Friday, December 29, 2017

News

MAKING THE CONNECTION: 23 FORMER GOLF CLASSIC PARTICIPANTS QUALIFY FOR MASTERS April 4, 2017

MAKING THE CONNECTION: 23 FORMER GOLF CLASSIC PARTICIPANTS QUALIFY FOR MASTERS

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The 2017 Masters field is now set and there are 23 players on this year’s list that have made their way through El Paso. The 2017 Masters is set for April 6-9 at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia.

Phil Mickelson, Mark O’Meara, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods are all lifetime players at the Masters after winning the event in the past. Mickelson won in 2004, 2006 and 2010, O’Meara in 1998, Spieth in 2015 and Woods in 1997 and 2005.

These four players, along with those listed below, gave the City of El Paso some great memories playing in the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic.

“The golf tournament the Sun Bowl Association puts on with Western Refining has been one of the best events we put on,” Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “El Pasoans have an opportunity to see future pro golfers play here. The amount of players in the Masters this year shows the great history of the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic.”

Mickelson played in El Paso in 1989 when he was with Arizona State while O’Meara participated in the third College All-America Golf Classic in 1976. Spieth took to the El Paso Country Club Course in 2011 and Woods won the All-America Golf Classic in 1995.

Spieth has played Augusta three times and never finished worse than second. With the way he has been striking the ball so far in 2017, he’s one of the favorites this week.

Dustin Johnson, who is currently ranked as the No. 1 golfer in the world, played in the 2005 and 2006 Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classics.

Here’s a look at the 23 players who qualified for the Masters and played in the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic (and how they earned their invites. (Note: listed is the school each player was with during the year they played in the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic):

CATEGORY 1: Masters Tournament champions (Lifetime)
• Phil Mickelson (Arizona State – 1989)
• Mark O’Meara (Long Beach State – 1976)
• Jordan Spieth (Texas – 2011)
Tiger Woods (Stanford – 1995), who qualified under Category 1, has withdrawn from the tournament.

CATEGORY 2: U.S. Open champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
• Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina – 2005 & 2006)
• Webb Simpson (Wake Forest – 2005 & 2007)

CATEGORY 3: British Open champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)

CATEGORY 4: PGA Championship champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
• Jason Dufner (Auburn – 1997)

CATEGORY 5: Winners of The Players Championship (Three years)
• Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State – 1998)

CATEGORY 6: Current Olympic Gold medalist (One year)

CATEGORY 7: Current U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up (Honorary, non-competing after one year)

CATEGORY 8: Current British Amateur champion (Honorary, non-competing after one year)

CATEGORY 9: Current Asia-Pacific Amateur champion

CATEGORY 10: Current Latin America Amateur champion

CATEGORY 11: Current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion

CATEGORY 12: The first 12 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Masters Tournament
• Paul Casey (Arizona State – 1998)
• J.B. Holmes (Kentucky – 2002)
• Brandt Snedeker (Vanderbilt – 2002)

CATEGORY 13: The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s U.S. Open
• Jim Furyk (Arizona – 1990)

CATEGORY 14: The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s British Open

CATEGORY 15: The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s PGA Championship
• Daniel Summerhays (BYU – 2006)

CATEGORY 16: Individual winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
• Russell Henley (Georgia – 2008, 2009, 2010)
• Russell Knox (Jacksonville – 2006)
• Ryan Moore (UNLV – 2002 & 2003)
• Justin Thomas (Alabama – 2012)

CATEGORY 17: Those qualifying for the previous year’s season-ending Tour Championship
• Kevin Chappell (UCLA – 2007)
• Kevin Kisner (Georgia – 2004)
• Matt Kuchar (Georgia Tech – 1999)

CATEGORY 18: The 50 leaders on the final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
• Bill Haas (Wake Forest – 2001)
• Alex Noren (Oklahoma State – 2004)
• Thomas Pieters (Illinois – 2012)

CATEGORY 19: The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament

Masters Tournament Central: http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/masters-tournament.html

+ www.sunbowl.org +


MAKING THE CONNECTION: SIX PROGRAMS PARTICPATING IN THE 2017 NCAA SWEET 16 HAVE MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH THE WESTSTAR BANK DON HASKINS SUN BOWL INVITATIONAL IN THE PAST March 23, 2017

MAKING THE CONNECTION: SIX PROGRAMS PARTICPATING IN THE 2017 NCAA SWEET 16 HAVE MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH THE WESTSTAR BANK DON HASKINS SUN BOWL INVITATIONAL IN THE PAST

EL PASO, Texas – The 2017 NCAA Sweet 16 begins Thursday, March 23 with six programs that have played in the Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational in the past.

