Aztecs’ Aaron Whalen, Youssef Guezzale tie for 14th individually
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
October 9, 2018 (Fairfax, Calif.) - The San Diego State men’s golf team finished in eighth place at the Alister Mackenzie Invitational on Tuesday after shooting a combined 2-under-par 282 during the final round at the par-71, 6,734-yard Meadow Club.
Despite two top-15 individual placements, the Aztecs were unable to gain ground on the leaders, completing the tournament with a 54-hole score of 11-under par 841, three shots behind Saint Mary’s and UC Davis, which tied for sixth at 14-under 838.
Pepperdine (-52) wrested the team title from host California (-41) after the Waves posted a 22-under 262 over the final 18 holes, compared to the Golden Bears’ card of 5-under 279. San José State (-26) held off Arizona State (-25) for third place, while Santa Clara (-18) took fifth.
The Aztecs were led by Aaron Whalen (Ephrata, Wash.), who fired a team-best 69 to tie for the 14th position at 6-under 207, along with teammate Youssef Guezzale (San Diego, Calif.).
Whalen sank a team-high five birdies on the day, including back-to-back drains on the par-4 15th and the par-4 16th, to climb three places on the leaderboard. The junior transfer also recorded an impressive conversion on the par-3, 165-yard No. 8, which ranked as the sixth-toughest hole of the week. However, a double bogey on the par-4 ninth and a bogey at the par-5 No. 13 prevented a steeper ascent.
Conversely, Guezzale slipped out of the top 10, tumbling six notches down the ladder, courtesy of a final-round 71. The SDSU freshman opened with six straight pars before logging consecutive bogeys on the seventh and eight greens. The La Jolla High product regrouped with three birdies on the back nine, but his momentum was derailed by an additional bogey on the par-4 17th.
In addition, Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.) matched Guezzale with a 71 of his own to jump four places into a tie for 43rd with a 2-over 215. After making bogey at the par-4 No. 10, the Aztec sophomore played spot-free golf the rest of the way, sinking the last of his three birdies on the par-3, 152-yard No. 11 followed by seven straight pars.
Rounding out the SDSU delegation was freshman Joey Moore (Billings, Mont.) and sophomore Zihao Jin (Beijing, China), who tied for 58th at 5-over 218. Moore also logged a 71 on Tuesday for his best round of the tournament, easing the sting of four bogeys with four birdies, including a successful make on the par-4, 403-yard No. 3, which ranked as the most difficult hole of the final round.
While Moore managed a gain of seven places, Jin dropped five spots from the previous day after shooting a 73. Despite logging 14 pars, the Rancho Bernardo High alumnus managed just one birdie at the par-4, 378-yard No. 10, but three bogeys hastened his fall.
The Aztecs were also represented by Christian Banke (Danville, Calif.), an unattached golfer who tied for 43rd along with Sugimoto after posting a 72 on Tuesday. After recording a bogey on the par-4 No. 12, the SDSU sophomore closed strong with four pars and two birdies, including an impressive drain on the par-4, 428-yard No. 17, which ranked as the fifth-most difficult hole of the week.
Pepperdine’s RJ Manke (-21) captured medalist honors after tying for the tournament low with a 61 on Tuesday, topping the California duo of Collin Morikawa (-17) and Sebastian Crampton (-14), while fellow Waves teammate Clay Feagler (-11) took fourth.
San Diego State wraps up its fall slate early next month when it heads back north to the Monterey Peninsula for the Saint Mary’s Invitational Nov. 5-7 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Alister Mackenzie Invitational
Par 71, 6,734 yards
Team Standings (Top 5 teams of 15 schools)
1. Pepperdine 270-268-262—800 (-52)
2. California 258-274-279—811 (-41)
3. San José State 269-278-279—826 (-26)
4. Arizona State 280-273-274—827 (-25)
5. Santa Clara 288-276-273—837 (-15)
8. San Diego State 287-272-282—841 (-11)
Individual Leaders (Top 6 of 80 players + SDSU)
1. RJ Manke, Pepperdine 65-66-61—192 (-21)
2. Collin Morikawa, California 65-64-67—196 (-17)
3. Sebastian Crampton, California 63-67-69—199 (-14)
4. Clay Feagler, Pepperdine 71-66-65—202 (-11)
T5. Ryan Han, UC Davis 68-66-70—204 (-9)
T5. Kaiwen Liu, California 63-71-70—204 (-9)
T14. Aaron Whalen, SDSU 72-66-69—207 (-6)
T14. Youssef Guezzale, SDSU 67-69-71—207 (-6)
T43. Christian Banke, SDSU^ 73-70-72—215 (+2)
T43. Steve Sugimoto, SDSU 75-69-71—215 (+2)
T58. Zihao Jin, SDSU 77-68-73—218 (+5)
T58. Joey Moore, SDSU 73-74-71—218 (+5)
^ - competed as an individual