Indianapolis, Ind.-----For the first time since 1997, San Jose State University will be one of the teams participating in the NCAA Men's Golf Regional Championships.
The Spartans, the second-place finisher at the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Championship, is one of 13 teams invited to the Colorado Regional Championship hosted by the University of Colorado at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, May 19-21.
"Great news. This was the opportunity that a great number of people put a great deal of work into. We've got a group of young men that are looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunity afforded them by the NCAA," says San Jose State head coach John Kennaday.
"It's awesome. From three years ago, all the hard work, it's good to see that it's paying off. We've been through a lot and things are coming together for us," says junior Jay Myers, a second-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection. During the regular season, Myers' 72.97 stroke average for 36 rounds included 14 of par or better.
BACK TO FAMILIAR GROUNDS
San Jose State played 7,741-yard, par 72 course with success last September in the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational. Spartan senior Mark Hubbard, a Denver native, was the individual medalist with a seven-under par 209. Junior Matthew Hovan, from San Mateo, Calif., was close behind with a 212 in third place. As a team, San Jose State was fourth in the 14-team field that included NCAA Colorado Regional entrants New Mexico State and Denver.
"I'm really excited. I've been to Regionals before, but it will be a lot more fun being with the team. We have great chemistry and we can feed off of each other," says Hubbard, who finished 51st at the 2009 NCAA San Francisco Regional playing as an individual entry. In 2010-11, Hubbard also was the Western Athletic Conference champion who posted a 72.33 stroke average. "I know the course real well and I'll have tons of support from family and friends. I couldn't be happier."
"It's a good layout, great greens, firm course. It gets very windy, but it is a really good layout for us. We had a lot of success there in the fall. It's a really good spot for us," Myers says about the golf course.
"It will be a little different golf course this time around. It's a different time of year in Colorado. It sees more of the season change than we do (in San Jose). It will be interesting to see what the golf course plays like. When we were there in the fall, it played hard and fast. Mark Hubbard won a tough battle for his first victory," says Kennaday.
A VERY GOOD FIELD AS EXPECTED
Number-one ranked Oklahoma State tops the 13 teams in this one of the six NCAA Regional Championships that will determine the 30 five-man squads advancing to the NCAA Championships, May 31 through June 5 in Stillwater, Okla. The top five teams from each regional will continue their season.
Georgia, Auburn, Arizona State, Clemson, Chattanooga, TCU, North Florida, Northwestern, and Colorado State round out the field. San Jose State finished ahead of Arizona State at the 65th annual Western Intercollegiate in April.
"The interesting thing about golf is we're competing with the 12 teams. It's how you figure who wins and loses. In reality, it's us against the golf course. How we play the golf course and how we play to our capabilities is the actual key. There is no defense. It's a matter of us getting to what we do best," according to the Spartans' head coach who will take a five-man team to Denver.
The complete NCAA Men's Golf Regional Championship field is available here.
Live scoring will be available at www.golfstat.com.
NCAA Men's Golf Regional Championship - Colorado Regional
Oklahoma State (1)
Arizona State (24)
North Florida (48)
New Mexico State (53)
Colorado State (63)
San Jose State (70)
May 4 golfstat.com ranking in parentheses