Purdue, Michigan, Arizona, Baylor, Florida and South Carolina are set to play this weekend with hopes to advance to the 2017 Final Four in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Big Dance continues on March 23 with the first games from the Midwest Region bracket. No. 4 seed Purdue takes on No. 1 seed Kansas State. In 1984, Purdue challenged UTEP in the Championship Game of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational becoming the 24th Champion of the annual Sun City tournament.

Purdue hoping to secure a spot in the Final Four, advanced to the Sweet 16 after defeating Vermont, 80-70 and Iowa State, 80-76.

Michigan is the No. 7 seed out of the Midwest Region bracket and will square up against No. 2 seed Oregon. Michigan is advancing after it was victorious over Oklahoma State, 92-91 and Louisville, 73-69. Michigan traveled to El Paso back in 1978 and 1983 to compete in WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

Out of the West Region, No. 2 seeded Arizona is set for a showdown with No. 11 seeded Xavier. Arizona is proceeding to the Sweet 16 after a 100-82 win against North Dakota in the first round and a 69-60 victory against St. Mary’s California. Xavier pulled of the upset over No. 3 Florida State in the second round.

“It’s always really interesting to look back and see all the great programs that have come through El Paso,” said Executive Director of the Sun Bowl Association, Bernie Olivas.

In the East Region of the bracket, No. 3 seeded Baylor takes on South Carolina on Friday, March 24. Baylor played in the 1961, 1963 and 1967 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational and South Carolina played in the 1989 Sun Bowl tournament. Baylor advanced to the Sweet 16 by eliminating New Mexico State 91-73 in the first round of the NCAA tournament and USC 82-78 in the second round.

South Carolina, who played in the 1989 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, has found itself in the Sweet 16 by beating Marquette 93-73 in round one and upsetting Duke 88-81 in the second round. South Carolina became the 29th WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Champion after battling it out with Kansas State 62-60 in overtime.

Florida is the No. 4 seed out of the East Region in the bracket and faces Wisconsin on March 24. Defeating East Tennessee State 80-65 in round one and Virginia 65-39 in round two, the Gators are hoping to stay hot when they take on the Badgers. Florida made one appearance in WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational in 1992.

Now in its 56th year, the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational is the oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament in the country. The tournament is held annually at UTEP’s Don Haskins Center.

The 2017 edition is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 21 and Friday, Dec. 22. Teams have yet to be announced.

WestStar Bank is the Title Sponor for the tournament and recently renewed to support the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational for three more years.

WestStar Bank is the Title Sponor for the tournament and recently renewed to support the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational for three more years.

+ www.sunbowl.org +


WESTSTAR BANK RENEWS PARTNERSHIP WITH SUN BOWL ASSOCIATION March 7, 2017

WESTSTAR BANK RENEWS PARTNERSHIP WITH SUN BOWL ASSOCIATION

EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association announced on Tuesday, March 7 the extension of its partnership with WestStar Bank as the title sponsor for the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational through 2019. WestStar Bank originally signed on as the title sponsor in 2009.

“The Sun Bowl Association has built a family of successful and popular events and we’re excited to continue as the title sponsor of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational,” said L. Frederick “Rick” Francis, WestStar Bank Chairman and CEO. “We’re committed to being associated with many of El Paso’s traditions that have become a part of the fabric of our region. For many, this tournament is that – a holiday tradition – and we’re happy to be able to connect with our local community in this way.”

WestStar Bank and its employees are very involved with and in the community. Employees of WestStar Bank serve on over 95 boards and committees of nonprofit and civic organizations.

“We cannot produce events like the basketball tournament, which has been running since 1961, without great sponsors like WestStar Bank,” said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “We are extremely grateful for WestStar Bank and everything they have done for the Sun Bowl Association and the City of El Paso. Tournament Chairman Barry Kobren does an amazing job putting everything together and every team that visits El Paso leaves with great memories.”

The WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational is the nation’s oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament. This year marks the 56th edition of the event that began in 1961, when legendary head coach Don Haskins was in his first year as the head coach at UTEP, then known as Texas Western.

Haskins amassed 719 career wins as the head coach of the Miners for 38 seasons. He led the Miners to the 1966 NCAA title, won seven Western Athletic Conference championships, four WAC tournament titles, had fourteen NCAA tournament berths and made seven trips to the NIT. Haskins engineered 17 20-plus win seasons and served as an assistant Olympic team coach in 1972. He led the Miners to 23 tournament titles in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

Haskins was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997 as a basketball coach. The 1966 team was named in its entirety to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

+ www.sunbowl.org +


MAKING THE CONNECTION: MANY FORMER COLLEGE ALL-AMERICA PARTICIPANTS DO WELL AT PEBBLE BEACH WITH SPIETH LEADING THE WAY February 15, 2017

MAKING THE CONNECTION: MANY FORMER COLLEGE ALL-AMERICA PARTICIPANTS DO WELL AT PEBBLE BEACH WITH SPIETH LEADING THE WAY

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Jordan Spieth, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday, Feb. 12, was one of 23 players who previously made their way through El Paso playing at the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic (SBWRCAAGC).

Spieth, who highlighted his victory with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, played in the 2011 SBWRCAAGC at the El Paso Country Club. He closed his 2017 Pebble Beach performance with a 2-under 70 for a four-shot victory over former U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft, a close friend from Dallas who couldn’t get a putt to fall that might have put a little pressure on Spieth.

During the 2011 SBWRCAAGC, Spieth, then a freshman at Texas and Golfweek’s top-ranked player, struggled a bit finishing T-15 with Arkansas’ Austin Cook at 5-over.

“I was able to get out to Pebble Beach for the tournament and it is always great to catch up with some of these guys,” said Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “Brandon Hagy, who played in El Paso when he was with California, told me that he still has the boots he got from Lucchese, plus others mentioned they still remember coming to El Paso.”

Dustin Johnson, who finished third in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday, played in El Paso during the 2005 and 2006 SBWRCAAGC. He played for Coastal Carolina at the time and tied for 16th and 23th in respective years.

Brandt Snedeker, another top-five finisher at Pebble Beach this past weekend, played in the 2002 SBWRCAAGC along with J.B. Holmes and Ricky Barnes (Arizona). Snedeker was playing for Vanderbilt and finished in fifth, while Holmes (Kentucky) placed in a tie for eighth.

One name that most golf fans know is Phil Mickleson. He came to El Paso to participate in the SBWRCAAGC in 1989, but withdrew from the tournament during the early rounds of play.

Below is a list of players who have played in the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic. The Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic is one of the premier college golf tournaments in the country. Some of golf’s brightest stars have traveled to El Paso to compete in the tournament since its inaugural year in 1976. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Ricky Barnes and Jerry Pate are just a handful of past participants who went on to have successful PGA careers.

Place at Pebble Beach – Player – School – Year played in SBWRCAAGC
1st – Jordan Spieth – Texas-2011
3rd – Dustin Johnson –Coastal Carolina- 2005, 2006
4th – Brandt Snedeker- Vanderbilt- 2002
T10th – Nick Taylor-Washington-2008, 2009
T10th- Kevin Kisner- Georgia- 2004
T14th- Scott Stallings- Tennessee Tech- 2006
T14th- Nick Watney- Fresno State- 2001
T23rd – J.B. (John) Holmes- Kentucky-2002
T23rd – Derek Fathauer- Louisville-2007
T33rd – Tag Ridings-Arkansas-1996
T33rd – Brandon Hagy-Califonia-2012
T39th – Tom Hoge- TCU- 2009
T39th – Henrik Norlander- Augusta State-2008, 2010
T39th – Chris Kirk- Georgia- 2005, 2006
T48th – Zac Blair- BYU-2015
T48th – Rory Sabbatini- Arizona-1995, 1997
T48th – Ricky Barnes- Arizona-2000, 2001, 2002
T48th – Kevin Tway- Oklahoma State- 2009, 2010
T48th – Kevin Chappell- UCLA- 20071011
55th – Stewart Cink- Georgia Tech- 1993
58th – Jonas Blixt- Florida State- 2007
62nd – Scott Langley- Illinois-2009, 2010
65th – Phil Mickelson- Arizona State- 1989

+ www.sunbowl.org +


MAKING THE CONNECTION; MANY FORMER SUN BOWL PARTICIPANTS STILL MAKING WAVES IN THE NFL February 2, 2017

MAKING THE CONNECTION; MANY FORMER SUN BOWL PARTICIPANTS STILL MAKING WAVES IN THE NFL

EL PASO, Texas – The National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowl has come and gone while Super Bowl LI is set to be played, Sunday, Feb. 5 in Houston with many former Sun Bowl participants making a name for themselves at the highest level possible.

