No. 10 Aztecs Head To 66th Annual Western Intercollegiate
April 11, 2012
The 10th-ranked San Diego State men's golf squad will play its final pre-conference tournament tune-up this weekend, when it heads to Santa Cruz, Calif., to participate in the 66th annual Western Intercollegiate, April 14-15. The 54-hole event takes place at the par-70, 6,615-yard Pasatiempo Golf Course, which was designed by Alister Mackenzie, who is the architect of Augusta National.
SDSU is one of 14 squads competing in the six-man tournament, which also includes six other top-15 teams in No. 1 Texas, No. 4 California, No. 5 USC, No. 6 UCLA, No. 11 Oregon and No. 14 Stanford.
The 66th annual Western Intercollegiate was rated as the sixth-toughest spring tournament in the country by Golf Digest's Ryan Herrington. It is also the longest running men's college golf event west of the Mississippi River.
Play gets underway both days with a shotgun start at 8:15 a.m. PT. Live stats will be available on golfstat.com, as well as SDSU's official website, goaztecs.com.
Aztec Line-Up For This Week
Ninth-year head coach Ryan Donovan travels six golfers to Santa Cruz this weekend with seniors Colin Featherstone (Fallbrook, Calif.), Matt Hoffenberg (Simi Valley, Calif.), Alex Kang (Oak Park, Calif.) and J.J. Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.) and juniors Tom Berry (New Haw, England) and Cameron Tennant (Woodland Hills, Calif.).
Four of the six Aztecs, with the exception of Hoffenberg and Tennant, participated in last year's Western Intercollegiate. This is Tennant's first appearance in the starting lineup after joining the squad in January.
Flashback: SDSU & The Western Intercollegiate
SDSU is competing at the Western Intercollegiate for the second year in a row but only the third time since 2001.
Last season, the Aztecs were fifth out of 15 schools with a 35-over 1,085. Colin Featherstone was the lone Aztec in the top 10 with an eighth-place performance, coming in at 2-over 212, highlighted by 10 birdies over the 54 holes.
Alex Kang came in three strokes behind Featherstone with a 5-over 215 to place 15th place, while senior Johan Carlsson was consistent all tournament with three rounds of 73 to tie for 29th at 9-over 219. J.J. Spaun and Todd Baek tied for 39th place and Tom Berry rounded out the SDSU contingent in 52nd place.
An Aztec has claimed medalist honors three times in the Western Intercollegiate's previous 65 seasons, doing so in 2001 by Lars Johansson, in 1983 by Kris Moe and in 1960 by Ron O'Connor. SDSU won the team title back in 1960.
In The National Rankings
After finishing higher than two, top-five squads last weekend, the Aztecs moved up two slots from 12th into 10th in the latest golfstat.com national rankings, which were released Wednesday. The team is also rated 13th by Golfweek/Sagarin and remains 15th in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division I College Coaches' Poll, which was posted back on March 22.
Individually, J.J. Spaun is 17th in the Golfstat Cup standings and 18th according to Golfweek. The next highest Aztec is fellow senior Alex Kang, who moved up significantly to No. 60 and No. 55, respectively.
San Diego State's four tournament titles this year tie for fifth nationally, behind only No. 9 Arkansas, which was won for the seventh time earlier this week, No. 1 Texas (6), No. 3 UNLV (5) and No. 11 Oregon (5).