Aztec sophomore Christian Banke fires final-round 70
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
February 20, 2019 (La Quinta, Calif.) - The San Diego State men’s golf team completed its first tournament of the spring Wednesday, finishing 16th at The Prestige presented by Charles Schwab after posting a collective 12-over-par 296 during the final round on the Greg Norman Course at PGA West.
Despite trimming their team score for the second day in a row, the Aztecs were unable to gain ground in a stacked field that featured nine top-50 schools, recording a 54-hole total of 47-over 899 on the par-71, 7,100-yard course layout. With its results, SDSU ended the week 11 shots out of the top 10 behind East Tennessee State (+36) and Scotland’s University of Stirling (+36).
Individually, the Aztecs had three players tie for the 47th position at 11-over 224, including Christian Banke (Danville, Calif.), who carded the team’s best round of the tournament with a 70 over the final 18 holes. Despite just one birdie at the par-4, 431-yard No. 15, the SDSU sophomore was a model of consistency, notching 17 pars to vault 18 places on the leaderboard.
Joining Banke at the finish were sophomore Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.) and senior Otto Vanhatalo (Espoo, Finland).
Sugimoto, who recorded a 75, was 1-under for the day after sinking the second of his two birdies at the par-4, 443-yard No. 14. However, five bogeys on his next six holes derailed his momentum. The Rancho Bernardo High product regrouped with six straight pars, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a drop of three places in the standings.
Vanhatalo, meanwhile, experienced a sharper descent, tumbling 10 spots after posting a 76. The Torrey Pines High alumnus endured a shaky start with three bogeys on his first five greens before reeling off six straight pars through the turn. Despite two birdies, including an impressive conversion on the par-4, 380-yard No. 5, Vanhatalo was unable to overcome the sting of three additional bogeys and a double on the back nine.
Elsewhere, Youssef Guezzale (San Diego, Calif.) slipped one notch into a tie for 57th at 14-over 227 after logging a 75. Despite 14 pars, the Aztec freshman was hindered by a dearth of birdies, along with a pair of bogeys before and after the turn.
The SDSU starting five also featured Leo Oyo (Tokyo, Japan), who dipped two places into the 77th position at 23-over 236 after shooting a 79. The Aztec freshman was even on the front nine, offsetting one bogey with a birdie at No. 15, before his total ballooned to 8-over by the final green.
Elsewhere, freshman Leo Oyo (Tokyo, Japan) remains in a tie for 75th at 15-over 157 despite trimming three shots off Monday’s total with a 77, featuring a birdie on the par-4, 461-yard No. 18, which ranks as the second-toughest hole of the tournament.
LSU (-14) unseated defending national champion and 2018 tournament winner Oklahoma State (-8) for the team title, while Pepperdine (+5) was a distant third, followed by UCLA (+14) and Oregon (+17). Iowa State (+24) shot the round of the week with a 9-under 275 on Wednesday to jump nine places into a tie for sixth with Stanford.
Oklahoma State’s Viktor Hovland (-8) captured medalist honors by one shot over Stanford’s Brandon Wu (-7) after firing a final-round 66, while fellow Cowboy teammate Austin Eckroat and LSU’s Philip Barbaree tied for third at 5-under.
San Diego State returns to the fairways next week when it competes in the Southwestern Invitational Feb. 25-26 at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, Calif.
The Prestige presented by Charles Schwab
La Quinta, Calif.
PGA West - Greg Norman Course
Par 71, 7,100 yards
Team Standings (Top 5 of 16 teams)
2. Oklahoma State 278-286-282—844 (-8)
16. San Diego State 305-298-296—899 (+47)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 82 players + SDSU)
1. Viktor Hovland, Oklahoma State 68-71-66—205 (-8)
2. Brandon Wu, Stanford
T3. Austin Eckroat, Oklahoma State 68-70-70—208 (-5)
T3. Philip Barbaree, LSU 73-69-66—208 (-5)
5. Joshua McCarthy, Pepperdine 71-70-68—209 (-4)
T47. Christian Banke, SDSU 78-76-70—224 (+11)
T47. Steve Sugimoto, SDSU 75-74-75—224 (+11)
T47. Otto Vanhatalo, SDSU 74-74-76—224 (+11)
T57. Youssef Guezzale, SDSU 78-74-76—227 (+14)
77. Leo Oyo, SDSU