Men's Golf Takes Seventh at Pebble Beach
Nov. 8, 2017
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The San Diego State men's golf team completed its fall schedule with a seventh-place finish at the Saint Mary's Invitational on Wednesday after shooting a combined 3-under-par 281 during the final round at the par-71, 7,002-yard Poppy Hills Golf Course.
Albeit one shot, the Aztecs trimmed their team score for the second day in a row, but were unable to gain ground in the standings, completing the event with a 54-hole score of even-par 852, one stroke behind sixth-place Saint Mary's (-1) and four in back of fifth-place San Francisco (-5).
USC (-28) ended SDSU's two-year run as tournament champions, finishing six shots ahead of runner-up Stanford (-22), while Colorado State (-12) took third, followed by Brigham Young (-9).
For the fourth time in five starts this fall, PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii) was the Aztecs' top golfer, tying for sixth place at 6-under 207 after carding a final-round 68. Starting on the par-4 No. 10, the SDSU senior opened with an inauspicious double bogey, but quickly righted the ship with three birdies, including back-to-back drains on the 12th and 13th greens to go with an eagle just before the turn on the par-5, 535-yard No. 18.
Samiere was unable to maintain his hot streak on the back nine, but still played steady golf for the most part, offsetting a bogey at the par-5 fifth with a birdie on the par-3, 179-yard No. 8 to complete his team-leading ninth round of the year below 70.
With his result, Samiere climbed four places on the leaderboard, finishing seven shots behind USC's Justin Suh (-13), who took home medalist honors after posting a five-stroke victory over the trio of Trojan teammate Kaito Onishi, Santa Clara's Hayden Shieh and Brigham Young's Patrick Fishburn, all of whom landed in the runner-up spot at 8-under.
Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.) finished two shots behind Samiere in a tie for 14th at 4-under 209 after firing a collegiate-best 69 over the final 18 holes. The Aztec freshman countered three bogeys with a team-high five birdies, including a successful conversion on the par-4, 421-yard No. 3, which ranked as the fourth-toughest hole of the week. With his total, the Rancho Bernardo High product managed his highest placement in three appearances this fall.
On the flip side, Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.) lost ground on Wednesday, tumbling 12 places into a tie for 38th at 3-over 216 after posting a 73. Along with a team-high 12 pars, the Aztec senior sank three birdies, including an impressive make on the on the par-4, 478-yard No. 14, which ranked as the fifth-most difficult hole of the tournament. However, Abercrombie was unable to overcome the sting of two double bogeys and one bogey, which precipitated his drop.
In just his second start in a Scarlet and Black uniform, Zihao Jin (Beijing, China) tied for 68th in the field of 99 golfers, logging a final-round 74 to finish the tournament at 11-over 224. A prep teammate of Sugimoto, Jin registered back-to-back birdies at the turn on the No. 18 and No. 1 greens to get to 1-under for the day, but four bogeys on the back nine short-circuited his momentum.
Elsewhere, sophomore Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.) completed his best round of the week with a 71, climbing eight places into a tie for 88th at 16-over 229. After notching a double-bogey on the par-4 16th, the San Marcos High alumnus finished strong with three birdies, including an eagle of his own at 18th. Norby also recorded a birdie on his final hole, the par-5 ninth, but an earlier double bogey-5 at No. 2 prevented a steeper ascent.
Rounding out the Aztec delegation was freshman Puwit Anupansuebsai (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand), an unattached golfer who stumbled to an 82 on Wednesday to finish the tournament in a tie for 93rd at 18-over 231. The SDSU freshman totaled eight pars to go with a birdie on the par-3, 161-yard No. 2.
For the second straight day, individual scores plummeted as the field averaged 71.84 shots compared to Tuesday's 72.21 clip and Monday's 74.52 mark.
San Diego State will take a 12-week break from competition before returning to the fairways for the Arizona Intercollegiate, Jan. 29-30, 2018, at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson.
Saint Mary's Invitational
Team Standings (Top 5 of 18 teams + SDSU)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 99 players + SDSU)
^ - competed as an individual