Aztecs win team title in first competition since March 2020
Video courtesy goaztecs.com
January 27, 2021 (Westlake Village, Calif.) - Thanks to a gutsy final day that saw the San Diego State men’s golf team post the best score by seven strokes, the Aztecs rallied for the team title Wednesday at the Southwestern Invitational presented by Topgolf. SDSU finished the tournament at 10-over-par 874 to beat Arizona State (+13) by three shots at the par-72, 6,992-yard North Ranch Country Club.
It was San Diego State’s third Southwestern Invitational title, first tournament win since claiming the Bill Cullum Invitational on Oct. 14-15, 2019, first win in the championship spring season since winning the Barona College Cup on March 21-22, 2016 and 32nd team title under 18-year head coach Ryan Donovan.
Trailing by seven to ASU and in a tie for third after two rounds, the Aztecs fired a final-round 5-over 293 in windy and chilly conditions to blow by the Sun Devils and their 15-over 303. SDSU easily beat its playing partners in the final pairings Wednesday, including Arizona State, an eight-shot advantage over SMU (13-over 301) and a 13-shot triumph over Louisville (18-over 306).
Rounding out the top 5 overall behind San Diego State (+10) and ASU (+13) was SMU (+18), Louisville (+21) and host Pepperdine (+24).
Junior Youssef Guezzale (San Diego/La Jolla HS) was the Aztecs’ top individual finisher, tying for third at even-par 216 after shooting a final round 3-over 75 today. It was Guezzale’s best finish of his collegiate career (previous best was a tie for 14th at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in the fall 2018 season). After starting the final round today 6-over through the first 11 holes, Guezzale went 3-under for the final seven, including birdies on the par-5, 474-yard 15th hole, par-4, 372-yard 16th and the par-4, 424-yard 18th.
Junior Joey Moore (Billings, Mont.), meanwhile, tied for ninth at 2-over 218 following a 3-over 75 today. The ninth-place finish was Moore’s best of his career while competing in SDSU’s starting five. Moore battled through an up-and-down final round, recording four birdies, including on No. 18, five bogeys and a double bogey.
After back-to-back 75s to start the tournament, senior Zihao Jin (Beijing/Rancho Bernardo HS) saved his best for last with a final round 2-under 70. The 70 was tied with two others for the best round of the day and vaulted him from a tie for 31st to a tie for 11th at 4-over 220. Jin eagled the 15th, while recording five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.
Senior Puwit Anupansuebsai (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand) tied for 20th after his second straight 1-over 73, totaling an 8-over 224. The reigning Mountain West Golfer of the Year amassed four birdies in his final round, offset by three bogeys and a double bogey.
Senior Steve Sugimoto (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS) finished in a tie for 26th at 10-over 226 after shooting a 5-over 77 today. At 6-over through the first 14 holes, Sugimoto had back-to-back birdies on No. 15 and No. 16 before ending his day with a bogey and a par.
Arizona State’s David Puig earned medalist honors after leading wire-to-wire and finishing at 10-under 206 following a final-round 70 (-2) today. Only one other competitor broke par for the tournament in Pepperdine’s Joshua McCarthy (-1). The nine-shot win was the largest margin in the history of the tournament.
SDSU is next in action in The Prestige presented by Charles Schwab at PGA West Feb. 15-17 in La Quinta, Calif.
Southwestern Invitational Presented by Topgolf
Westlake Village, Calif.
North Ranch C.C. (Lakes/Oaks)
Par 72, 6,992 yards
Team Standings (Top 5 of 12 teams)
1. San Diego State…294-287-293—874 (+10)
2. Arizona State…292-282-303—877 (+13)
3. SMU…293-288-303—882 (+18)
4. Louisville…296-283-306—885 (+21)
5. Pepperdine…308-277-303—888 (+24)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 66 players)
1. David Puig (Arizona State)…70-66-70—206 (-10)
2. Joshua McCarthy (Pepperdine)^…72-73-70—215 (-1)
T3. Youssef Guezzale (San Diego State)…73-68-75—216 (E)
T3. Noah Goodwin (SMU)…70-71-75—216 (E)
T3. RJ Manke (Pepperdine)^…74-69-73—216 (E)
T3. Matthias Schmid (Louisville)…71-68-77—216 (E)
T9. Joey Moore (San Diego State)…72-71-75—218 (+2)
T11. Zihao Jin (San Diego State)…75-75-70—220 (+4)
T20. Puwit Anupansuebsai (San Diego State)…78-73-73—224 (+8)
T26. Steve Sugimoto (San Diego State)…74-75-77—226 (+10)