Men’s golf finishes sixth at William H. Tucker Intercollegiate

15+March+2016%3A+The+San+Diego+State+Aztecs+men%27s+golf+team+participated+in+the+8th+annual+Lamkin+San+Diego+Classic+held+at+the+San+Diego+Country+Club+in+Chula+Vista%2C+Ca.

Photo courtesy of Derrick Tuskan, San Diego State Athletics

15 March 2016: The San Diego State Aztecs men's golf team participated in the 8th annual Lamkin San Diego Classic held at the San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Ca.

by Tristi Rodriguez, Contributor

San Diego State men’s golf was unable to retain its championship at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate tournament last weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

After a long, three-round, 54-hole, two-day tournament at the University of New Mexico, the Aztecs tied for sixth place, sharing the position with New Mexico and Colorado State.

Despite senior PJ Samiere’s individual performance — he finished fourth place overall — the Aztecs fell short and were forced to give away their championship title to BYU. SDSU finished the tournament with a combined score of 20-over 884 on the par-72 course.

SDSU finished the first round four-over 288, and the following round just a few hours later 12-over 288.

The Aztecs struggled in the second round, head coach Ryan Donovan said.

“The biggest difference from this year and last year was the second round that we played,” Donovan said. “We just gave away a lot of shots and unfortunately couldn’t catch up on the final round this year.”

Fatigue did not play a role in the sluggish round, though, Donovan said. The blustery afternoon had more to do with the team’s second-round results.

“The first round was ideal, it was perfect playing conditions for us,” he said. “We got some wind roughly between 15 mph and 25 mph, and I think that was a bit of a challenge for us, with the wind just trying to adjust the club selection.”

After a day full of ups and downs, SDSU needed to bounce back stronger than ever for day two.

The Aztecs put up a good number in the final round, but those second-round results came back to haunt them in the end.

Samiere took this tournament as a learning experience.

“We gotta keep working at it, we gotta make sure we stay in it more. We need to learn how to finish off tournaments, finish off rounds,” Samiere said.

The Hawaii native was six shots behind senior medalist George Cunningham of the University of Arizona.

“He just made a few less mistakes than I did,” Samiere said. “He played really well. He just had everything going pretty well this weekend, it made sense that he was able to win. It makes me feel like I’m right there, I’m not far off from it, and I just have to limit the mistakes.”

The seven-time career top-10 senior said he is ready to take on his final year at SDSU. 

“My biggest goal is to make it to nationals,” he said. “Individually, I would really like to win a college tournament. It’s pretty hard to do, but I feel like I’ve been pretty close, and I feel like I definitely can.”

The Aztecs will head to Fairfax for the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, October 9-10.

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