Aztec senior P.J. Samiere (below) ties for sixth individually
Photo: Courtesy goaztecs.com
April 8, 2018 (Santa Cruz) - Bolstered by three individual finishes in the top 11, the San Diego State men’s golf team tied for third at the Western Intercollegiate on Sunday after carding a collective 5-over-par 355 during the final round at the par-70, 6,615-yard Pasatiempo Golf Course.
The Aztecs completed Saturday’s suspended round in a tie for second, but slipped one notch in the afternoon, posting a 54-hole total of 2-over 1052 in the six-count-five tournament. With its score, SDSU tied USC for the third spot, finishing 16 shots behind team champion North Carolina (-14) and six strokes in back of runner-up California (-4).
For the seventh time in 11 events this season, PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii) was the Aztecs’ No. 1 competitor, tying for sixth at 6-under 204 after firing a 68 over the final 18 holes. Earlier, the SDSU senior matched a tournament record with a second-round 63, highlighted by seven birdies over an eight-hole stretch. The reigning California State Amateur champion added five more drains in the afternoon to climb three places on the leaderboard. However, a double-bogey on the par-3 No. 3 and a bogey on the par-4 No. 10 prevented a loftier perch.
Still, Samiere managed his fifth top-10 placement of the year, finishing four strokes behind the triumvirate of Oregon’s Norman Xiong, California’s Collin Morikawa and Arizona’s George Cunningham, who completed regulation at 10-under. Xiong ultimately took home the crown after defeating Morikawa on the third playoff hole, while Cunningham was eliminated earlier on the first extra green.
Rounding out the top-five were USC’s Justin Suh (-8) and North Carolina’s Ben Griffin (-7), while Samiere followed closely, along with Cal’s Sebastian Crompton and UNC’s Jose Montano.
Trevor Norby (Carlsbad, Calif.) ended the day two shots behind his Aztec teammate in a tie for ninth at 4-under 206 after carding a final-round 71. The SDSU sophomore vaulted into the fifth position on the strength of a second-round 66, but could not overcome the sting of five bogeys in the afternoon despite sinking four four birdies, including an impressive drain on the par-4, 493-yard No. 2, which ranked as the fourth-toughest hole of the weekend.
In addition, Puwit Anupansuebsai (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand) recorded his highest finish as a collegian, tying for 11th with a 3-under 207 on the heels after matching Norby with a 71 over the final 18 holes. The Aztec freshman also notched a 66 in the second round, highlighted by six birdies, but could not replicate the feat in the afternoon, logging just two additional conversions against three bogeys.
Blake Abercrombie (Rocklin, Calif.) also lost ground during the afternoon, slipping nine places into a tie for 46th at 6-over 216 after shooting a 73. The Aztec senior opened with nine pars on his first 10 holes, but found birdies elusive otherwise, converting just one drain at No. 2 while suffering four bogeys.
Elsewhere, Pablo Matesanz (Irun, Spain) tumbled 10 spots into a tie for 62nd at 10-over 220 courtesy of a final-round 74. The SDSU senior also experienced a dearth of birdies on Sunday, sinking just one at the par-5, 527-yard No. 13, compared to five bogeys.
The Aztec starting six also featured Otto Vanhatalo (Espoo, Finland), who shot a final-round 73 to finish the weekend in a tie for 72nd at 13-over 223. The Torrey Pines High alumnus drained two birdies, including a successful make on the par-3, 217-yard No. 3, which ranked as the most difficult hole of the event.
San Diego State will have 12 days to prepare for the 2018 Mountain West Championship, scheduled for April 20-22 at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Par 70, 6,615 yards
Team Standings (Top 5 of 15 teams)
1. North Carolina 350-340-346—1036 (-14)
2. California 355-341-350—1046 (-4)
T3. San Diego State 355-341-356—1052 (+2)
T3. USC 352-350-350—1052 (+2)
5. Texas 347-352-355—1056 (+6)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 96 players + SDSU)
T1. Norman Xiong, Oregon^ 68-65-67—200 (-10)
T1. Collin Morikawa, California 69-67-64—200 (-10)
T1. George Cunningham, Arizona* 66-66-68—200 (-10)
4. Justin Suh, USC 67-68-67—202 (-8)
5. Ben Griffin, North Carolina 66-67-70—203 (-7)
T6. P.J. Samiere, SDSU 73-63-68—204 (-6)
T7.Trevor Norby, SDSU 69-66-71—206 (-4)
T11. Puwit Anupansuebsai, SDSU 70-66-71—207 (-3)
T46. Blake Abercrombie, SDSU 70-73-73—216 (+6)
T62. Pablo Matesanz, SDSU 73-73-74—220 (+10)
T72. Otto Vanhatalo, SDSU 77-73-73—223 (+13)
^ - won on third playoff hole over Morikawa
* - eliminated on first playoff hole