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Men's golf closing in on sixth straight NCAA appearance

May 17, 2008

Pac-10 Champion Arizona State appears to have secured its sixth straight NCAA Championship appearance at the NCAA Men's Golf West Regional held in Bremerton, Wash., at the Gold Mountain Golf Course. ASU finished at 21-over 885 (304-285-296), which has it at eighth place after the morning round of competition. Final results can be found at the link above. ASU was the only team in the top eight that did not have a top-10 finisher for the tournament.

The top 10 teams advance to the NCAA Championships held in West Lafayette May 28-21.

ASU was led by freshman James Byrne, who finished at 3-over 219 (71-73-76).

All-Pac-10 first-team selection and freshman Jesper Kennegard finished at 6-over 222 (76-77-69) with his 3-under 69 carrying ASU in the final round, as he was six shots better than any of his teammates after having his 77 tossed out in team scoring on Friday.

Sophomore Braxton Marquez shot a 7-over 223 (77-70-76).

Sophomore Knut Borsheim finished at 13-over 229 (78-72-79).

Freshman Stephan Gross finished at 14-over 230 (82-73-75).

ASU has won or tied for the West Regional title five times and had tied for third the past two seasons.

The 2008 NCAA West Regional featureed 15 teams ranked in the Top-50 of the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. That list includes third-ranked USC, No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford, No. 10 Florida State, No. 15 UNLV, No. 18 Clemson, No. 19 Arizona State, No. 24 Texas Tech, No. 30 North Carolina, No. 33 Texas, No. 35 Pepperdine, No. 37 San Diego State, No. 41 LSU, No. 42 California, and No. 44 Oregon State. Florida State (ACC Champion), UNLV, Texas Tech, North Carolina, LSU, Cal and Oregon State all will probably not advance.

ASU IN THE WEST REGIONALS: ASU has won or tied for the title in the NCAA West Regional five times.

NCAA West Regional Champions
Year Champ ASU Individual Champion
1989 Arizona 2nd Robert Gamez (Arizona)
1990 UNLV 3rd* Hub Goyen (UNLV)
1991 ASU/UA T1st *Warren Schutte (UNLV)
1992 Arizona* 2nd Harry Rudolph (Arizona)
1993 Arizona 2nd Manny Zerman (Arizona)
1994 UNLV 2nd Edward Fryatt (UNLV)
1995 ASU 1st Mike Sauer (New Mexico)
1996 Stanford 2nd* *Tiger Woods (Stanford)
1997 UNLV 2nd Aaron Oberholser (SJ St.)
1998 ASU/UNM T1st Paul Casey (ASU)
1999 ASU 1st Jeff Quinney (ASU)
2000 Arizona T6th Michael Beard (Pepperdine)
2001 ASU 1st Matt Jones (ASU), Kyle Thompson (South Carolina)
2002 UNM/UW 20th Ricky Barnes (UA), Justin Smith (Minnesota) 2003 UCLA 5th Michael Letzig (UNM)
2004 UCLA 4th Travis Johnson (UCLA)
2005 UNLV T4th Rob Grube (Stanford)
2006 Florida/UA T3rd Billy Horschel (Florida), Casey Watabu (Nevada)
2007 South Carolina T3rd Benjamin Alvarado Holley (ASU)
*Eventual NCAA Champion

START IT OVER: Back in 2002, ASU head coach Randy Lein saw ASU's 18-year NCAA championship consecutive streak snapped in a season that had injuries and some bad luck. With a chance to clinch a sixth straight appearance on Saturday, ASU is back in the saddle with five straight appearances, and to show you how competitive the NCAA men's golf champioships is, that five-year streak already was tied for the sixth-best active streak entering this season. Arizona had a 21-year streak snapped this year as it did not make NCAA Regional play after finishing under .500. Georgia Tech also will not make the field this year.

Rk., School, Years, Current Streak
1. Oklahoma State, 1947-2007, 61
2. Arizona, 1987-2007, 21 (ended in 2008)
T3. Georgia Tech, 1998-2007, 10 (will end in 2008)
T3. Georgia, 1998-2007, 10
5. Florida, 2001-2007, 7
T6. Arizona State, 2003-2007, 5
T6. UCLA, 2003-2007, 5

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES: Heading into today's final round of the West Regional, ASU had made 14 NCAA Championship appearances in Randy Lein's 15 years (1993-2007), tied for the third-best mark in the nation.

Oklahoma State, Arizona-15
Arizona State, Florida-14
Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson-13
Wake Forest, New Mexico, UNLV-12
Auburn, Texas-11
UCLA, Minnesota-9