SDSU Men's Golf Tied for 12th after Day Three at Nationals
BRADENTON, Fla. - The San Diego State men's golf team is tied for 12th place after posting a collective 10-over-par 298 on Sunday during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Championships at The Concession Golf Club. Despite slipping an additional four places in the team standings with a 54-hole total of 23-over 887, the Aztecs still find themselves in prime position to make the cut as the top 15 schools advance to the fourth round of stroke play.
SDSU will eagerly await its official fate tomorrow as nine squads in the 30-team field were still on the course Sunday when lightning from a line of developing thunderstorms suspended play in the third round. Those schools are scheduled to complete the round on Monday at 7 a.m. ET, with the final 18 holes of stroke play expected to begin no earlier than 10 a.m. ET on the par-72, 7,483-yard track.
Along with South Carolina, the Aztecs were knotted with Auburn, which ended the day having three players with unfinished rounds, while SMU and Washington completed round three tied for the 15th and final spot at 26-over 890, with a playoff likely between the two teams on Monday.
Three other squads were in pursuit of a top-15 finish when competition was halted, including Oklahoma State (19th – (+32), Charlotte (21st – (+32) and Oregon (T-22nd – (+33).
"We got off to such a great start today and we stuck to the game plan, knowing that we had some easy holes early on and took advantage of that," said SDSU head coach Ryan Donovan. "We kind of hit a wall and made some big mistakes again. But it's out here, all the teams are doing it. We have to put that behind us and put together a game plan for tomorrow, so we can go out and attack and make a lot of birdies, which we are known to do."
Individually, the Aztecs were led by Ryann Ree (Redondo Beach, Calif.), who carded a 71, highlighted by a team-high five birdies, including an impressive chip in from the fringe on the par-3 No. 11. The SDSU junior also went birdie-par on the 16th and 17th greens, respectively to get to 4-under before three bogeys over his next four holes derailed his momentum. Despite the stumble, Ree responded with another birdie at No. 4, ultimately completing the team's second round of the tournament below par, finishing the day in a tie for 36th at 4-over 220.
The Scarlet and Black also received a 73 from Xander Schauffele (San Diego, Calif.), who had an unblemished front nine, featuring an eagle on the par-5 13th and a birdie-4 at No. 17 to go along with seven pars. The Aztec captain promptly found himself in a rut after the turn, however, posting a bogey at No. 1 followed by consecutive doubles on the fourth and fifth greens, which put him at 2-over for the round. Stung, the Scripps Ranch High alumnus closed with a rush, notching three straight pars before sinking an important birdie on his finishing hole, the par-4 No. 9. With his round, Schauffele sits in the 44th spot on the individual leaderboard with a combined 5-over 221.
In addition, PJ Samiere (Kailua, Hawaii) and Riccardo Michelini (Carpi, Italy) each turned in a 77 during the third round. Samiere swung through the front nine with minor damage, offsetting a double-bogey at No. 15 with a birdie on the 17th. Despite adding two more birdies after the turn, however, the Aztec freshman was plagued by four bogeys over a five-hole stretch before finishing with a double on No. 9, which resulted from an errant tee shot. With his inflated total, Samiere tumbled down into the 60th position at 7-over 223.
Michelini, meanwhile, lost ground on the leaderboard as well, slipping into 95th at 13-over 229. The SDSU junior was just 1-over through 10 holes, countering two bogeys with seven pars and a birdie on the 13th, until an untimely triple on the par-4 No. 2 took the wind out of his proverbial sails. Michelini managed another birdie at the par-3 sixth, but additional bogeys and Nos. 4 and 8 proved too much to overcome.
The Aztecs were also represented by sophomore Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego, Calif.), who struggled to an 80 on Sunday. The Francis Parker High product recorded 10 pars to go with a birdie at No. 13, but was undone by five bogeys and two doubles to slip into 82nd at 10-over 226.
Georgia vaulted to the top of the team standings when play was suspended, forging a three-stroke lead over USC with four holes remaining, while Illinois and LSU occupy the third spot at 7-over. Individually, SMU's Bryson Dechambeau (-7) finished the third round with a slim one-stroke lead over UAB's Paul Dunne (-6).