Eight MW Men's Golfers Named to PING All-Region Teams

May 31, 2012


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Eight Mountain West men's golfers are among the individuals named to the 2012 Division I PING All-Region Teams as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). San Diego State's J.J. Spaun, the 2011-12 MW Golfer of the Year, was joined by New Mexico's John Catlin and James Erkenbeck and UNLV's Blake Biddle, Derek Ernst and Kevin Penner on the All-West Region team. TCU's Julien Brun, the MW Freshman of the Year, and fellow Frog Johan De Beer received All-Region status in the Central Region.  The league's eight All-Region selections are the second-most since the award's inception in 2007-08, when the Mountain West had 10 student-athletes recognized.

Caitlin, who was named to the All-West Region for the first time in his career, completed the season with a 72.07 stroke average over 42 rounds to rank 10th in the Mountain West. The two-time All-MW selection won the PING Arizona Intercollegiate and also had 12 top 20 finishes in 2011-12, including eight in the top ten and four in the top five.

Erkenbeck led New Mexico this season with a stroke average of 71.90 over 42 rounds, which ranks ninth in the Conference. The junior, who was named to the 2011-12 All-Mountain West team, had 11 top 20 finishes on the year, including five top 10 outings and three top five performances, including runner-up status at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate.

Spaun received All-West Region status for the second consecutive year, becoming the first Aztec to be tabbed twice since the honor began in 2008. The senior led San Diego State to its second straight MW championship earlier this month, the first time the program has earned back-to-back league titles since 2005-06. Spaun, the 2011-12 MW Golfer of the Year and a three-time all-Conference honoree, has three individual victories this season and entered this week's NCAA Championship ranked second in the Mountain West with his 70.74 stroke average.

Brun, the 2011-12 MW Freshman of the Year, has established the TCU single-season and career records for individual victories with three in his rookie campaign, including the Turning Stone Tiger Invitational, John Hayt Collegiate Invitational and Insperity Augusta State Invitational. Prior to this week's NCAA Championship, he led the league and ranked sixth nationally with a season stroke average of 70.53. Brun has finished in the top 15 in 10 of 12 career events, with eight in the top 10 and seven in the top five.

de Beer received All-Region acclaim for the second time in his career (2010) and entered this week's NCAA Championship boasting a career-best stroke average of 71.77 to rank seventh in the league and second for TCU. The senior, who claimed the 2012 MW individual title earlier this month, became the first four-time all-conference selection in Horned Frog history. De Beer has eight top 15 finishes this season, including seven top 10 outings and five top five performances.

Biddle, who was named to the All-West Region team for the first time in his career, finished his sophomore campaign ranked eighth in the league in scoring average and third on the team with 71.89 over 36 rounds. Biddle had eight top 20 finishes in 2011-12, placing in the top 10 in six tournaments and recording an individual victory at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters.

Ernst earned regional honors for the third consecutive year after finishing his senior season ranked fourth in the league and first on his team with a 71.39 stroke average over 36 rounds. The two-time MW Player of the Year (2010, 2011) has recorded six top nine finishes this season, including three top five performances and medalist honors at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. Ernst joins de Beer as a four-time All-Mountain West honoree.

Penner, a first-time selection to the All-West Region, finished the season ranked sixth in the league and third for UNLV averaging 71.61 strokes over 36 rounds of play. The junior posted nine top 20 finishes this season, including five top five outings. Penner won the individual title at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate and was named to the 2011-12 All-MW team.

A total of 155 players were named to the six PING/GCAA All-Region teams. Members of the all-region teams are automatically eligible for PING All-America honors.