Men's Golf Set to Compete at Hawai'i Tournament
Oct. 27, 2017
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego State men's golf team resumes its fall schedule next week when it travels to the Aloha State for the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational, Oct. 29-31, on the island of Kaua’i in Princeville, Hawaii.
The 54-hole tournament will be contested at the par-72, 7,223-yard Princeville Makai Golf Club, with an 8 a.m. HT (11 a.m. PT) shotgun start initiating the action on all three days. A live scoring link courtesy of Golfstat will be available on GoAztecs.com.
The Aztecs, ranked 50th in the latest Golfstat index, will battle seven additional top-50 squads in No. 5 Wake Forest, No. 20 UCLA, No. 32 Georgia Southern, No. 36 Missouri, No. 40 Louisville, No. 43 Ole Miss and No. 47 Colorado, while host Hawai’i, Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, East Tennessee State, Idaho, Louisiana, Sam Houston State, San Diego, UMKC, Utah Valley and Washington round out the extensive 19-team field.
SDSU head coach Ryan Donovan will accompany five golfers to the islands, including seniors PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii), Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.) and sophomore Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.), along with freshmen Zihao Jin (Beijing, China) and Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.), who will be making their first collegiate starts, respectively.
Samiere leads the team with a 70.11 scoring average and has been the Aztecs’ top finisher in the three events this fall, including a fourth-place effort in his last outing at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in Fairfax, California, where he shot a 12-under 201, highlighted by a pair 66s in the first two rounds. He is ranked 43rd in the latest Golfstat Cup standings.
In addition, Abercrombie (72.56) is coming off his highest placement of the year thus far after carding a 5-under 208 to tie for 14th at the aforementioned tournament, while Norby (73.00) finished one shot behind in a tie for 19th with a career-best 4-under 209.
On the flip side, Jin and Sugimoto will be making their first varsity appearances after the former Rancho Bernardo High School teammates signed with San Diego State last fall. However, Sugimoto has one tournament under his belt already, participating as an unattached golfer at the William H. Tucker Invitational, Sept. 22-23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he tied for 79th with a 15-over 231.
As a team, SDSU took fourth in Northern California earlier this month with a collective 19-under 833, finishing a 22 strokes behind champion California (-41), while Santa Clara (-24) landed in the runner-up spot, followed by Arizona State (-20).
SDSU will be competing at Princeville Makai Golf Club for the first time since November 2012 when it finished in the 14th position at the Warrior Wave Intercollegiate with a 24-over 888. Former All-American Xander Schauffele was the team’s top golfer at that event, tying for 26th with a 4-over 220 in his first season as an Aztec.
Ole Miss will be looking for its second straight crown at the Warrior Princeville Makai Invite after posting a 33-under 831 last season to win handily over runner-up Sam Houston State (-11) by 22 strokes, while Missouri (-4) was a distant third.
The Rebels’ Braden Thornberry will be aiming to defend his individual title from last year’s tournament after recording a 13-under 203 to edge Sam Houston State’s Andrew Ertel and Mateusz Gradecki of East Tennessee State, both of whom tied for second, but have since completed their eligibility.
Also back in the mix are Missouri’s Hayden Buckley (T-6th, -7), Louisville’s Keegan DeLange (T-10th, -6), Georgia Southern’s Steven Fisk (12th, -5) and San Diego’s George Gardner (13th, -4).
Buckley (3), Fisk (5) and Thornberry (6) occupy three of the top six positions in the latest Golfstat Cup standings.
Following its Hawaiian excursion, San Diego State will return to the fairways for the Saint Mary’s Invitational, Nov. 6-8, at the famed Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California. The Aztecs are the two-time defending tournament champions.