Freshman Named Colorado Junior Player of the Year

Greenwood Village, Colo.-----Mark Hubbard, a freshman on the San Jose State University men’s golf team, was honored recently as the 2007 Colorado Junior Golf Association (CJGA) Boys’ Player of the Year.

Hubbard, who attended Colorado Academy in Denver, won the state Junior Stroke Play Championship in June at the Ute Creek Golf Course in Longmont, Colo., and the state Junior Match Play Championship at the Wellshire Golf Club in Lakewood, Colo., one month later.

“Last summer, easily was the best summer I’ve had in golf. When I was growing up, all the kids were better than me. A lot of big players in the past have won this award and that is really cool,” said Hubbard, who is acknowledged by the CGJA as just the fourth player to win the Junior Stroke Play and the Junior Match Play tournaments in the same year.

He now joins a list that includes U.S. Open champions Hale Irwin and Steve Jones as one of the state’s most successful junior golfers.

Hubbard began his high school senior year winning the CGJA’s 2006 Tournament of Champions at the Cherry Hills Country Club and finished second at the 2006 high school state championships. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-hander credits his improved ball striking for his recent success.

“When I was younger, I was known as the kid who would hit two fairways and two greens and be able to get up and down from anywhere. I went to the range a lot and my irons got tremendously better and easier, because I did not have to save myself the whole time,” said the San Jose State newcomer who played in four of the team’s five fall semester tournaments and carries a 72.42 stroke average going into the spring season.

“Everyone is better. There is more competition. There is a lot more of a time commitment between lifting weights, practice and participating in competitive events. Lifting weights is a big transition, because I never really did that,” said the 18-year-old Hubbard.

San Jose State begins its spring season, February 20, at the 54-hole John Burns Invitational hosted by the University of Hawaii in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.