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Aztecs’ Nahum Mendoza III climbs into tie for third individually


Photo:  Senior Nahum Mendoza III led the Aztecs with a 68 on day two of The Prestige at PGA West.  Courtesy

February 21, 2017 (La Quinta, Calif.) - The San Diego State men’s golf team remains in a third-place tie after shooting a 5-over-par 289 on Tuesday during the second round of The Prestige at PGA West.  The Aztecs vaulted into the lead midway through the day, opening up a six-shot advantage at one point, before slipping back into the third position at 3-over 571, along with Iowa State.

Despite the stumble, SDSU remains just two shots behind front-runner LSU (+1) and one stroke in back of second-place Stanford (+2) heading into Wednesday’s final round on the par-71, 7,076 Greg Norman Course. Meanwhile, Texas Tech and Oklahoma find themselves tied for fifth at 8-over 576, while Pepperdine and Arizona State are knotted in the seventh spot at 9-over 577.

The Aztecs’ low round of the day belonged to senior Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego, Calif.), who climbed nine places on the individual leaderboard into a tie for third after carding a 68. The reigning Mountain West Golfer of the Year led the squad with six birdies, including back-to-back conversions on the 15th and 16th greens after making bogey at the par-4, No. 14.

With his total, Mendoza sits just four shots off the pace at 4-under 138, along with Nick Voke of Iowa State, while Jared duToit of Arizona State (-8) and Franklin Huang (-6) of Stanford occupy the top two spots, respectively.

The rest of the SDSU contingent lost ground on the individual leaders Tuesday, including PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii), who dropped seven places into a five-way tie for 10th at 1-under 141 on the heels of a second-round 73.  The Aztec junior recorded four birdies on the day, including a successful drain on the par-4, 481-yard No. 6, which ranked as the second-toughest hole of the day. However, back-to-back bogeys on No. 14 and No. 15, followed by a triple at the par-4 18th, knocked him out of a lofty perch.

Fellow teammate Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.) experienced a similar fate, tumbling seven spots into a tie for 24th at 2-over 144 after shooting a 73 of his own. The SDSU junior made birdie at No. 6 as well and soon added another red figure on the longest hole of the course, the par-5, 617-yard No. 8. Sitting at 2-under for the round, Abercrombie was soon plagued by four bogeys on the back nine, however, which hastened his drop.

Elsewhere, Brian Song (Beverly Hills, Calif.) was not immune to the trend, sliding seven places into a tie for 39 with a combined 6-over 148. The Aztec senior was 1-under through eight holes, thanks to back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth greens. However, Song was unable to sustain the momentum after the turn, posting a double-bogey on the par-3 13th, followed by bogeys at No. 16 and No. 18.

Pablo Matesanz (Irun, Spain) also endured a rough stretch on the front nine with two doubles and a bogey clustered around his lone birdie of round at the par-3, 181-yard No. 7. The Aztec junior rebounded with eight pars after the turn, but still settled for a second-round 76, finishing the day in a tie for 62nd at 9-over 151.

The Aztecs delegation also included sophomore Otto Vanhatalo (Espoo, Finland), an unattached golfer who finds himself in a tie for 37th at 5-over 147 after carding a 75 on Tuesday. The Torrey Pines High product made birdie on his first hole, the par-4, 415-yard 10th. However, two additional birdies were unable to offset a rash of seven bogeys, including four after the  turn.

The Prestige at PGA West will conclude on Wednesday when San Diego State tees off alongside LSU and Stanford for the final round, starting at 9:20 a.m. PT.

The Prestige at PGA WEST

Round Two Results

PGA WEST – Greg Norman Course

La Quinta, Calif.

Par 71, 7076 yards

Team Scores (Top 5 of 13 teams)

1. LSU                                      291-278—569 (+1)

2. Stanford                                281-289—570 (+2)

T3. San Diego State                  282-289—571 (+3)

T3. Iowa State                          288-283—571 (+3)

T5. Texas Tech                         293-283—576 (+8)

T5. Oklahoma                           286-290—576 (+8)       

Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 78 players + SDSU)       

T1. Jared duToit, Arizona State                          67-67—134 (-8)

2. Franklin Huang, Stanford                               67-69—136 (-6)

T3. Nahum Mendoza III, SDSU                         70-68—138 (-4)

T3. Nick Voke, Iowa State                                  69-69—138 (-4)

5. Sandy Scott, Texas Tech*                             72-67—139 (-3)           


T10. PJ Samiere, SDSU                                   68-73—141 (-1)

T24. Blake Abercrombie SDSU                        71-73—144 (+2)

T37. Otto Vanhatalo, SDSU*                            72-75—147 (+5)

T39. Brian Song, SDSU                                    73-75—148 (+6)

T62. Pablo Matesanz, SDSU                            75-76—151 (+9)

* - competing as an individual

Day Two results