Colorado State men’s golfer Jake Staiano was named the Les Fowler Player of the Year by the Colorado Golf Association Monday evening.
Through 2017, Staiano had a decorated year for the men’s golf team. He received All-Mountain West honors at the end of the 2016-17 season while making it all the way to the NCAA Austin Regional as an individual in his sophomore season. During the fall portion of the 2017-18 season, the CSU men’s golf team has found itself in the top 25 in all major national poles. The team finished in the top five in all tournaments they competed in this fall and won the Ram Masters Invitational.
Staiano is averaging 71.33 strokes per round with nine of 12 rounds at par or better. His best finish of the fall was fifth place at the Ram Master Invitational.
“Being named player of the year definitely means a lot,” Staiano said in a statement. “Just to be in the category with some of the best players to come out of Colorado shows a lot about how far I have come in the past few years with my game. I definitely went through some hard times, but to get this award really shows my maturity through it all and how I was able to get through those times.”
In this year’s CoBank Colorado Open, Staiano put himself in position to win on the final day. After three holes of the final round, he shared the lead. Considering his status as an amateur, the accomplishment is that much more impressive. Staiano finished the tournament in eighth place at 15-under over four rounds of golf. This was the best overall showing of an amateur competitor in the tournament since 2014 when Cameron Harrell placed fifth.
Staiano also qualified for the U.S. Amateur for the second time in his career. Along with that, he finished second at the CGA Amateur and advanced to the semifinals of the CGA Match Play where he fell to Chris Korte, the eventual champion of the tournament.
Collegian sports reporter Evan Grant can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @EGrantSports.