SDSU, Kang Leading After Day 1 At Thunderbird Invite
April 6, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - Behind the play of senior Alex Kang, the 12th-ranked San Diego State men's golf team owns a four-stroke advantage through 36 holes at 11-under 557 Friday at the 40th annual Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. An Aztec also owns a share of the individual lead, as Kang is tied for first along with Arizona State's Austin Quick at 9-under 133 on the par-71, 7,026-yard Karsten Golf Course.
SDSU was in third place after the opening 18 holes, sitting two strokes behind BYU and six in back of third-ranked California with a 2-under 282. The Aztecs came back with a vengeance in the afternoon, logging the best round of the tournament by any squad with a 9-under 275 to put them four strokes ahead of Cal (561) and eight in front of third-place New Mexico (565). The team has three golfers in the top 17 on the individual leaderboard, while the entire starting five is among the top 35 in the 95-player field.
Kang (Oak Park, Calif.) fired 11 birdies and an eagle on the day, jumping from seventh into a tie for first place with the help of a team season-low 6-under 65 in the second round. Kang started the afternoon with four birdies on his first six holes before bogeying the par-4 eighth. He got that stroke back plus one with his eagle on the par-5 10th. Kang finished the day with six pars, two birdies and a bogey to pull even with Quick at 9-under 133, which is his season best for 36 holes.
Two-time defending medalist, SDSU senior J.J. Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.), is also in the top 10 with his 3-under 139 to tie for ninth place. Spaun had nine total birdies, highlighted by three in a row, which led to a second-round 2-under 69 and a five-spot jump in the individual standings. Aztec junior Tom Berry (New Haw, England), meanwhile, continued his strong play with back-to-back even-par rounds, bolstered by six birdies to put him in a seven-way tie for 17th with a 142.
Senior Matt Hoffenberg (Simi Valley, Calif.) bounced back from an opening 76 by taking six strokes off his first-round score to move from 62nd all the way into a tie for 32nd with a 4-over 146. Classmate Colin Featherstone (Fallbrook, Calif.) is just one stroke behind him at 5-over 147 to tie for 34th place, while junior Cameron Tennant (Woodland Hills, Calif.), who is competing as an individual, is in 92nd place with a 160 to round out the San Diego State contingent.
The Thunderbird Invitational concludes Saturday with SDSU teeing off with California, New Mexico and Arizona State from the first hole starting at 8:30 a.m. PT. Live scoring for the final round is available on goaztecs.com and golfstat.com.
40th annual Thunderbird Invitational
Tempe, Ariz. - Karsten Golf Course (Par-71, 7,026 yards)
Results Through 36 Holes
Team Scoring (Top 5 of 17 teams, plus SDSU)
1 No. 12 San Diego State 282-275-557 (-11) 2 No. 3 California 276-285-561 (-7) 3 No. 16 New Mexico 289-276-565 (-3) 4 Arizona State 286-282-568 (E) No. 4 Washington 284-284-568 (E)
Top Three Individuals (Top 8 of 95 players) 1 Alex Kang, SDSU 68-65-133 (-9) Austin Quick, ASU 66-67-133 (-9) 3 Derek Ernst, UNLV 69-67-136 (-6) 4 Five tied 137 (-5)
Other San Diego State Golfers T9 J.J. Spaun 70-69-139 (-3) T17 Tom Berry 71-71-142 (E) T32 Matt Hoffenberg 76-70-146 (+4) T34 Colin Featherstone 73-74-147 (+5) 92 Cameron Tennant* 81-79-160 (+18) * = playing as an individual