Five MW Men's Golfers Garner PING All-America Honors
June 21, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Five Mountain West men's golfers are among the individuals named to the 2012 Division I PING All-America Teams as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). TCU freshman Julien Brun was named to the first team All-America list earlier this month, and was joined by San Diego State senior J.J. Spaun, who received second team distinction. New Mexico's John Catlin and the UNLV duo of Derek Ernst and Kevin Penner were included as honorable mention. The Mountain West's five All-American selections are the third-most since the league's inception in 1999.
Brun became only the third first-team All-American in the history of the TCU men's golf program, joining J.J. Henry (1998) and Alberto Ochoa (1997), while he is the 16th Horned Frog to earn any kind of All-America recognition. The 2011-12 MW Freshman of the Year finished his first collegiate season ranked No. 8 in the nation according to both Golfstat and the Golfweek/Sagarin rating system, while he was No. 5 among all golfers in individual stroke average and No. 2 in average score versus par. Brun placed second at the NCAA national championship, which matched the best NCAA showing ever for a Horned Frog.
Spaun capped his career at San Diego State by earning All-America honors for the second consecutive year, after being tabbed to the third team last season. The 2011-12 MW Golfer of the Year becomes the first Aztec to earn back-to-back All-America honors since Aaron Goldberg in 2007-08. Spaun led SDSU to two consecutive MW titles, as well as to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA championship, the best ever for the squad. He had three individual victories this season and finished second in the Mountain West with his 70.81 stroke average.
Caitlin, who was named to the All-America Team for the first time in his career, completed the season with a 72.07 stroke average over 42 rounds to tie for ninth 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. Catlin is the first Lobo to be named a PING All-American since 2008-09, when Steve Saunders was included on the third team.
Ernst receives his second All-America honor, after being named a third-team All-American in 2010. He finished 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) recorded six top nine finishes this season, including three top five performances and medalist honors at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational.
This year marks the first All-America honor for Penner, who finished his junior season ranked fifth in the league and second for UNLV averaging 71.61 strokes over 36 rounds of play. He posted nine top 20 finishes this season, including five top five outings and an individual title at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate. UNLV has now had a player earn All-America recognition in 22 of the last 24 years and multiple players in the same year 10 times.