson tied for 14th place with a 221.

Junior Alex Kang ended up tied for 17th with a 222, sophomore Tom Berry tied for 28th place at 9-over 225 and sophomore Evan Emerick, playing as an individual, rounded out the SDSU contingent in 52nd place with a 234.

2011 Fall Season Wrap Up
After its season-opener in Washington was canceled due to rain, San Diego State logged three top-five finishes in its three tournaments, including two third-place showings at the Tucker Invitational and the Alister Mackenize Invite.

Senior J.J. Spaun led the way in New Mexico, tying for ninth place at 2-over 218. Sophomore Todd Baek was the team's top golfer at the final two events, taking third at The Prestige and fifth at the Alister Mackenzie.

Following the conclusion of the team's schedule, both Spaun and Baek were selected to participate in the 2011 Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic in El Paso, Texas, Nov. 20-22. Baek finished in a three-way tie for first after 54 holes at 7-under par, but then lost the outright title in a playoff. Spaun, meanwhile, tied for ninth at even par.

Welcome To The Club
San Diego State men's golf head coach Ryan Donovan announced the signing this past December of Kevin Ko (Coquitlam, B.C.), James Holley (Chatsworth, Calif.), Riccardo Michelini (Sassuolo, Italy) and Brian Song (Beverly Hills, Calif.).

A junior college transfer from College of the Canyons, Holley joined the Aztecs for the spring semester along with another newcomer in junior Cameron Tennant. Ko, Michelini and Song, who are currently high school seniors, are slated to come to campus in the fall of 2012.

Donovan also announced in January that sophomore Todd Baek has left the team in order to begin his professional career.

Head Coach Ryan Donovan
Ryan Donovan is in his ninth season at the helm of the SDSU golf program after serving as an assistant in 2003. Since taking, he has directed the Aztecs to 19 tournament titles and four NCAA national championship appearances.

In 2010-11, he was named a finalist for the Dave Williams Award, which is handed out annually to the national coach of the year in Division I men's golf. Donovan also became the first Aztec named Mountain West Coach of the Year and was tabbed the Eaton Golf Pride West Region Division I Men's Coach of the Year by the GCAA.

A native of Yorba Linda, Calif., Donovan was a four-year member of the Aztec golf squad, before graduating in 2001.