M. Golf Heads North for Jones Invitational This Week
Feb. 23, 2014
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State men's golf team resumes its spring schedule this week when it travels north for the Jones Invitational, Feb. 24-25, in Somis Calif. The 54-hole tournament will be contested on the challenging par-72, 6,985-yard Saticoy Country Club, with Pepperdine serving as host school.
A total of 12 teams will participate in the inaugural event, which gets underway Monday with a shotgun start at 7:45 a.m. PT. The 50th-ranked Aztecs will battle three additional top-50 squads in No. 23, USC, 30th-ranked Brigham Young and No. 48 Cal State Fullerton, along with Mountain West rival San José State and crosstown foe San Diego. In addition, the competitive field features Cal State Northridge, Georgia State, Lipscomb, UC Irvine, Washington State and the aforementioned Pepperdine squad.
SDSU will be paired with Georgia State and Lipscomb for the first two rounds, with the final 18 holes to be completed on Tuesday. A live scoring link for both days, courtesy of Golfstat, will be available on www.goaztecs.com.
Aztec head coach Ryan Donovan will bring six golfers to Ventura County, including the starting lineup of junior Xander Schauffele (San Diego, Calif,), freshman Ricky DeSantis (Carlsbad, Calif.), sophomore Riccardo Michelini (Carpi, Italy), senior Austin Kaiser (Atascadero, Calif.) and freshman Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego, Calif.). Meanwhile junior James Holley (Chatsworth, Calif.) is slated to appear as an individual.
SDSU is coming off an eighth-place showing at The Prestige at PGA WEST in their initial tournament of the spring last week as DeSantis tied for 28th on the individual leaderboard after carding a collective 2-over 215.
Heading into the week, Schauffele leads the Aztecs with a 72.42 stroke average, followed closely by DeSantis (72.50), while Mendoza ranks third (73.33). Mendoza was SDSU's second finisher at The Prestige where he fired a combined 3-over 216 to tie for the 35th position in his first collegiate start.
Although the Jones Invitational is a brand-new event, the Aztecs have experienced previous success at Saticoy, which was named the 35th-best course in California by Golf Digest in 2013.
In its last visit to the Pleasant Valley track in the fall of 2005, SDSU captured both the team and individual titles while competing at the Club Glove Intercollegiate. The Scarlet and Black (+29) topped host Pepperdine by 16 strokes, while David Palm (+4) bested teammate Josh Warthen (+4) on the first playoff hole to claim medalist honors. Six years earlier, former Aztec and current PGA competitor Scott Piercy came away with the individual championship at the 1999 Strata Invitational. Ironically, Piercy (-2) also won in a playoff, defeating Sean Gilliland of Texas A&M in sudden death.
The following year at the re-branded Spaulding Invitational in 2000, SDSU (+24) finished in the runner-up spot, nine strokes behind New Mexico, while Lars Johansson (+1) wound up in a three-way tie for second individually.
Following the Jones Invitational, the Aztecs will return to the fairways for the San Diego Classic, March 10-11, at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif.