Aztecs just four shots in back of coveted fifth-place position
Photo: PJ Samiere posted his second straight 71 on Tuesday at the NCAA Washington Regional. Courtesy goaztecs.com
May 16, 2017 (Sammamish, Wash.) - Enduring two lengthy morning rain delays, the San Diego State men’s golf team slipped two places into the eighth position at the NCAA Washington Regional after recording a combined 10-over-par 294 during the second round at Aldarra Golf Club.
With their performance, the Aztecs, who find themselves at 16-over 584 for the tournament, remain four shots behind Alabama (+12) for the coveted fifth spot, as the top five teams advance to the NCAA championship series, scheduled for May 26-31 in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Also lurking near the cut line is host Washington (+13), which climbed four places into the sixth position on the strength of a 286, while Texas A&M (+15) occupies the seventh spot, one stroke ahead of SDSU, heading into Wednesday’s final round on the par-71, 6,885-yard layout.
With three players among the individual top five, No. 1 USC (-5) wrested the lead from Florida State (-2) in the team standings, while Kent State (+1) took over the third position thanks to a second-round low of 283, followed by Penn State (+10).
The Aztecs’ round of the day belonged to PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii), who vaulted seven places on the leaderboard into a tie for seventh at even-par 142 after recording his second straight 71. The SDSU junior tied for the team lead with four birdies, including a successful conversion on the par-4, 445-yard No. 5, which ranks as the toughest hole of the week thus far. However, four bogeys, including three on the back nine prevented a steeper ascent.
Still, Samiere remains six shots in back of USC’s front-runner Justin Suh (-6), who owns a two-shot advantage over Trojan teammate Sean Crocker (-4) and Penn State’s Cole Miller (-4), while Florida State’s Harry Ellis (-3) sits in fourth, followed by another USC golfer Rico Hoey (-2).
Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego, Calif.), who settled for a 74 on Tuesday, posted four birdies as well, including back-to-back drains on the 11th and 12th greens to get to 3-under for the round. After notching two pars, however, the Aztec senior ran into trouble on his final four holes, logging two double-bogeys on the par-3 No. 15 and the par-4 18th, sandwiched around a bogey at No. 16. Despite the stumble, Mendoza still climbed five places into a tie for 33rd at 5-over 147, along with teammate Gunn Yang (Pyeongchang, South Korea).
However, Yang lost ground on Tuesday, plunging 19 places after carding a 76. Despite a team-high 12 pars, the SDSU senior sank just one birdie on the par-4, 369-yard No. 4, while two bogeys and a pair of double-bogeys precipitated his fall.
Elsewhere, Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.) sits one shot behind Mendoza and Yang in a tie for 37th at 6-over 148 after logging his second straight 74. The Aztec redshirt freshman made the second of his two birdies on the par-5, 503-yard No. 7 to offset a pair of opening bogeys. However, Norby was unable to sustain the momentum as three additional bogeys, including two after the turn, proved too much to overcome.
Rounding out the Aztec lineup was Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.), who posted his second consecutive 76 to finish the day in a tie for 52nd at 10-over 152. The SDSU junior rebounded from a rocky start, posting seven pars and two birdies on the back nine after weathering five bogeys and a double on the front.
With Tuesday’s rain, the average score in the 75-golfer field increased to 75.24, compared to Monday’s 74.15 clip.
The NCAA Washington Regional concludes on Wednesday when San Diego State tees off alongside Texas A&M and Michigan for the final round beginning at 7:30 a.m. PT on hole No. 10.
2017 NCAA Washington Regional
Round Two Results
Aldarra Golf Club
Par 71, 6,885 yards
1. USC 280-283—563 (-5)
2. Florida State 278-288—566 (-2)
3. Kent State 287-282—569 (+1)
4. Penn State 290-288—578 (+10)
5. Alabama 283-297—580 (+12)
6. Washington 295-286—581 (+13)
7. Texas A&M 287-296—583 (+15)
8. San Diego State 290-294—584 (+16)
9. Michigan 292-298—590 (+22)
10. UTEP 297-294—591 (+23)
11. Marquette 291-308—599 (+31)
12. Michigan State 300-301—601 (+33)
13. Seattle 305-298—603 (+35)
14. Bryant 313-326—639 (+71)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 75 players + SDSU)
1. Justin Suh, USC 68-68—136 (-6)
T2. Sean Crocker, USC 64-74—138 (-4)
T2. Cole Miller, Penn State 69-69—138 (-4)
4. Harry Ellis, Florida State 73-66—139 (-3)
5. Rico Hoey, USC 70-70—140 (-2)
T7. PJ Samiere, SDSU 71-71—142 (E)
T33. Nahum Mendoza III, SDSU 74-73—147 (+5)
T33. Gunn Yang, SDSU 71-76—147 (+5)
T37. Trevor Norby, SDSU 74-74—148 (+6)
T52. Blake Abercrombie, SDSU 76-76—152 (+10)