San Diego, California - The San Diego State men’s golf team will be aiming for its fourth conference title in the last eight seasons this weekend when it travels to the Pacific Northwest for the Mountain West Championship, April 20-22, in Bremerton, Wash. For the first time in conference history, the 54-hole event will be contested on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club, which will play as a par-72, 7,115-yard track.
The 11-team field will complete 18 holes on each of the three days, following a practice round on Thursday. The Aztecs, who have been idle since April 8, earned the No. 2 seed are slated to tee off with No. 4 Nevada in the second group on Friday, starting at 8:40 a.m. PT, while the pairings for the final two rounds with be based on team standings. A live scoring link courtesy of Golfstat will be available on GoAztecs.com.
SDSU, which received a No. 48 national ranking in the latest Golfstat team index, will be competing at Gold Mountain Golf Club for the first time since the fall of 2014, when it tied for third at the University of Washington’s Husky Invitational with a collective 9-over 873. PJ
Samiere is the lone Aztec veteran from that event, where he tied for 27th at 7-over 223 during his freshman campaign.
Aztec Lineup For This Weekend
For the second time this season, San Diego State head coach Ryan Donovan will employ the starting lineup of seniors PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii), Blake Abercombie (Rocklin, Calif.) and Pablo Matesanz (Irun, Spain), along with sophomore Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.) and freshman Puwit Anupansuebsai (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand). The combination comprised five-sixths of the Aztec delegation at the Western Intercollegiate, conducted earlier this month in Santa Cruz, Calif., where SDSU tied for third in the team standings.
Anupansuebsai and Matesanz are the two newcomers for the Scarlet and Black at this year’s MW Championship, while Samiere will be making his fourth straight appearance, joining Abercrombie, a two-time participant, while Norby is back in the mix for the second year in a row.
Samiere and Abercrombie are the only Aztec golfers to have competed in all 11 events so far this season, while Norby and Anupansuebsai have played nine tournaments, followed by Matesanz, who has cracked the starting lineup on three occasions to go with a trio of individual appearances.
In addition, Samiere (2), Abercrombie (8) enter the weekend occupying two of the top eight positions in the latest Golfstat Mountain West head-to-head rankings, followed by Anupansuebsai (20).
SDSU At The MW Championship
In the 19-year history of the Mountain West, San Diego State has won three team championships, capturing back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, followed by a thrilling victory in 2015. The Aztecs also tied for the top spot in 2009, but lost in a team playoff to TCU after rallying from a five-stroke deficit in regulation.
In addition, SDSU has finished second seven times (2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2003, 2001), placed fourth on five occasions (2005, 2004, 2002, 2016, 2017), came in fifth twice (2007, 2000) and ended up in the seventh position once (2008).
The Aztecs’ best individual finish was recorded in 2001 when John Lepak posted a 3-over 219 to win by one stroke at Sunriver Resort in Oregon. SDSU’s Adam Porzak also tied for first place in regulation in 2007, but came up just short in a one-hole playoff loss to Robby Ormand of TCU, while Riccardo Michelini experienced a nearly identical fate in 2014, falling to New Mexico’s Gavin Green on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. In 2015, former All-American Xander Schauffele finished just two shots off the pace in second at 9-under 204 to set an SDSU record for lowest 54-hole score at a conference tournament. Last year, Gunn Yang tied for third after carding a 7-under 209, while Nahum Mendoza III tied for third in 2016 as well at 6-under 210.
The Aztecs have fared routinely well on the individual leaderboard at the MW tournament, placing at least one player among the top four in each of the last 12 seasons and 17 times overall.
Five of SDSU’s opponents this weekend find themselves among the top 100 in the latest Golfstat rankings released April 18. Two-time defending champion UNLV is the highest rated team of the group, checking in at No. 24, followed by Colorado State (44), Nevada (61), Wyoming (79) and New Mexico (99). The Aztecs will also battle Fresno State (108), San José State (109), Boise State (124), Utah State (165) and Air Force (195).
SDSU owns a 13-4-1 record in head-to-head results against six conference adversaries during the 2017-18 campaign, including unblemished marks against San José State (3-0), Nevada (3-0) and Fresno State (2-0). In addition, the Aztecs have maintained the upper hand against New Mexico (3-1-1) while splitting four encounters with Colorado State (2-2). Conversely, SDSU fell short in its only engagement with UNLV (0-1), while Air Force, Boise State, Utah State and Wyoming are the remaining MW schools the Scarlet and Black has not faced in a regularly scheduled tournament this year.
Twelve of the top individual finishers return from last season’s conference championship, including medalist Brian Humphreys of Boise State and fellow Bronco teammate Donny Hopoi, who finished in the runner-up position, while New Mexico’s Andre Garcia tied for third. Also back in the mix are Colorado State’s Jake Staiano (T-11th) and Max Oelfke (T-20th); UNLV’s Harry Hall (T-8th) and Shintaro Ban (T-15th); New Mexico’s Gustavo Morantes (T-11th); SDSU’s PJ Samiere (14th); Fresno State’s Alex Lee (T-15th) and Utah State’s Braxton Miller (T-15th).
Also expected contend are SDSU’s Blake Abercrombie and Puwit Anupansuebsai; UNLV’s Jack Trent and Garrick Higgo; Nevada’s Grant Booth; Colorado State’s A.J. Ott, Jack Ainscough and Parathakorn Suyasri; San José State’s Kevin Velo and Sean Yu, and Wyoming’s Drew McCullough and John Murdock, all of whom find themselves among the top 20 in this week’s MW head-to-head rankings.