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Mid-Season College Wrap-Up

CSU men reach rarefied air of top 10 in national polls after 3-win fall; Colorado-based Division I programs post 6 team and 10 individual victories

By Gary Baines – 11/18/2019

Considering the Colorado State University men’s golf program has never finished better than 24th in the NCAA Championship finals, the Rams are in pretty heady territory after the fall portion of the college schedule this season.

As in, perhaps never better.

The fall schedule concluded on Nov. 6 for CSU, which posted its third team tournament title of the season — and third in a row. That victory in the Saint Mary’s Invitational at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach, Calif., vaulted the Rams into the top 10 in the national rankings. 

CSU is No. 5 in the final Golfstat Division I poll of the fall, and eighth in both the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll and the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. That’s not only likely the first time the Rams have been that high this far into the season, but one of the very rare times any Colorado-based NCAA Division I golf program has been a consensus top-10 pick at least two-months into the season. (CSU coach Christian Newton and current senior AJ Ott are pictured above in a CSURams.com photo.)

The University of Denver women finished sixth and fifth, respectively, in the NCAA Championship finals in 2008 and 2009. The University of Colorado men placed eighth in the NCAA finals in 1968, 11th in 1981 (when future U.S. Open champion Steve Jones was a senior) and 14th in 2002.

This fall, only two teams ranked in the top 25 nationally recorded more team victories than CSU’s three: No. 2 Texas Tech (four wins) and No. 8 Notre Dame (4). The Rams won their own Ram Masters Invitational, tied for first at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate and won the Saint Mary’s Invitational.

Not surprisingly, CSU players are sprinkled liberally among the ranking of the top 200 Division I college golfers in the U.S. Sophomore Davis Bryant, the 2019 CGA Les Fowler Player of the Year, is No. 42 in the nation, according to Golfstat. Junior teammate Parathakorn Suyasri is 40th according to Golfweek, Ott is 50th in Golfweek’s rankings, and junior Jack Ainscough 200th.

Bryant and Ott aren’t the only Coloradans in the top 200 nationally in the Division I men’s ranks. Joining them are Northern Colorado’s Coby Welch (125th) and Jack Castiglia (138th) and the University of Denver’s Cal McCoy (177th according to Golfweek). Another player for a Colorado-based school in the top 200 is CU senior Daniel O’Loughlin (151st).

On the women’s side, in the top 200 nationally among DI players are CU’s Kirsty Hodgkins (107th), University of Denver freshman  Anna Zanusso (130th), CU’s Alisha Lau (185th), and Mary Weinstein of DU and Highlands Ranch (194th).

DU’s Cal McCoy (left) and CU’s Daniel O’Loughlin posted individual victories in the fall.

Overall, the nine Colorado-based Division I golf programs produced six team titles in the fall, with three by the CSU men, two by the CU men and one by the DU men.

Meanwhile, local Division I players recorded 10 individual victories. Counting ties as wins, Castiglia prevailed twice, with one victory each coming from the DU trio of McCoy, Jackson Solem and freshman Connor Jones; UNC’s Welch; CSU’s Suyasri, CU’s O’Loughlin; and Zanusso and DU teammate Erika Danielsson. 

Here’s a brief rundown on how the state’s Division I teams fared in the fall:


Air Force Academy Men

   Best Team Finish of Fall: Fourth.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Josh Wu fifth; Joseph Crisostomo sixth; Kyle Spencer sixth.

   National Team Ranking: 175th (Golfstat); 191st (Golfweek).

   Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally: None.

   Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: Joseph Crisostomo 72.71.


CSU Men

   Best Finishes of Fall: Won Ram Masters Invitational, Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate (tie for first), Saint Mary’s Invitational.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Parathakorn Suyasri won Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, third and fifth; Davis Bryant second and third; AJ Ott second; Jack Ainscough second; Andrew Lafferty fourth; North Ponghathaikul fourth.

   National Team Ranking: Fifth (Golfstat), eighth (Golfweek).

   Individuals Ranking in Top 200 Nationally: Parathakorn Suyasri (40th, Golfweek; 85th, Golfstat); Davis Bryant (42nd, Golfstat; 53rd, Golfweek); AJ Ott (50th, Golfweek); Jack Ainscough (200th, Golfstat).

     Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: Suyasri 70.08.


CSU Women

   Best Team Finish of Fall: Second.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Andrea Bergsdottir fourth; Tomine Bjerkelo eighth.

   National Team Ranking: 115th (Golfstat); 119th (Golfweek).

   Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally: None.

   Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: Bergsdottir 75.4.


CU Men

  Best Team Finishes of Fall: Won Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational and Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Daniel O’Loughlin tied for first and lost in playoff at Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational, and a second.

   National Team Ranking: 85th (Golfstat), 87th (Golfweek).

   Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally: O’Loughlin (151st, Golfstat; 171st, Golfweek).

   Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: O’Loughlin 70.43.


CU Women

   Best Team Finish of Fall: Fifth.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Kirsty Hodgkins second; Malak Bouraeda third.

   National Team Ranking: 54th (Golfstat), 55th (Golfweek).

   Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally: Kirsty Hodgkins (107th Golfweek); Alisha Lau (177th, Golfweek; 185th, Golfstat).

   Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: Hodgkins 73.0.


DU Men

   Best Team Finishes of Fall: Won Ron Moore Intercollegiate.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Cal McCoy won Les Fowler Invitational and fourth; Jackson Solem won Ron Moore Intercollegiate and fourth; Connor Jones won UNC individual event and fifth; Carson Griggs second; John Sand third; Esteban Missura fourth.

   National Team Ranking: 98th (Golfstat); 103rd (Golfweek).

   Individuals Ranking in Top 200 Nationally:  McCoy (177th, Golfweek).

   Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: McCoy 70.29.


DU Women

   Best Team Finishes of Fall: Third and fourth.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Anna Zanusso won Golfweek Conference Challenge and second; Erika Danielsson won Ron Moore Intercollegiate; Mary Weinstein second; Alison Armstrong second; Anna Krekling fifth.

   National Team Ranking: 48th (Golfweek); 50th (Golfstat). 

   Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally: Anna Zanusso (127th Golfweek; 130th Golfweek); Mary Weinstein (194th Golfstat).

   Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: Zanusso 72.07.


UNC Men

   Best Team Finishes of Fall: Second and fifth.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Jack Castiglia (tied for first at Ron Moore Intercollegiate for tied for first and lost in playoff at Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational); Coby Welch (tied for first and lost in playoff at Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational) and third; Blake Danni fourth.

   National Team Ranking: 147th (Golfweek); 149th (Golfstat)

   Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally: Welch 125th (Golfstat); Castiglia 138th (Golfstat).

   Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: (tie) Castiglia and Welch 70.0.


UNC Women

   Best Team Finish of Fall: Fourth.

   Best Individual Finishes of Fall: Abbi Fleiner second; Beah Cruz sixth.

   National Team Ranking: 180th (Golfweek); 188th (Golfstat).

   Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally: None.

   Leader in Stroke Average in Fall: Marisa Hisaki 75.25.