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Men's Golf

 
April 24, 2014

MEN'S GOLF HOSTS AMERICA SKY CHAMPIONSHIP STARTING FRIDAY

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State men's golf team will serve as host for the 2014 America Sky Golf Championship at the Greenhorn Creek Resort in Angels Camp, Calif. The 54-hole event will begin on Friday, April 25, and continue through Sunday, April 27, with a single round each day. The first tee time will be at 8 a.m. each morning.

This season will mark the final America Sky Championship as the seven teams will transition to the Big Sky Conference in 2014-15 where they will be joined by Idaho. Sacramento State won the conference title in 2013 before finishing fourth a season ago. Defending conference champion Houston Baptist departed the league leaving Southern Utah as the highest returning finisher (second place). The winning team will earn a berth to the NCAA Regionals.

The Hornets are the highest rated team in the field having been victorious at the Dash Thomas Invitational during the fall along with five other top five finishes. Sacramento State will be paired with Hartford and Northern Colorado during the first day of play.

Junior Owen Taylor and senior Jordan Weir will occupy the top two spots in the lineup for the team. Taylor has had a spectacular season which has seen him average 71.55 in 33 rounds. He finished first at the UCSB Invitational earlier this month and has been among the top 15 individuals in 10 of his 11 tournaments.

Weir has shown the ability to turn it up in pressure situations. The senior was the medalist last season at the America Sky Championships after shooting 72-70-71-213. This season, he's averaging 73.95 and finished fourth at the Folino Invitational.

The remainder of Sacramento State's lineup will be comprised of Cody Bates, Luke Kristo and Robert Parden. All three will be making their America Sky debut.

A brief capsule on all seven teams is below.

BINGHAMTON BEARS
Location: Binghamton, N.Y.
Head Coach: Bernie Herceg
2013 America Sky Finish: 7th
Golfstat Team Ranking: 206th

The Bearcats have competed in 10 tournaments over the course of 2013-14, compiling seven top-5 team finishes and a pair of victories at the Colgate Fall Invitational (Sept. 21-22), and most recently at the FDU Invitational (April 13-14). Binghamton, as a team, has a scoring average of 297.3 through 26 rounds played this year. Their lowest round of the season came in a winning performance at Colgate; they broke a school record with a round of -7 from Seven Oaks GC.

BU is led by senior standout Bryce Edmister who has a team-low scoring average of 73.6 this season. Edmister, a two-time PING All-Region selection, has six top 10's and a runner-up finish at the Colgate Invite earlier this season. Last year, Edmister finished alone in 10th place at the America Sky Championship.

   
HARTFORD HAWKS
Location: Hartford, Conn.
Head Coach: Pete Stankevich
2013 America Sky Finish: 6th Golfstat Team Ranking: 149th
Hartford has a pair of team titles in the 2013-14 campaign, winning the Temple Invitational in October and the New England Division I Championship earlier this month. The Hawks have posted nine top-10 team finishes in their 10 tournaments, eight of which saw the Hawks in the top-five. Hartford has either won or finished second five times.
 
Sophomore Evan Russell has led the charge for the Hawks this season with a 69.86 strokes-per-round average. He has finished in the top-10 among individuals in every tournament this year, including wins at the Hartford Hawk Invitational and Temple Invitational.
   
NORTH DAKOTA
Location: Grand Forks, N.D.
Head Coach: Tim Swanson
2013 America Sky Finish: 11th Golfstat Team Ranking: 262nd

North Dakota has competed in nine tournaments this season with its highest finish coming at the South Dakota State Jackrabbit Fall Invitational and the Nebraska Arbor Links Invitational where the team finished seventh.

Junior Collin Lervick will play at No. 1 and leads the team with a stroke average of 77.84. He also owns the lowest round this season by a UND golfer at 69.
   
NORTHERN COLORADO BEARS
Location: Greeley, Colo.
Head Coach: Roger Prenzlow
2013 America Sky Finish: 5th
Golfstat Team Ranking: 152nd
The last time the Bears came to Northern California, UNC finished first at the Sacramento State Invitational (March 3-4). The Bears have added a third-place showing at the Whiting Turner Towson Invitational since then and have three top-three finishes this season.

Ben Kruerger has led the team in five of the nine events this year. Krueger tied for the medalist at the Sacramento State Invitational and was second at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate.
   
SACRAMENTO STATE HORNETS
Location: Sacramento, Calif. Head Coach: Christopher Hall
2013 America Sky Finish: 4th Golfstat Team Ranking: 132nd


Sacramento State will be looking for its second America Sky title in the last three seasons. The team was victorious in 2012 before placing fourth a year ago. The Hornets have finished among the top three in five events in 2013-14.

Junior Owen Taylor is on pace to set the school record as he enters the tournament with a single-season scoring average of 71.55. Taylor has finished among the top five five times in 2013-14 and has 10 top 15 placements in 11 tournaments. Senior Jordan Weir was the medalist at last season's American Sky Championship.

   
SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS
Location: Cedar City, Utah
Head Coach: Richard Church
2013 America Sky Finish: 2nd
Golfstat Team Ranking: 176th

Southern Utah finished third at the Sacramento State Invitational in its previous trip to California on March 3-4. The Thunderbirds finished second at last season's America Sky Championship.

Four T-Birds are averaging 74.0 or better with Sammy Cole leading the way at 72.0. Cole shot 66 in the final round of the Wyoming Cowboy Classic for his best round of the season.
   
WEBER STATE WILDCATS
Location: Ogden, Utah Head Coach: Scott Erling
2013 America Sky Finish: 10th Golfstat Team Ranking: 225th

Weber State has competed in 10 tournaments this year with its best finish coming at the Battle in the Tetons where it was fifth.

Of the players that will compete at the America Sky Championship, Michael Johnson leads WSU with an average of 75.6 in 29 rounds. Johnson finished even at the Jackrabbit Invitational on March 17-18 to tie for 7th place. He also tied for eighth at the Cabo Intercollegiate.

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