Nov. 20, 2004
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech seniors Nicholas Thompson and Chan Song are among thirty of the nation’s elite collegiate golfers who are competing in the 30th Annual Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic, beginning Monday at the El Paso Country Club in El Paso, Texas.
This year’s tournament features five Golfweek preseason first team All-Americans – Anthony Kim (Oklahoma), Luke List (Vanderbilt), Spencer Levin (New Mexico), Jeff Overton (Indiana) and Michael Putnam (Pepperdine). In all, 20 players in the field earned preseason All-America honors.
The competitors will play 36 holes Monday and 18 holes Tuesday in the stroke-play event.
Thompson, a senior from Coral Springs, Fla., is ranked 13th in the nation in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. He has three top 20 finishes in four stroke-play events this fall, two of those in the top 10, and is second on the Tech squad in stroke average at 71.67.
Song, a senior from Orlando, Fla., is No. 24 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. With three top-20 finishes (one top-10) in four events this fall, Song has put together a 72.42 stroke average.
Four of the top six players on the Golfweek/Sagarin Index are in the 2004 Golf Classic Field, led by the nation’s top player Levin, who was the low amateur at the 2004 U.S. Open. Texas junior Matthew Rosenfeld ranks fourth on the list, while Indiana’s Jeff Overton and Duke’s Ryan Blaum are fifth and sixth, respectively.
“We are really excited about the strength of the field,” said Don Flores, tournament chairman. “From top to bottom, we have put together some of the nation’s best players, who are the future of the sport.”
The 2004 field was extended to a record-high 30 golfers due to the 42 eligible All-Americans. The largest previous field was in 1983 and again in 1997, when 27 golfers competed in the Golf Classic.
“For the second straight year, our sponsor, Western Refining, has made it possible to bring in a large group of All-Americans,” said Bernie Olivas, Sun Bowl Association Executive Director. “We could not put on a tournament of this magnitude without the support of Western Refining.”
Three players will be returning from last year’s field – Putnam, Rosenfeld and Arizona State’s Alejandro Cañizares, who won the 2003 NCAA Championships as a freshman.
The tournament, hosted by the Sun Bowl Association, is played at the Par-71, 6,781-yard El Paso Country Club.
Throughout the years, many Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic competitors have gone on to pursue successful careers in the Professional Golfers’ Association of America and on the PGA Tour. Some of the past champions include Ricky Barnes (2000), Notah Begay (1994), David Duval (1991), Matt Kuchar (1999), Davis Love III (1984), Chris Nallen (2003), Jerry Pate (1974) and Tiger Woods (1995).
Each university is awarded a $1,000 scholarship if a golfer from that school competes in the tournament.
2004 Field For The Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic
Ryan Blaum, Junior, Coral Gables, Fla, Duke Alejandro Cañizares, Junior, Manilva, Spain, Arizona State Carlos Del Moral, Sophomore, Valencia, Spain, Oklahoma Will Dodson, Junior, Jenks, Okla., SMU Judd Easterling, Senior, Dixon, Mo., Wichita State Ty Harris, Senior, Tampa, Fla., Georgia State Ben Hayes, Senior, Paradise Valley, Ariz., USC Jeff Hood, Senior, Atascadero, Calif., California Anthony Kim, Sophomore, La Quinta, Calif., Oklahoma Kevin Kisner, Junior, Aiken, S.C., Georgia Bronson LaCassie, Sophomore, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Minnesota Mark Lamb, Sophomore, Haddington, Scotland, Arizona Mark Leon, Senior, Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Penn State Tyler Leon, Sophomore, Dallas, Texas, Oklahoma State Spencer Levin, Junior, Elk Grove, Calif., New Mexico Luke List, Sophomore, Ringgold, Ga., Vanderbilt Todd Miller, Senior, Napa, Calif., BYU Alex Norén, Senior, Stockholm, Sweden, Oklahoma State Brian O’Flaherty, Senior, Westlake Village, Calif., Pepperdine Erik Olson, Sophomore, Renton, Wash., Washington Jeff Overton, Senior, Evansville, Ind., Indiana Alex Prugh, Sophomore, Spokane, Wash., Washington Michael Putnam, Senior, Tacoma, Wash., Pepperdine Matt Rosenfeld, Junior, Plano, Texas, Texas Chan Song, Senior, Orlando, Fla., Georgia Tech Nathan Smith, Junior, Santa Cruz, Calif., Duke Nicholas Thompson, Senior, Coral Springs, Fla., Georgia Tech Brendon Todd, Sophomore, Cary, N.C., Georgia Lee Williams, Senior, Alexander City, Ala., Auburn Matt Wells, Senior, Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Kentucky
Results can be found on the official Sun Bowl website at www.sunbowl.org at the online media center.