Men's Golf Owns A One-Stroke Lead At MW Tourney
May 4, 2012
The defending conference champion San Diego State men's golf team is in the lead Friday after day one of the 2012 Mountain West championship in Tucson, Ariz. The 14th-ranked Aztecs shot a first-round 4-under 280, which was just one stroke better than second place and No. 16 New Mexico (281) and two ahead of No. 45 TCU (282) at the par-71, 7,144-yard OMNI Tucson National Golf Resort.
"It was a solid start for our team and it's always good to be in the lead," said Aztec head coach Ryan Donovan. "The greens are playing fast and the course is in the best shape as I've seen before. There is not a lot of room out there to make mistakes, so we will have to continue to play at our best every day."
SDSU has three golfers in the top five on the individual leaderboard. Aztec senior Alex Kang (Oak Park, Calif.) is tied for second place along with TCU's Johan de Beer at 4-under 67, just one stroke behind leader Zahkai Brown of Colorado State, who carded a 5-under 66. Kang, who was fourth at last year's MWC tournament, was even through the first seven holes, but then proceeded to go 4-under on his final 11. He finished the round with a team-high five birdies, 12 pars and just one bogey on the par-3 seventh.
"Alex said he didn't hit the ball particularly well today, but his putting was on," Donovan said. "It was a great first round for him."
SDSU junior Tom Berry (New Haw, England) and senior J.J. Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.) are among a group of seven competitors who are tied for fifth place at 1-under 70. Berry was questionable to start the day due to illness, but somehow managed to battle through with three birdies, two bogeys and 13 pars, including seven in a row to finish out the round. Spaun was the model of consistency with his 15 pars, which tied as the second-most in the field, two birdies and one bogey also on the par-3 seventh.
The Aztecs' remaining two golfers, seniors Colin Featherstone (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Matt Hoffenberg (Simi Valley, Calif.), are both knotted in 20th place at 2-over 73. Featherstone was at even par through his first 12 holes, but then carded bogeys on the 13th and 17th holes to move to 2-over. Playing in his first conference championship since 2009, Hoffenberg had 14 pars and three bogeys before ending the afternoon on a high note with his lone birdie on the par-4 18th.
The Aztecs will be paired with New Mexico for Saturday's second round beginning from the first hole at 9 a.m. PT. Live scoring is available at goaztecs.com and golfstat.com.
2012 Mountain West Conference Championship
Tucson, Ariz. - OMNI Tucson National (Par-71, 7,144 yards)
First-Round Results Through 18 Holes
Team Scoring (Top 5 of 8 teams)
1 No. 14 San Diego St. 280 (-4) 2 No. 16 New Mexico 281 (-3) 3 No. 45 TCU 282 (-2) 4 Colorado State 284 (E) 5 No. 7 UNLV 285 (+1)
Top Three Individuals (Top 3 of 40 players) 1 Zahkai Brown, CSU 66 (-5) T2 Alex Kang, SDSU 67 (-4) Johan de Beer, TCU 67 (-4)