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Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 7:34pm
New Mexico State won its fifth Western Athletic Conference championship in six years Wednesday afternoon at the Rio Secco Golf Club. The Aggies defended their 2010 championship with a three-round score of 11-over par 875 (289-295-291). NM State carded a final-round score of 3-over par 291.
The title marks the fourth consecutive WAC crown for the Aggies, as four NM State players finished in the top 10.
"I'm not too concerned that this is our fourth straight title but I'm extremely happy for this team in particular," coach Scott Lieberwirth said. "Although this is a wonderful achievement for the program I thought this team finished out this tournament like true champions. I'm happy for Tim (Madigan) that he can finish up his career by being part of four conference championship teams. We didn't score anything worse than a 76 this week and I think that speaks to the depth of this team. I'm so proud of this group and the way they competed."
Senior Tim Madigan earned first team All-WAC honors and was the WAC Player of the Year both for the second consecutive year. Teammate junior Gaston De La Torre was picked as a second-team all-WAC selection for the second consecutive year as well while Lieberwirth was named WAC Coach of the Year, taking the honor for the fourth time.
De La Torre led the Aggies with a fourth-place finish overall by carding a three-round score of 1-under par 215. He fired a 2-under par 70 in the final round, recording seven birdies. It was De La Torre's second top-10 finish at a WAC Championship.
Sophomore Justin Shin carded a final round score of 2-over par 74, finishing the tournament at 2-over par 218 to place fifth. Shin collected three birdies in the final round. Madigan had a solid final round for the Aggies, grabbing his fourth WAC title ring in four years. Madigan recorded an even-par 72, as he placed sixth overall for the tournament with a three-round score of 3-over par 219. He tallied one birdie and two eagles in his final round.
Junior Joon Lee finished his first WAC crown at 8-over par 224, carding a final-round score of 4-over par 76. Lee tied for ninth overall after recording a final round that saw three birdies, two of those birdies on 17 and 18. Junior Zachery Fullerton carded a 3-over par 75 in the final round. Fullerton placed 12th overall with a three-round score of 9-over par 225. He recorded two birdies in his final round.
Following NM State in the team scoring was San Jose State (+24), Fresno State (+25), Louisiana Tech (+37), Idaho (+37), Nevada (+49), Boise State (+57), Hawai'i (+57) and Utah State (+86). San Jose State's Mark Hubbard parred the third sudden death playoff hole to defeat Idaho's Damian Telles for the WAC individual championship. Both finished at 4-under 212.