Men's Golf Surges Into First At National Invitational
March 16, 2012
Behind the play of seniors J.J. Spaun and Colin Featherstone, the 12th-ranked San Diego State men's golf team is currently in first place through two rounds Friday with a 10-under 566 at the 2012 National Invitational Tournament in Tucson, Ariz. Spaun leads the tournament with an 11-under 133, while Featherstone is tied for fourth at 3-under 141 to help the squad own an impressive six-stroke advantage over second-place Brigham Young at the par-72, 7,219-yard OMNI Tucson National Golf Course.
Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.) fired a pair of sub-70 rounds to edge out BYU's Zach Blair, who is one stroke behind with a 134. The duo own a six-stroke cushion over the remainder of the field as SMU's Marc Sambol is in third place at 4-under 140. Spaun cut six strokes off his previous season-low for 36 holes of 139 set this past October at the Alister MacKenzie Invite. The senior, who is ranked 65th nationally by golfstat.com, had just one bogey or worse on the day and had six birdies in the first 18 holes, followed by four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole in the afternoon.
Classmate Featherstone (Fallbrook, Calif.) has made the most of his first event among the team's starting five, ending up in a three-way tie for fourth place with a 3-under 141, highlighted by a seven-birdie performance in the second round. Freshman Wilson Bateman (Edmonton, Alberta), who carded a pair of eagles, is tied for 18th along with senior Matt Hoffenberg (Simi Valley, Calif.) as each fired consecutives 73s for a 2-over 146.
Aztec senior Alex Kang (Oak Park, Calif.) had a strong start to the day with a 1-under 71, but then had two double bogeys and a triple bogey in the second round to drop him from eighth into 32nd with a 149. Juniors Tom Berry (New Haw, England) and Cameron Tennant (Woodland Hills, Calif.) are separated by one stroke and are each in the top 55 on the individual leaderboard with a 152 and 153, respectively.
The two-day tournament concludes Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. MT with a shotgun start. San Diego State, which is looking for its third consecutive team title, will be paired with BYU, UNLV and SMU at the first through fifth holes.
2012 National Invitational Tournament
Tucson, Ariz. - OMNI Tucson National (Par-72, 7,219 yards)
Results Through 36 Holes
Team Scoring (Top 5 of 14 teams)
1 San Diego State 282-284-566 (-10) 2 BYU 284-288-572 (-4) 3 UNLV 283-290-573 (-3) 4 SMU 284-292-576 (E) 5 Memphis 297-282-579 (+3)
Top Six Individuals (Top 6 of 74 players) 1 J.J. Spaun, San Diego State 67-66-133 (-11) 2 Zach Blair, BYU 65-69-134 (-10) 3 Marc Sambol, SMU 70-70-140 (-4) 4 Jack Belote, Memphis 72-69-141 (-3) Colin Featherstone, San Diego State 71-70-141 (-3) Carl Jonson, UNLV 68-73-141 (-3)
Other San Diego State Golfers T18 Wilson Bateman* 73-73-146 (+2) T18 Matt Hoffenberg 73-73-146 (+2) T32 Alex Kang 71-78-149 (+5) T48 Tom Berry 77-75-152 (+8) T55 Cameron Tennant* 81-72-153 (+9) *=competing as an individual