Men’s golf struggles at National Invitational Tournament

by Cameron Salce, Production Designer

Consistency is what separates a good golf swing from a great golf swing. If you can swing the club consistently with the same motion every time you are much more likely to strike the ball well.

Consistency is also what separates good golfers from great golfers. In the 2015 National Invitational Tournament at the OMNI Tucson National Golf Club, Aztec senior Xander Schaufelle once again showed why he is a great and consistent golfer.

Schaufelle finished tied for second, shooting an opening round of 70, followed by an impressive second round of 69, and finished up with a final round of 73, ending at (-4) 212 total strokes.

With this second consecutive second-place finish and third consecutive top-five finish, Shaufelle now has five top-five finishes individually this season.

The other Aztecs whose scorecards counted as an individual this tournament were sophomore Nahum Mendoza III, junior Ryann Ree, freshman P.J. Samiere and junior Michael Koeneke.

They did not fare as well as Schaufelle did, but some of them pulled through with notable performances.

Mendoza III finished in the top 10 for the fourth time in his career and tied for 10th at an even-par 216 total strokes.

Ree finished tied for 42nd at (+8) 224 total strokes.

Samiere finished tied for 63rd at (+14) 230 total strokes, even after dazzling the coaches in the previous tournaments this season.

Koeneke struggled, finishing tied for 74th (+19) with 235 total strokes.

As a team the Aztecs struggled in the tournament by their standards, as well, failing to finish in the top five for the first time this spring. They finished in sixth place at (+15) as a team. University of California, Berkley finished in first at (-8), 15 strokes ahead of second place, University of New Mexico.

This tournament marks the first disappointing result for the Aztecs in this half of the season. Performances at the two tournaments prior to this indicated the Aztecs could compete with anyone in the country, finishing third at the The Prestige at PGA West and winning the Barona Collegiate Cup.

Looking toward the rest of the season, there is a positive outlook and attitude surrounding the team. Schaufelle voiced this optimism after the victory a couple of weeks ago in Barona.

“It is always nice to get off to a good start,” he said prior to the tournament this weekend. “Winning is difficult at any level and for us to win our home tournament was really important for the rest of the season. A win always gives extra confidence, which is exactly what we needed.”

Confidence after a win is great, but it is going to be interesting to see how this team responds to a disappointing sixth-place finish on Monday.

Fans will get a chance to see how SDSU responds when it hosts its second home tournament this semester March 9-10 at the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, California.