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Aztecs’ PJ Samiere tied for third individually­ after 18 holes

Photo:  PJ Samiere led the Aztecs with a 68 during the opening round of The Prestige at PGA West.  Courtesy

February 20, 2017 (La Quinta, Calif.) - San Diego State men’s golfer PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii) finds himself tied for third place on the individual leaderboard after shooting a 3-under-par 68 Monday during the opening round of The Prestige at PGA WEST.

As a team, the Aztecs occupy the third position in the standings with a combined 2-under 282 heading into Tuesday’s second round at the par-71, 7,076-yard Greg Norman Course. With its total, SDSU sits just one stroke behind co-leaders Pepperdine (-3) and Stanford (-3), while Oklahoma (+2) remains in fourth, followed by Iowa State (+4) and Arizona State (+4).

Starting at hole No. 10, Samiere got to a blistering pace with four birdies on his first seven greens, recording consecutive drains at No. 11 and 12, as well as No. 15 and 16. Despite two bogeys on the back nine, however, the Aztec junior still finished strong with two pars followed by a birdie on the par-4, 359-yard No. 9 to complete his team-leading fifth round of the season below 70.

With his score, Samiere currently shares the third spot with Stanford’s Maverick McNealy, one shot in back of co-leaders Jared duToit of Arizona State and another Cardinal golfer Franklin Huang, who both carded a 67.

San Diego State has two other competitors among the top 20 after Monday’s first round, including senior Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego, Calif.), who finds himself in a tie for 12th after firing a 70, while junior Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.) shot a 71 to land in a seven-way tie for 17th.

Mendoza was a model of consistency throughout the day, posting a team-high 15 pars to go with a pair of birdies, including an impressive conversion on the par-4, 477-yard No. 3, which ranked as the third-most difficult hole of the first round.

Like Samiere, Abercrombie also began with a rush, sinking three birdies on three of his first seven holes. After finding success on the par-5, 537-yard No. 16, however, the native northern Californian was unable to post a red figure the rest of the way, as three bogeys stymied his progress.

Brian Song (Beverly Hills) also found birdies elusive on Monday, draining just one on his opening hole, but still managed to ease the sting of three bogeys somewhat with 14 pars, including nine straight through the turn, en route to a 73. With his total, the Aztec senior remains in a logjam for 32nd place along with eight other players.

Rounding out the SDSU starting lineup was Pablo Matesanz (Irun, Spain), who finished the day in a tie for 52nd after shooting a 75. The Aztec junior recorded the second-highest birdie total on the squad with four, but four bogeys and two doubles proved too much to overcome.

The Aztecs were also represented by sophomore Otto Vanhatalo (Espoo, Finland), an individual competitor who carded a 72 to finish the day tied for 24th. The Torrey Pines High alumnus was one of just three players in the 78-golfer field to make birdie on the par-4, 481-yard No. 6, which ranked as the most difficult hole of the first round.

San Diego State will tee off alongside Pepperdine and Stanford for Tuesday’s second round of The Prestige at PGA WEST, starting at 9:20 a.m. PT on hole No. 1.

The Prestige at PGA WEST

Round One Results

PGA WEST – Greg Norman Course

La Quinta, Calif.

Par 71, 7,076 yards

Team Scores (Top 6 of 13 teams + SDSU)

T1. Pepperdine                         281 (-3)

T1. Stanford                              281 (-3)

3. San Diego State                    282 (-2)

4. Oklahoma                             286 (+2)

T5. Iowa State                          288 (+4)

T5. Arizona State                      288 (+4)          


Individual Leaders (Top 11 of 78 players + SDSU)     

T1. Jared duToit, Arizona State                          67 (-4)

T1. Franklin Huang, Stanford                             67 (-4)

T3. PJ Samiere, SDSU                                     68 (-3)

T3. Maverick McNealy, Stanford                        68 (-3)

T5. Sahith Theegala, Pepperdine                       69 (-2)

T5. Ramon Aragon, Saint Mary’s                       69 (-2)

T5. Quade Cummings, Oklahoma                      69 (-2)

T5. Ruben Sondjaja, Iowa State                         69 (-2)

T5. Jordan Sundborg, Stirling University             69 (-2)

T5. Nick Voke, Iowa State                                  69 (-2)

T5. Isaiah Salinda, Stanford*                             69 (-2)                         


T12. Nahum Mendoza III, SDSU                       70 (-1)

T17. Blake Abercrombie SDSU                        71 (E)

T24. Otto Vanhatalo, SDSU*                            72 (+1)

T32. Brian Song, SDSU                                    73 (+2)

T52. Pablo Matesanz, SDSU                            75 (+4)

* - competing as an individual

Day 1 results