Aztec senior Blake Abercrombie ties for seventh individually
Photo: Blake Abercrombie tied for seventh at the NCAA Norman Regional after posting a final-round 69 on Wednesday. Courtesy goaztecs.com
May 16, 2018 (Norman, Okla.) - The San Diego State men’s golf team saw its 2017-18 campaign end on a sour note Wednesday with a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Norman Regional at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club. Despite shooting a combined 2-over 290 for the third straight day, the Aztecs were unable to gain ground on the contenders, completing the tournament with a 54-hole total of 6-over 870 on the par-72, 7,452-yard track.
SDSU began the morning seven shots out of fifth place, the requisite standing for a spot in the NCAA championship series, set for May 25-30 in Stillwater, Okla. However, the Aztecs were unable to generate any momentum, as Arkansas and Auburn claimed the final two berths after tying for fourth with a collective 3-under 861 apiece.
Host Oklahoma (-14) captured the regional title on its home course, edging North Florida (-13) and Brigham Young (-13), with the latter firing a combined 10-under 278 for the second consecutive round.
Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.) was SDSU’s top golfer, landing in a four-way tie for seventh place at 5-under 211 after carding the team’s lowest round of the week with a 69. The Aztec senior led the squad with four birdies overall, including a successful conversion on the par-5, 586-yard 18th, which capped a spot-free run of 12 holes after making bogey on the par-3 No. 6.
With his effort, Abercrombie climbed three places on the leaderboard, finishing one shot behind Pepperdine’s Joshua McCarthy (-6) for the Norman Regional’s individual spot in the NCAA Championships. In addition, the two-time all-Mountain West performer punctuated his collegiate career with his eighth top-10 placement in a Scarlet and Black uniform, becoming the eighth Aztec in the last eight years to post a top-10 performance at a regional meet, following the most recent exploits of Ryann Ree (9th) and Gunn Yang (10th) in 2016.
Meanwhile, freshman Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.) was San Diego State’s No. 2 finisher, tying for the 29th position with a 2-over 218 following a final-round 72. The Rancho Bernardo High alumnus played steady golf on Wednesday, countering one bogey with a birdie at the lengthy par-5, 627-yard No. 5 to go with a team-high 16 pars. In all, Sugimoto topped the 75-golfer field with 44 pars for the week.
Elsewhere, PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii) concluded his Aztec career in a tie for 33rd at 3-over 219 after compiling his second straight 74. The SDSU senior was at even-par for the day after draining a birdie on the par-5, 600-yard No. 8. However, a dearth of birdies on the back nine, along with two bogeys, hastened his drop of eight places on the leaderboard.
The Aztecs’ final counted score belonged to redshirt sophomore Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.), who registered a 75 to tie for 57th with a 10-over 226 in his second regional competition. The San Marcos High product sank birdies on the eighth and 13 greens, but five bogeys, including three after the turn, proved too much to overcome.
The SDSU lineup also included Puwit Anupansuebsai (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand), who slipped eight places into a tie for 59th at 11-over 227 in his first regional appearance as a collegian. The Aztec freshman found birdies elusive over the final 18 holes, suffering six bogeys, including four on the back nine, before settling for a 78.
North Florida’s Travis Trace (-11) carded a tournament-low 65 on Wednesday, capturing medalist honors with a one-shot victory over Brigham Young’s Patrick Fishburn (-10), while Oklahoma’s Quade Cummins (-8) took third just ahead of Sooner teammate Blaine Hale (-7), the second-round leader who slipped into fourth following a final-round 73.
2018 Norman Regional
Jimmie Austin OU G.C.
Par 72, 7,452 yards
(Top 5 schools advance to NCAA Championships)
1. Oklahoma 283-284-283—850 (-14)
T2. North Florida 288-283-280—851 (-13)
T2. Brigham Young 295-278-278—851 (-13)
T4. Arkansas 288-293-280—861 (-3)
T4. Auburn 288-285-288—861 (-3)
6. Florida State 293-284-285—862 (-2)
7. Virginia 297-281-285—863 (-1)
8. Pepperdine 295-274-295—864 (E)
9. Nevada 294-285-288—867 (+2)
10. San Diego State 290-290-290—870 (+6)
11. UMKC 293-297-291—881 (+17)
12. Sam Houston State 301-289-298—888 (+24)
13. Navy 323-302-296—921 (+57)
14. Prairie View A&M 315-316-312—943 (+79)
Individual Leaders (Top 6 of 75 players + SDSU)
1. Travis Trace, North Florida 70-70-65—205 (-11)
2. Patrick Fishburn, Brigham Young 71-66-69—206 (-10)
3. Quade Cummins, Oklahoma 69-72-67—208 (-8)
4. Blaine Hale, Oklahoma 67-69-73—209 (-7)
T5. Joshua McCarthy, Pepperdine 74-65-71—210 (-5)
T5. Peter Kuest, Brigham Young 74-70-66—210 (-5)
T7. Blake Abercrombie, SDSU 70-72-69—211 (-5)
T29. Steve Sugimoto, SDSU 75-71-72—218 (+2)
T33. PJ Samiere, SDSU 71-74-74—219 (+3)
T57. Trevor Norby, SDSU 74-77-75—226 (+10)
T59. Puwit Anupansuebsai, SDSU 76-73-78—227 (+11)