SDSU men’s golf finishes 3rd in Carlsbad

by Cameron Salce, Staff Writer

Three tournaments away from home was enough for the San Diego State men’s golf team as it came back to San Diego County to play at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad at the Gifford Collegiate, hosted by UCLA.

“We don’t play up in Carlsbad often, but it’s always good to be in San Diego and be comfortable with your surroundings for a tournament,” head coach Ryan Donovan said.

Even though it had been raining the past couple of days in San Diego, the tournament seemed to stay relatively dry for the most part, but the tournament did feature some significant wind. 

However, Donovan put a positive spin on it.

“It’s always good to see a little adversity because you never know what you’re going to see later on in the year,” he said.

It was good vibes all around in Carlsbad for SDSU in day one of the tournament, as SDSU jumped out to a great start finishing the day in fifth place overall.  In day two, the Aztecs found their groove and vaulted two spots in the standings into third place after an impressive 2-under-par performance as a team.  The Aztecs didn’t look back in day three and maintained their solid play finishing in third place as a team at 13-over

“The main goal of every tournament is to make every shot count for every player and to eventually end up in contention on the back nine at the end of the day,” Donovan said. “Top-five finishes are something we really focus on as a team, because it will help our rankings at the end of the season.”

SDSU has placed in the top five in all four of the fall tournaments it played in this year after placing third in the Gifford Collegiate. 

The two teams that finished ahead of SDSU were the University of Washington at 6-under and Stanford University at 3-over. These two schools battled it out at the top of the leaderboard the entire tournament.  The host team, UCLA, and University of Arkansas rounded out the top five at 14-over and 16-over, respectively.

The No. 3 ranked player in the country, Stanford junior Maverick McNealy, tied for first individually at 4-under along with senior Chris Babcock and junior Corey Pereira from University of Washington. SDSU sophomore Gunn Yang and senior Riccardo Michelini led the way for SDSU in a tie for 8th at 1-under.

This tournament saw yet another lineup change from Donovan, inserting junior Naham Mendoza III into the lineup for the first time this season.  He responded by playing exceptional, and even shooting a team-low 70 on day two of the tournament. 

“We have a lot of depth on the team this year, so we try to keep things competitive with no set lineup in place for every tournament,” Donovan said.

The Aztecs came into the tournament ranked No. 27 in the country and this performance did nothing to harm that ranking whatsoever. 

This was the last tournament SDSU had on the schedule for the fall. Now the team will take a three-and-a-half-month break until its next tournament, which is the opening of the spring schedule at The Prestige at PGA West on Feb. 15-17 in La Quinta, California. 

This is the same course that’s the bi-annual host of the PGA Tour’s final round of Qualifying School, which is attended by some of the best players in the world.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email