Aztec freshman Youssef Guezzale shoots second-round 66
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
September 29, 2018 (Albuquerque) - The San Diego State men’s golf team finds itself in seventh place at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate after carding a 1-over-par 577 on Friday during the first two rounds at UNM Championship South Course.
The Aztecs (292-285) shaved off seven strokes between the morning and afternoon rounds to remain three shots behind host New Mexico and Colorado, which are both tied for fifth at 2-under 574 heading into Saturday’s final round on the par-72, 7,555-yard layout.
After 36 holes, UNLV (-14) owns a three-stroke advantage in the standings over second-place Brigham Young (-11), while Pepperdine (-8) occupies the third spot, followed by Arkansas (-5).
Perhaps the most intriguing story for SDSU involves freshman Youssef Guezzale (San Diego, Calif.), who shook off the effects of an opening-round 79 with a 66 in the afternoon to vault 64 places on the leaderboard into a tie for 26th at 1-over 145. After recording one birdie against eight bogeys in the morning session, the La Jolla High alumnus flipped the switch, posting a team-high seven birdies in round two while suffering just one blemish on his card. Among his conversions was a successful drain on the par-3, 267-yard No. 8, which witnessed just nine birdies by the entire field all day to rank as the most difficult hole of the tournament thus far.
With his total, Guezzale sits two shots behind teammate Puwit Anupansuebsai (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand), who logged the Aztecs’ lowest score among starters Friday with a combined 1-under 143. The SDSU sophomore opened with a 70, countering five bogeys with seven birdies, including three straight to close the round. Anupansuebsai added another impressive make on his first hole of the afternoon session at the par-4, 454-yard No. 2, but managed just the rest of the way to tumble out of the sixth position into a tie for 19th, as two bogeys and a double on the par-4 15th precipitated his drop.
In addition, sophomore Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.) finished the day in a tie for 39th with a 3-over 147. The Rancho Bernardo High product eased the sting of five bogeys in the morning round with three birdies and three pars on his final six holes. In the afternoon, Sugimoto found himself 1-under for the round after sinking the last of his three birdies on the par-3, 198-yard No. 16; however, two bogeys on his final two greens at No. 1 and No. 2 prevented a loftier perch.
Elsewhere, Joey Moore (Billings, Mont.) earned his first collegiate start this week and finds himself in tie for 46th place with a 36-hole total of 4-over 148. The Aztec freshman carded a 75 in round one, notching one birdie against four bogeys. Despite six additional blemishes in the afternoon, Moore still managed to jump four places on the leaderboard, grinding his way to a 73 that featured five birdies, including back-to-back conversions on the 15th and 16th greens.
The SDSU starting lineup also included Christian Banke (Danville, Calif.), who completed the first two rounds in a tie for 52nd at 5-over 149. The Aztec sophomore fired a 73 in round one, offsettiing three bogeys and a double with four birdies, including consecutive drains at No. 18 and No. 1 to close out the morning. However, Banke could not overcome a rash of two bogeys and two doubles in the second round, where he ultimately settled for a 76.
The San Diego State delegation also included a pair of individual competitors in Zihao Jin (Beijing, China) and Leo Oyo (Tokyo, Japan). Through 36 holes, Jin actually finds himself in a nine-way logjam for eighth place with a 2-under 142. After opening with a 74 that featured just one birdie, the Aztec sophomore minimized the damage in round two, carding five birdies against one bogey en route to a 68. Among Jin’s successes was an impressive drain on the aforementioned eighth green.
Conversely, Oyo sits in a tie for 67th with a 7-over 151 on rounds of 80-71. The SDSU freshman was able to trim nine strokes off his first-round score with the help of four birdies, including three straight on holes 14-16, and 11 pars.
Just five strokes separate the top five golfers on the individual leaderboard, as UNLV’s Harry Hall (-9) grabbed a two-shot lead over Brigham Young’s Peter Kuest (-7), while Colorado’s Daniel O’Loughlin (-6) remains in third, followed by Pepperdine’s Joe Highsmith (-5) and New Mexico’s Sam Choi (-4).
The William H. Tucker Intercollegiate concludes on Saturday when San Diego State tees off for the final round alongside Colorado and Mountain West rivals New Mexico and Wyoming, beginning with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. MT/7 a.m. PT.
William H. Tucker Intercollegiate
Day One Results
UNM Championship South Course
Par 72, 7,555 yards
Team Standings (Top 6 teams of 17 schools + SDSU)
2. Brigham Young 286-279—565 (-11)
T5. New Mexico 297-277—574 (-2)
7. San Diego State 292-285—577 (+1)
Individual Leaders (Top 6 of 100 players + SDSU)
1. Harry Hall, UNLV
2. Peter Kuest, Brigham Young 68-69—137 (-7)
3. Daniel O’Loughlin, Colorado 69-69—138 (-6)
4. Joe Highsmith, Pepperdine 71-68—139 (-5)
5. Sam Choi, New Mexico 72-68—140 (-4)
T8. Zihao Jin, SDSU^ 74-68—142 (-2)
T19. Puwit Anupansuebsai, SDSU 70-73—143 (-1)
T26. Youssef Guezzale, SDSU 79-66—145 (+1)
T39. Steve Sugimoto, SDSU 74-73—147 (+3)
T46. Joey Moore, SDSU 75-73—148 (+4)
T52. Christian Banke, SDSU 73-76—149 (+5)
T67. Leo Oyo, SDSU^ 80-71—151 (+7)
^ - competing as an individual