College Men

Men's preview: Western Athletic Conference

San Jose State senior Jay Myers
San Jose State senior Jay Myers ( Courtesy San Jose State )

Friday, February 24, 2012

Three wins in a season? That hadn’t happened in more than 20 years at San Jose State.

So winning three consecutive events to start the season?

Yep, it caused quite a commotion on campus.

There was a point last fall when the Spartans were the only three-win team in the country. They were ranked in the top 20 nationally. “But I’ve been doing this long enough to know that we’ve got a long way to go,” SJSU coach John Kennaday said at the time. “So I’m kind of withholding my excitement, trying to stay focused on what we’re trying to do here. I don’t feel like it’s time to celebrate just yet.”

Turns out he was right.

San Jose State finished in the middle of the pack at the Pac-12-dominated Alister Mackenzie, a showcase start for the Spartans to show how far they’ve come. Then, at the Herb Wimberley, they were undone by a poor first round and tied for sixth, 41 strokes behind champion UNLV.

Nonetheless, before this season San Jose State had won only one team title since 2005. Now, the Spartans have won three.

And, as the class of the WAC, they’re primed for their second trip to NCAA regionals in the past 15 years.

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Top of the class: San Jose State

Best player this fall: Jay Myers, SJSU

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Past champions

2007: Nevada

2008: New Mexico State

2009: New Mexico State

2010: New Mexico State

2011: New Mexico State

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Conference capsules

San Jose State (Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: No. 54)

Rousing start to the year with three consecutive wins, but tailed off at the end of the fall.

New Mexico State (No. 68)

Led by Justin Shin, who placed second, Aggies finished a fall-best third at the Herb Wimberley to close out the fall.

Louisiana Tech (No. 74)

A modest fall was highlighted by a runner-up at the Squire Creek Invitational. Other than that, no finish better than 5th.

Nevada (No. 80)

In five starts, Wolfpack had two runners-up and Kevin Lucas picked up an individual title at the Pacific Invite.

Idaho (No. 105)

Idaho (No. 105): Senior Jarred Bossio led the way for the Vandals with four top-10 finishes in five starts.

Hawaii (No. 122)

Only played three events, but T.J. Kua earned his first career title and the Warriors finished a fall-best second after surrendering a final-round lead.

Fresno State (No. 125)

Rough finish for the Bulldogs, as they had three consecutive 11th-place results.

Utah State (No. 247)

Aggies unable to establish any momentum; their best result in five starts was a T-8.

Conference championship

April 30-May 2, Rio Secco GC, Henderson, Nev.

Lance Ringler's prediction

San Jose State. New Mexico State has won four league titles in a row, but that streak is in jeopardy this year. The WAC has several teams that could make a run at the conference title. I like San Jose State. A hot start - winning first three fall events - gave the Spartans confidence that should help them this spring.

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Complete coverage

Wondering how your favorite conference is shaping up headed into the spring season? Who is our favorite to pick up the automatic qualifier? Check out our conference-by-conference break down with our complete coverage page here.

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