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Golfer Thornberry named MVP
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Ryan Thornberry had a breakout year with three wins and a second-place finish at the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship in 2003-04.

On Wednesday, the Cal State Stanislaus junior returned home disappointed from South Dakota. Thornberry and the Warriors failed to qualify for the national tournament, to be held in Savannah, Ga., May 17-20.

The Warriors finished sixth at the Northwest/West Super Regional at Dakota Dunes Golf Club. The top five teams advanced.

"Words don't even explain how disappointed I am," said Thornberry, who tied for 12th place in the individual standings. "I feel my team's one of the best in the country. And we're not going to be playing for the national championship."

Thornberry did extremely well during the regular season.

He was named the 2004-05 California Collegiate Athletic Association Men's Golf Most Valuable Player after finishing in fourth place at the conference championship on April 19.

Thornberry finished second in MVP voting last season.

"I knew I was in the running for it," he said. "I didn't know if I was going to get the award. It's an honor."

Thornberry averaged 71.9 strokes per round this season. In 11 tournaments, he finished in the Top 10 nine times. He placed second four times.

"I played solid in a bunch of tournaments," Thornberry said. "But I'm not satisfied because I didn't win."

Thornberry had a memorable sophomore campaign. He was named to the Division II Ping All-America first team after tying for second at nationals. He also received all-CCAA honors.

In 2002-03, Thornberry earned All-America honors and was named the CCAA Freshman of the Year.

Thornberry will be doing a lot of traveling during the offseason. His schedule includes more than a dozen tournaments.

"I'm definitely looking forward to the summer," Thornberry said.

"I'm going to play in a tournament every week over the next two and a half months."

His first stop will be in Sacramento, where he'll participate in the Memorial Amateur Championship in May.

Thornberry will compete in the 90th Southwestern Amateur in Arizona, June 13-17, 12th Sahalee Players Championship at Sahalee Country Club in Washington, July 6-8, 103rd Western Amateur Championship at Point O'Woods Golf & Country Club in Michigan, July 25-31, and North & South Amateur in North Carolina in August. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier