Aztec freshman wins playoff with a birdie on third hole
Photo courtesy goaztecs.con
March 23, 2021 (Carlsbad) - San Diego State men’s golf freshman Liam Koeneke birdied the third playoff hole to claim medalist honors at the UC San Diego Invitational, which wrapped up Tuesday on the par-72, 7,157-yard Omni La Costa Championship Course.
Koeneke led Utah State’s Colten Cordingley and UC Irvine’s Darien Zhao by one stroke heading into today’s final round at 1-under 143 but was forced into a playoff with Cordingley following a 3-over 75 to Cordingley’s 2-over 74 as each golfer posted a 54-hole score of 2-over 218. After Koeneke and Cordingley each recorded pars on the first two playoff holes, Koeneke sank a birdie putt to break the tie and capture his first individual title, and the fourth by an Aztec over the last two seasons (each by a different player).
After taking fourth at the competitive National Invitational Tournament over the weekend, SDSU only had four individuals compete in the UCSD Invite in nearby Carlsbad and didn’t officially enter as a team. San Diego State, however, would have won the event by two strokes at +27 over actual champion Utah State (+29), despite playing only four of the usual five golfers in a starting lineup.
Just two strokes behind Koeneke and Cordingley was Aztec Amadeo Figus, who tied for third with UC Santa Barbara’s Brandon Bueno and Southern Utah’s Jake Vincent at 4-over 220. Figus was remarkable consistent with a 74 and 73 yesterday, and another 1-over 73 in today’s final round.
SDSU also had two other top-20 finishers in freshmen Jackson Moss and Jack Heath. Moss had San Diego State’s best round of the day at 1-under 71 to finish in a tie for 13th at 9-over 225. Heath, meanwhile, tied for 17th at 12-over 228 after a 4-over 76 today.
The Aztecs will next compete April 5-6 in Wyoming’s Cowboy Classic at Whirlwind Golf Course in Chandler, Ariz.
UC San Diego Invitational
Day Two Results
Omni La Costa Championship Course
Par 72, 7,157 yards
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 43 players + SDSU)
T1. Liam Koeneke*^ (San Diego State)…70-73-75—218 (+2)
T1. Colten Cordingley (Utah State)…73-71-74—218 (+2)
T3. Amadeo Figus^ (San Diego State)…74-73-73—220 (+4)
T3. Brandon Bueno (UC Santa Barbara)…72-73-75—220 (+4)
T3. Jake Vincent (Southern Utah)…74-71-75—220 (+4)
T13. Jackson Moss^ (San Diego State)…81-73-71—225 (+9)
T17. Jack Heath^ (San Diego State)…73-79-76—228 (+12)
* won on third playoff hole
^ competing as an individual