Aztecs finish third in rainy Oregon Invite


Courtesy of SDSU Athletics

After tying for second at this weekend’s PGA Tour Championship, former San Diego State men’s golfer Xander Schauffele is No. 7 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

by Cameron Salce, Production Designer

Anyone who has played golf in poor weather conditions knows that it can be one of the most frustrating things in the world to do. The club is nearly impossible to grip tight enough to manage a full swing. This type of restraint can dramatically alter a player’s swing and scorecard.

The San Diego State men’s golf team found this out the hard way in the Oregon Duck Invitational, but they still managed to come together as a team and find a way to place third in the tournament finishing with a team score of 15-over-par 879. They even managed to finish five strokes ahead of the hometown favorite University of Oregon Ducks who came in fourth place with a score of 20-over 884. Arizona State University won the tournament and posted an impressive total score of 1-under 863.

After two days of dreary weather on Monday and Tuesday in Eugene, Oregon, Aztec coach Ryan Donovan admitted that he was glad to wake up to a beautiful San Diego sun Wednesday morning.

He was also happy with the way his team performed under less than comfortable conditions.

“We came in with a plan and had to readjust after 18 holes, then after that, the next 36 holes were ours,” he said.

One of Donovan’s team mantras is to “play the percentages.” They pride themselves on knowing when to go for it and when to play it safe, and executing this plan helped them combat the weather, Donovan said.

The Aztecs were once again carried by a couple of strong individual performances that catapulted them into a third place finish in Eugene. Both senior Xander Schauffele and junior Ryann Ree have played huge roles for the Aztecs the entire season and played well once again in this tournament.

“Xander and Ryan have been our number one and two players all season long,” Donovan said. “We relied heavily on their scorecards in this tournament once again.”

Both Schauffele and Ree finished in the top 10 in the Oregon Invitational. Schauffele finished in a rare five way tie for fifth place with a three round total of 1-over 217, and Ree finished in 10th one stroke back of Schauffele with a total score of 2-over 218.

Another individual performance that helped spring the Aztecs into third place was the third round score of sophomore Brian Song. After not performing to his potential the first two days, Song posted the low score of the day and a team-high five birdies, four in his last seven holes in his final round, shooting a 3-under, 69.

This helped the Aztecs go under par as a team in the final round, a feat only two other teams managed to accomplish. SDSU posted a 4-under 284 in the final round and that helped them ascend in the standings and finish in the top three in the tournament.

The Aztecs are currently ranked 31st in the nation by Golfweek magazine and although they received two votes to be in the top 25, they are on the outside looking in on the according to the Golf Coaches Association of America. The next time they get a chance to improve that ranking is in 10 days, in a dramatic change in scenery the Aztecs will compete against the Sun Devils and a multitude of other teams in the desert for the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, April 3-4, at Karsten Golf Club in Tempe, Arizona.