Despite short season, SDSU men’s golfer earns top conference honor

Junior Puwit Anupansuebsai named 2020 Mountain West Golfer of the Year

Junior+Puwit+Anupansuebsai+shot+a+tournament-record+18+under+par+at+the+Bill+Cullum+Invite.

Courtesy of Derrick Tuskan, SDSU Athletics

Junior Puwit Anupansuebsai shot a tournament-record 18 under par at the Bill Cullum Invite.

by Luis Lopez, Staff Writer

San Diego State men’s golf had quite the year to remember.

With highlights that range from a team tournament win at the Bill Cullum Invitational and plenty of strong individual campaigns, the team has managed to put together a solid year despite it being cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Of all the accomplishments that head coach Ryan Donovan has been able to achieve the past year, perhaps none is greater than that of junior Puwit Anupansuebsai, who was named the 2020 Mountain West Golfer of the Year on April 28. 

Anupansuebsai, a native of Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, had about as good a year as a collegiate golfer could ask for. He garnered an individual win at the Bill Cullum Invite back in October where he scored an SDSU record 18 par under 198, a PING third-team All-American recognition and three other top-10 finishes. 

For Anupansuebsai, his reason for what was a successful junior year comes down to the mindset he’s grown over his career as an Aztec. 

“I found my swing, I guess I changed my mentality a bit after the first two years,” Anupansuebsai told The Daily Aztec. “I kinda have that mentality that I’m the best out there, I just think that I can win every tournament I play in.”

Donovan said Anupansuebsai’s growth in confidence over the past year was just what his game needed.

“He finally has the confidence that he needed,” Donovan said. “He has all the parts of the game, he practices extremely hard.”

Anupansuebsai’s impact on the team came down to more than his individual success.

Donovan emphasized Anupansuebsai’s impact as a teammate when talking about his season.

“It was awesome. I’m so proud of him, he was having an amazing year,” Donovan said. “He’s such a humble and good teammate, so for him to get that award is definitely deserving.”

“Everybody on the team likes each other,” Anupansuebsai said. “Everyone on the team has the same goal after college — try to become professional golfers — so we all push each other every day in practice.”

While winning conference golfer of the year is an honor in itself, Anupansuebsai also won an honor that he has pursued for years, even before his arrival at SDSU. 

The Arnold Palmer Cup is an annual golf tournament that features two teams of 12 golfers. One team consists of the top collegiate golfers in the U.S. and the other consists of the top international born college-level golfers.

Anupansuebsai recently received the honor of being named to the international team at the tournament. 

This accomplishment was something that Anupansuebsai has wanted to achieve for quite some time now. 

Five years ago, Anupansuebsai played in a high school tournament in Chicago, Illinois. 

Coincidentally, that year’s Arnold Palmer Cup took place in Chicago at the same time as Anupansuebsai’s tournament, so he decided to go take it in for himself. When he did, making the international team became a goal of his. 

“It’s special to me, I had a chance to watch them play,” Anupansuebsai said. “So I’m like, ‘I want to be on this team in the future, and I’m probably one of the best players on that team as well.’”

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place this upcoming July, but it has since been postponed to December 21-23, according to a release from the Arnold Palmer Cup website.

With the tournament’s postponement, perhaps Anupansuebsai will have a chance to put yet another accomplishment on his résumé in a year that has been full of them. 

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