April 9, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

Florida State sophomore Drew Kittleson will live out a dream beginning April 9 as he plays in the first round of the 2009 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

The native of Scottsdale, Ariz., qualified for a spot in the Masters and the 2009 U.S. Open after finishing second at the 2008 U.S. Amateur Tournament at Pinehurst No. 2 last August.

"It's really a dream come true," Kittleson said.  "It's something you work for as a golfer and it's the highest level, so it's something I'm really looking forward to."

Kittleson will become the youngest player in FSU history to compete at the Masters, and is paired with 1987 Masters Champion Larry Mize and PGA Tour golfer John Merrick, who is also playing in his first Masters.

TIGER RALLY: Clemson pulled off a team victory at the United States Collegiate Championship victory on April 7, rallying from a 13-shot deficit entering the final round at the Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga.

Phillip Mollica nailed a three-under par 69, while Luke Hopkins and Kyle Stanley tallied identical scores of 71 as the Tigers finished as the only school in the 15-team field with a four-under-par score of 284.  Both Mollica and Hopkins improved the rounds by 12 shots over the previous day.  Stanley was the team’s top finisher in ninth place for his fifth top 10 finish of the season.

The field was tough as the top 11 teams in the latest Golf World Coaches poll competed over the weekend.  Clemson’s comeback was its largest in school history by five shots.

FIT TO BE TIED: UCLA senior Erik Flores and Alabama freshman Bud Cauley tied for medalist honors at the U.S. Collegiate Championship, winning their second and first collegiate tournaments of their respective careers.

Both Flores and Cauley carded final round one-over-par scores of 73 to finish with four-under 212 in the tournament -- two strokes ahead of Stanford’s David Chung.

COWBOY UP: Oklahoma State’s Morgan Hoffmann was selected Big 12 Golfer of the Month for March for his efforts in helping the Cowboys to runner-up finishes at the Southern Highlands Collegiate and the Linger Longer Invitational, and then claimed his first collegiate victory at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate.

The native of Saddle Brook, N.J., recorded a school-record 62 in the second round of the Southern Highlands Golf Club, notching a 10-under par score en route a runner-up finish at Southern Highlands.

In his latest appearance, Hoffman tied for 17th place at the U.S. Collegiate Championships.

KNIGHT LIFE:  UCF’s Blayne Barber garnered Conference USA Men’s Golfer of the Week honors after tying for third place at the Adminstaff Augusta State Invitational for his fourth straight top 10 finish last week.

The native of Lake City, Fla., tallied an 8-under par 208 against a tournament field that included seven of the top 50 ranked teams in the country.