There were 12 former Sun Bowl partakers who saw action in the 2017 Pro Bowl, which was played in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 30. One of the most notable names to see some action was Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, who played for Stanford in the 2009 Sun Bowl versus Oklahoma. Sherman tallied eight tackles and one pass break up in the 31-27 loss to the Sooners.

In the second quarter of the Pro Bowl that ended with the AFC winning 20-13, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback intercepted an Andy Dalton pass that was intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. It was a play that made a statement with highlights available online at ESPN.com.

“It’s always interesting during this time of year to see the players that came to El Paso and played in front of our fans make it to the highest level of play,” said Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “I think fans get excited knowing that players such as Richard Sherman and DeMarco Murry, who played in the Pro Bowl and players such as running back D.J. Foster of the Patriots, who played with Arizona State just a couple years back, were here in El Paso.”

Foster played with the Sun Devils in the 2014 Sun Bowl helping his team to an exciting 36-31 win over Duke. Foster is the backup running back for New England and is averaging 3.4 yards a carry. Atlanta Falcons tight end Levine Tiololo played in the 2009 Sun Bowl for Oklahoma helping the Sooners to a victory in El Paso. He has three catches for 31 yards this postseason.

The Super Bowl is set for a 4:30 p.m. (MT) start, Sunday, Feb. 5, at NRG Stadium in Houston with TV coverage on FOX.

2017 Pro Bowl participants who also played in the Sun Bowl
AFC
• David DeCastro, OL (Pittsburgh Steelers) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Stanford
• DeMarco Murry, RB (Titans) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Oklahoma
• Leonard Williams, DE (Jets) – played in the 2012 Sun Bowl with Georgia Tech

NFC
• Zack Martin, OL (Dallas Cowboys) – played in 2010 Sun Bowl with Notre Dame
• Trent Williams, OL (Washington Redskins) – played in 2009 Sun Bowl with Oklahoma
• Johnny Hekker, Punter (Los Angeles Rams) – played in 2008 Sun Bowl with Oregon State; won the John H. Folmer Trophy after being named the Sun Bowl Special Teams MVP
• Harrison Smith, Safety (Minnesota Vikings) – played in 2010 Sun Bowl with Notre Dame
• Anthony Barr, LB (Minnesota Vikings) – played in 2013 Sun Bowl with UCLA
• Doug Baldwin, WR (Seattle Seahawks) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Stanford
• Cliff Avril, DE (Seattle Seahawks) – played in the 2004 Sun Bowl with Purdue
• Richard Sherman, CB (Seattle Seahawks) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Stanford
• Gerald McCoy, DT (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Oklahoma

*this list does not include all players selected to the Pro Bowl; only those who played in the Pro Bowl

Players on Super Bowl LI rosters who also played in the Sun Bowl
New England Patriots
• D.J Foster; RB – played in the 2014 Sun Bowl with Arizona State
• Shaquille Mason, OL – played in the 2011 Sun Bowl with Georgia Tech
• Eric Rowe, DB – played in the 2011 Sun Bowl with Utah
• Jabaal Sheard, DL – played in the 2008 Sun Bowl with Pittsburgh
• Matthew Slater, WR – played in the 2005 Sun Bowl with UCLA

Atlanta Falcons
• Levine Toilolo, TE – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Oklahoma
• Matt Bosher, P – played in the 2010 Sun Bowl with Miami
• Andy Levitre, G – Played in the 2006 and 2008 Sun Bowls with Oregon State

Former ASU Running Back D.J. Foster is on the New England Patriots Roster for Super Bowl LI

Former ASU Running Back D.J. Foster is on the New England Patriots Roster for Super Bowl LI

Former Notre Dame OL No. 70 Zack Martin represented the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl

Former Notre Dame OL No. 70 Zack Martin represented the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl

+ www.sunbowl.org +