Men's Golf Tied for Sixth after Day One in New Mexico
Sept. 22, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The San Diego State men's golf team remains in a tie for sixth place at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate after shooting a combined 16-over-par 592 during the first two rounds on Friday at UNM Championship Course. Through 36 holes, the defending tournament champion Aztecs share the sixth position with host New Mexico after posting scores of 292-300 on the par-72, 7,555-yard layout.
Just 12 shots separate the third and 10th place schools, with Brigham Young sitting in the No. 3 spot at 10-over 586, while Arizona and Colorado State are tied for fourth at 13-over. Cal State Fullerton (+17) finds itself one stroke behind SDSU and UNM in eighth place, while Colorado (+21) and UT Arlington (+22) round out the top 10.
UNLV (-1) was lone squad to post a collective red figure on Friday, grabbing a six-stroke lead over second-place Washington (+5) heading into Saturday’s final round.
Individually, the Aztecs were led by PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii), who ended the day in a tie for seventh after carding a 1-over 145. The SDSU senior reeled off nine straight pars after opening with a birdie on the par-5, 544-yard No. 1, but struggled on the back nine, logging four bogeys against one additional birdie en route to a 74. However, the reigning California State Amateur champion finished strong in the afternoon, sandwiching eight consecutive pars between birdies at No. 9 and No. 18 for a second-round 71. Earlier on the front nine, he managed to ease the sting of three bogeys with back-to-back drains on the third and fourth greens.
With his effort, Samiere climbed 19 places on the leaderboard into a seven-way logjam for seventh, sitting six strokes in back of Arizona’s front-runner George Cunningham, who fired a 5-under 139, while UNLV’s Shintaro Ban (-4) and Harry Hall (-2) occupy the second and third spots, respectively, while Washington’s Henry Lee and Cal State Fullerton’s Derek Castillo are tied for fourth at 1-under.
Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.) was the only other Aztec to crack the top 20 on Friday, landing in a tie for 18th after shooting a 3-over 147. In the second round, the SDSU senior started fast with four birdies on his first six holes, including back-to-back conversions at the par-4 No. 6 and No. 7, with the latter ranking as the third-toughest hole of the tournament thus far. However, the Rocklin, California, native was unable to sustain the momentum, suffering three straight bogeys en route to a 73. Despite the hiccup, Abercrombie still moved up eight spots in the standings after recording a 74 in round one, countering five bogeys with a trio of birdies, including a successful make on his final hole at No. 1.
Elsewhere, Puwit Anupansuebsai (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand) sits one shot in back of Abercrombie in a tie for 25th at 4-over 148. The Aztec freshman opened with an even-par 72, highlighted by four birdies on his back nine. However, a bogey on his final hole at the par-4, 454-yard No. 2 was an ominous sign for the afternoon, as birdies would prove elusive. Anupansuebsai registered 14 pars in round two, but four bogeys, including another blemish on No. 2, hastened a drop of 13 places.
Sophomore Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.) matched his aforementioned SDSU teammate with an opening-round 72, featuring a spotless back nine that included birdies on the 12th and 15th greens. The San Marcos High alumnus also began the afternoon session with another impressive drain at No. 2, but quickly undone by a rash of seven bogeys and a double before settling for an 80. With his stumble, Norby slipped 46 places into a tie for 58th at 8-over 152.
Rounding out the Aztec starting lineup was Eric Ghim (Glendale, Ariz.), who sits in a tie for 79th at 12-over 156 after shooting rounds of 76-80. The SDSU sophomore was 5-over after 10 holes in round one, but finished strong with a birdie at No. 14, followed by seven straight pars. However, he was unable to generate any consistency in the afternoon, suffering a plague of seven bogeys and a double.
Friday also witnessed the initial collegiate appearances of freshmen Ryan McCoy (Temecula, Calif.) and Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.), who are competing as unattached players this weekend. McCoy landed in the 72nd position after 36 holes at 11-over 155 on rounds of 81-74. The Great Oak High alumnus experienced a dearth of birdies in the morning, but came back in round two with four conversions, including an eagle on the par-5 No. 1.
On the other hand, Sugimoto, a Rancho Bernardo High product, ended the day in a tie for 79th at 156 after posting back-to-back 78s.
The William H. Tucker Intercollegiate concludes on Saturday with San Diego State teeing off alongside Cal State Fullerton, Colorado State and New Mexico, beginning at 7:45 a.m. MT/6:45 a.m. PT.
William H. Tucker Intercollegiate
Team Standings (Top 7 of 17 teams + SDSU)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 99 players + SDSU)
^ - Competing as an individual