Alejandro Canizares Earns Academic All-American Honors

June 14, 2006

Arizona State men's golfer Alejandro Canizares has been named a first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic At-Large All-American for the second straight season. The 16-person men's squad was selected by Sports Information Directors across the nation from the sports of water polo, volleyball, gymnastics, golf, rifle, tennis, ice hockey, swimming and diving, fencing, wrestling, lacrosse and skiing.

Canizares was one of four repeat first-team selections in the university division along with golfer Zack Robinson of Oklahoma State, fencer Jason Rogers of Ohio State and wrestler Alex Tirapelle of Illinois.

Canizares, who finished tied for sixth at the 2006 NCAA Championships, finished his career with a 71.46 stroke average in 49 events. He won six career tournaments, including the 2003 NCAA title, and had 22 top-10 finishes.

This past season he posted a 71.22 stroke average, seventh-best in ASU history, and had five top-five appearances and earned Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, the first players to earn league Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons since Stanford's Tiger Woods in 1995-96. He graduated from ASU in May with a 3.87 grade point average.

He ended tied for third on the ASU career wins list with six, behind Phil Mickelson (16) and Billy Mayfair (8) and tied with Paul Casey and Charlie Gibson.

Canizares, who earned first-team honors PING All-America honors in 2003 and 2006 and third-team honors in 2004 and 2005, is just the fourth Sun Devil to earn All-America honors all four years, joining Todd Demsey (1992-95), Phil Mickelson (1989-92) and Billy Mayfair (1985-88). Golfweek named him a second-team All-American this year after he finished the year ranked 11th in its final rankings.

Canizares was named a third-team PING All-American after a junior season that saw him win three tournaments and earn Pac-10 Player of the Year.The native of Spain was a first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection.

He won the 2003 NCAA championship as a freshman and finished the 2004-2005 season with a 71.65 stroke average in 14 tournaments, which tied for the 10th-best scoring average in ASU history, and added five top-10 finishes.

He first earned Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in 2005, joining an impressive list of Sun Devils who have won the honor including Scott Watkins (1979 co-player of the year), Dan Forsman (1981 co-player of the year), Billy Mayfair (1987), three-time NCAA champion Phil Mickelson (1990, 1991 and 1992), 1993 NCAA Champion Todd Demsey (1994), three-time Pac-10 champion Paul Casey (2000) and 2000 U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney (2001 co-player of the year).

He won three tournaments in 2004-2005, with victories at the Big/Ten Pac-10 Challenge at Bandon Dunes, Ore., on Oct. 25-26, the Arizona/Ping Intercollegiate Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Tucson and the Puerto Rico Classic Feb. 27-March 1.

He also earned first-team All-Pac-10 for the third straight year this year after earning second-team honors and co-Freshman of the Year in 2002-2003.

He became just the sixth freshman in NCAA history to win the individual title with his 1-under 287 in 2003 at the Karsten Creek Course in Stillwater, Okla. Canizares came back from six strokes on the final day to win the event over three-day leader Lee Williams of Auburn and shot a 77-70-71-69. It marked the toughest course on the players in 20 years, as his 287 total was the highest by a champion since another Sun Devil, Jim Carter, won the 1983 title with a 287 as well.

The Academic All-America Teams program honors 816 male and female student-athletes annually who have succeeded at the highest level on the playing field and in the classroom. Individuals are selected through voting by CoSIDA (the College Sports Information Directors of America), a 2,000 member organization consisting of sports public relations professionals for colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

Also named to the University Division Academic All-America first-team squad were Minnesota State-Mankato's David Backes (Ice Hockey), Minnesota's Travis Beckerle (Swimming), Auburn's Curt Cady (Swimming), Georgia Tech's Roberto Castro (Golf), Hofstra's Nikola Djordjevic (Tennis), Oklahoma's Tommy Garrison (Tennis), Montana State's Marek Gebicki (Tennis), Seton Hall's Matt Miklius (Swimming), North Carolina's Steven Piantadosi (Fencing), Mississippi State's Jose-Carlos Pinto (Tennis), Alabama's Joseph Sykora (Golf) and Stanford's Ben Wildman-Tobriner (Swimming).

To be eligible, a student-athletes must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA covering all NCAA championship sports.

For more information about the Academic All-America Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com.

2005-06 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® Men's At-Large Team (University Division)

FIRST TEAMDavid Backes, Minnesota St-Mankato, Ice Hockey, Jr., Blaine, Minn., 4.00, Electrical engineeringTravis Beckerle, Minnesota, Swimming, Sr., St. Louis, Mo., 3.90, PhysicsKurt Cady, Auburn, Swimming, Sr., Las Vegas, Nev., 3.62, Civil EngineeringAlejandro Canizares, Arizona State, Golf, Sr., Manilva, Spain, 3.87, Interdisciplinary studiesRoberto Castro, Georgia Tech, Golf, Jr., Alpharetta, Ga., 3.82, Industrial engineeringNikola Djordjevic, Hofstra, Tennis, Sr., Belgrade, Serbia, 3.94, FinanceTommy Garrison, Oklahoma, Tennis, Sr., Enid, Okla., 3.93, Math, pre-medicineMarek Gebicki, Montana State-Bozeman, Tennis, Sr., Lodz, Poland, 3.99, Industrial engineeringMatt Miklius, Seton Hall, Swimming, Sr., Palatine, Ill., 4.0, PhysicsSteven Piantadosi, North Carolina, Fencing, Sr., Reisterstown, Md., 3.94, Mathematics, linguisticsJose-Carlos Pinto, Mississippi State, Tennis, Sr., Sao Paulo, Brazil, 3.99, Banking & financeZack Robinson, Oklahoma State, Golf, Gr, Fort Worth, Texas, 4.0, Political science, MBAJason Rogers, Ohio State, Fencing, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif., 3.96, PsychologyJoseph Sykora, Alabama, Golf, Jr., Daphne, Ala., 4.00, BusinessAlex Tirapelle, Illinois, Wrestling, Sr., Clovis, Calif., 3.73, AccountancyBen Wildman-Tobriner, Stanford, Swimming, Jr., San Francisco, Calif., 3.59, Biomechanical engineering
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