Men's Golfers Earn All-Region Honors

Men's Golfers Earn All-Region Honors

BATON ROUGE – While LSU was locking up a return trip to match play at the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships for a third-straight season, senior Zach Wright, freshman Sam Burns and freshman Luis Gagne were each named to the PING All-Southeast Region team by the Golf Coaches Association of America for their efforts in 2015-16.

Wright was named to the PING All-Southeast Region Team for the second-straight season, while Burns and Gagne each wrapped up their rookie seasons with their first selections by the GCAA.

The GCAA announced this year’s PING All-Southeast Region Team during the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships in which the Tigers advanced to the “Match Play 8” for the third-straight year while earning a tie for fifth place officially in the tournament held at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon.

Wright has performed like a true National Player of the Year candidate throughout the 2016 spring season while winning three tournament titles and entering the NCAA Championships as the No. 10-ranked player in all of college golf in the Golfstat individual player rankings released before the tournament. He also earned First-Team All-SEC honors on the strength of his performance.

Wright opened the spring by leading the Tigers to the team title at The Prestige at PGA West in record fashion while being crowned the individual champion with a career-low tournament score of 12-under par 201. He then won individual titles at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational with a winning score of 2-under 211 and tying for the top spot at the Tiger Classic before postseason play.

A senior from Phoenix, Arizona, Wright ended his senior season as the team’s leading scorer with a career-best 71.51 scoring average in his 13 tournament appearances in 2015-16. He also led the Tigers with seven top-10 and 10 top-20 finishes in those 13 appearances in his final season in Baton Rouge.

That performance earned Wright a spot on the United States team that will compete at the 2016 Arnold Palmer Cup at Formby Golf Club in Merseyside, England, later this summer. He earned an automatic selection on Team USA in the Ryder-Cup-style collegiate event with his top-six ranking at No. 3 in the final Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking released by the Golf Coaches Association of America in April.

The GCAA also recently named Wright a semifinalist for the 2016 NCAA Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award presented by Barbasol to be presented to the top player in college golf.

While Wright closed the book on his collegiate career in 2015-16, Burns and Gagne provided a glimpse of the future with their performance as freshmen. Gagne entered the NCAA Championships as the nation’s No. 50 player by Golfweek and the No. 71 player by Golfstat, while Burns ranked No. 65 by Golfstat and No. 72 by Golfweek in their individual rankings.

LSU’s freshmen finished as the team leaders in stroke play at the NCAA Championships on Monday as they finished just one shot outside the Top 10 of the leaderboard in a tie for 13th place overall with matching totals of 4-over par in 72 holes played at Eugene Country Club. Burns followed Wright as the team’s second-leading scorer with a 72.42 scoring average on the season, followed by Gagne in third with a 72.48 average.

Gagne earned his place in the lineup this spring with a trio of top-10 finishes to his credit, including tie for third place at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational and tie for fourth place at the Aggie Invitational in LSU’s regular-season finale. Burns added seven top-20 finishes of his own, including a tie for 14th place at the NCAA Franklin Regional to help lead the Tigers back to the NCAA Championships.

PING All-Southeast Region Team
Dawson Armstrong, Lipscomb
Sam Burns, LSU
Claudio Correa, South Florida
Cristobal Del Solar, Florida State
Luis Gagne, LSU
Will Gordon, Vanderbilt
Zach Healy, Georgia
Sam Horsfield, Florida
Keenan Huskey, South Carolina
Michael Johnson, Auburn
Chase Koepka, South Florida
Hank Lebioda, Florida State
Tom Lovelady, Alabama
Patrick Martin Vanderbilt
Lee McCoy, Georgia
Tyler McDaniel, Kentucky
Chad Merzbacher, Tennessee
Matt NeSmith, South Carolina
Aksel Olsen, South Florida
Thomas Perrot, Memphis
Robin Petersson, Augusta
Davis Riley, Alabama
Matthias Schwab, Vanderbilt
Robby Shelton, Alabama
Greyson Sigg, Georgia
Jacob Solomon, Auburn
Sepp Straka, Georgia
Alejandro Tosti, Florida
Lars van Meijel, Memphis
Zach Wright, LSU