Aztec junior Christian Banke ties for fourth on individual leaderboard
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
September 28, 2019 (Albuquerque) - The San Diego State men’s golf team claimed fourth place at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate on Saturday after firing a collective 4-over-par 292 during the final round at UNM Championship Course.
Despite recording the third-best team score of round three, the Aztecs were unable gain ground on the leaders, logging a 2-under 862 for the weekend to finish six strokes behind third-place Arizona (-8) on the par-72, 7555-yard South Course.
New Mexico and Brigham Young tied in regulation at 10-under par, but the host Lobos took home the team title after posting an aggregate 4-under on the first playoff hole, topping the Cougars by one shot.
Individually, SDSU was led by Christian Banke (Danville, Calif.), who tied for fourth at 6-under 210 with UNLV’s Jack Trent, thanks to a final-round 71. The junior was one of just two Aztec players to record a red figure on Saturday, offsetting two birdies with an eagle on the par-5, 606-yard No. 9, followed by a birdie on the par-4 No. 10, which ranked as the second-most difficult hole of the weekend.
With his card, Banke logged his highest career placement, finishing one shot in back of New Mexico’s Galven Green and Arizona’s Trevor Werbyko, both of whom landed in the runner-up position at 7-under, while BYU’s Peter Kuest successfully defended his crown after out-distancing the field with a tournament-low 16-under 200.
The Aztecs sported two additional top-20 finishers, including sophomore Leo Oyo (Tokyo, Japan), who slipped into the 14th position at even-par 216, while junior Callum Bruce (Banff, Scotland) vaulted into a tie for 16th with a 1-over 217.
After logging a second-round 70 on Friday, Oyo stumbled to a 75 over the final 18 holes, sinking just two birdies against three bogeys as well as a double bogey on the par-4 12th, which hastened his drop on the leaderboard.
Conversely, Bruce displayed upward mobility, catapulting 17 places in the standings after matching Banke with a 71 on Saturday. The Midland College transfer countered a trio of bogeys with four birdies, including conversions on his final two holes at the par-5 18th and the par-5 No. 1.
Elsewhere, junior Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.) dropped three places into a tie for 36th at 6-over 222 on the heels of a 76. The Rancho Bernardo High alumnus posted two birdies on the 15th and No. 1 greens to go with 10 pars; however, a rash of six bogeys proved too much to overcome.
The SDSU starting five also featured Zihao Jin (Beijing, China), who climbed 13 places into a tie for 56th at 12-over 228 after carding his second straight 75. The Aztec junior found birdies elusive on Saturday, but managed to somewhat ease the sting of three bogeys with 15 pars, including eight straight through the turn.
The SDSU contingent also featured two unattached golfers in Ambrose Abbracciamento (Newtown, Pa.) and Amadeo Figus (Rome, Italy).
Abbracciamento fired his lowest round in a Scarlet and Black uniform with a 70 over the final 18 holes to rocket 31 places up the leaderboard into a tie for 45th at 9-over 225. The Aztec senior drained five birdies, including an impressive conversion on the par-4, 492-yard No. 5, which ranked as the fourth-toughest hole of the weekend.
Figus, meanwhile, climbed seven places into a tie for 50th at 10-over 226 after posting a 75. The SDSU sophomore sank five birdies as well, including three on a four-hole span from No. 1-4. However, six bogeys and a double bogey prevented a steeper ascent.
San Diego State will return to the course in nine days when it makes its annual trek north to the Bay Area for the Alister MacKenzie Invitational Oct. 7-8 at the exclusive Meadow Club in Fairfax, California.
William H. Tucker Intercollegiate
UNM Championship South Course
Par 72, 7,555 yards
Team Standings (Top 5 of 16 squads)
1. New Mexico
2. Brigham Young 278-289-287—854 (-10)
4. San Diego State 281-289-292—862 (-2)
5. Utah 285-292-297—874 (+9)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 92 players + SDSU)
1. Peter Kuest, Brigham Young 63-70-67—200 (-16)
T2. Galven Green, New Mexico 71-68-70—209 (-7)
T2. Trevor Werbyko, Arizona 72-65-72—209 (-7)
T4. Christian Banke, SDSU 67-72-71—210 (-6)
T4. Jack Trent, UNLV
T14. Leo Oyo, SDSU
T16. Callum Bruce, SDSU 69-77-71—217 (+1)
T33. Steve Sugimoto, SDSU 74-72-76—222 (+6)
T45. Ambrose Abbracciamento, SDSU^ 79-76-70—225 (+9)
T50. Amadeo Figus, SDSU^ 74-77-75—226 (+10)
T56. Zihao Jin, SDSU 78-75-75—228 (+12)
^ - Competed as an individual