Men's Golf Climbs to Second Place at NCAA Regionals
May 18, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
"Today, the team was focused and got off to a good start," San Diego State head coach Ryan Donovan said of his team's performance. "We continued to make birdies across the board and now we are in a good position heading into tomorrow's final round."
SDSU spent part of the day in first place and was in the clubhouse atop the leaderboard. The Golden Bears, however, made a late charge and reclaimed the lead by a stroke after the Aztecs had already registered the tournament's low score of 265. The Scarlet and Black's effort was eight strokes better than San Francisco's 7-under 273, which was the low round of the regional after 18 holes on Thursday.
San Diego State was led by J.J. Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.), who shot a 7-under 63, just 24 hours after shooting even par. The senior carded five birdies to open the round, which started on the back nine, and finished his day with one eagle, a bogey, two birdies and five pars on his final nine to post the low round of the tournament. Spaun currently sits in a third-place tie with three others, two strokes behind leader Michael Kim of California (-9), after starting the day in a tie for 27th place.
"J.J. was phenomenal today," Donovan said. "Being a senior, he is one of leaders on the squad and he stepped up to the challenge in a major way."
SDSU senior Alex Kang, meanwhile, answered his even-par first round with a 3-under 67 on Friday. The Oak Park, Calif., native was even at the turn and started the back nine with a birdie before closing the round with birdies on two of his last three holes. Kang's two-day total of 137 (-3) puts him in a four-way tie for 14th place.
Tom Berry, a junior from New Haw, Surrey, England, made a huge jump on Friday as he matched Kang's 3-under performance. Berry started the day at 2-over and in a tie for 47th place. But when the dust settled, Berry found himself in a tie for 24th place at 1-under after Friday's round saw him record three birdies and an eagle on No. 7. Berry's only missteps occurred on Nos. 2-3, where he posted back-to-back bogeys.
The Aztecs' two redshirt seniors, Matt Hoffenberg and Colin Featherstone, both enter Saturday's round at 4-over par. Hoffenberg rebounded nicely from his 6-over first-round effort and carded a 2-under 68 on Friday. Hailing from Simi Valley, Calif., Hoffenberg logged par or better on his final 13 holes, including three birdies on the back nine, to get him to a 51st-place tie. Featherstone (Fallbrook, Calif.), meanwhile, struggled and shot a 4-over 74 after entering at even par.
San Diego State is vying a spot at the NCAA Championship, which is slated for May 29-June 3 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The top five teams from the Stanford Regional will advance and earn the right to compete for a national championship.
The Aztecs will be paired with California and Stanford for Saturday's final round beginning from the first hole at 8:45 a.m. PT. Live scoring is available at GoAztecs.com and Golfstat.com.