Independence, Minnesota - The San Diego State men’s golf team completed its season-opening tournament in 11th place at the Gopher Invitational on Monday after firing a combined 13-over par 297 during the final round at the par-71 Windsong Farm Golf Club.
The Aztecs entered the day in sixth, but slipped five notches in the standings, finishing with a 54-hole total of 23-over 875, one shot behind Utah (+22) for 10th place and two strokes in back of ninth-place New Mexico (+21).
Four of SDSU’s five starters lost ground on the individual leaderboard as well, including Puwit Anupansuebsai (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand), who p 20 places into a tie for 32nd at 6-over 219 courtesy of a final-round 76. The Aztec sophomore found birdies elusive on Monday, posting just one drain on the par-5, 599-yard No. 12 after recording seven conversions in round two.
Freshman Youssef Guezzale (San Diego, Calif.) was the lone golfer to display upward mobility for the Scarlet and Black, climbing 10 spots into a tie for 49th at 9-over 222 after shooting a team-best 70 over the final 18 holes. The Aztec rookie sank five birdies, including an impressive make on the par-3, 191 No. 10, which ranked as the second-toughest hole of the event.
Conversely, fellow classmate Leo Oyo (Tokyo, Japan) also landed in the 49th position with Guezzale, but dropped nine places from the previous round after logging his third consecutive card of 74. The SDSU newcomer led the team with six birdies on the day, but a triple bogey on the 10th green, followed by a double at No. 12, precipitated his fall. Still, Oyo managed to finish strong, recording four birdies over his final six holes, including back-to-back drains at No. 17 and 18.
Christian Banke (Danville, Calif.) was also unable to maintain his perch on the leaderboard, plunging from the 16th spot into a tie for 52nd at 10-over 223 thanks to a final-round 79. The Aztec sophomore was even after four holes, aided by a birdie at the par-4 No. 3. However, a triple bogey on the par-4, 451-yard fifth hastened his drop. Despite a birdie on the ensuing green at the par-4 sixth, Banke was unable to duplicate the feat for the rest of the day.
Fellow sophomore Zihao Jin (Beijing, China) ended the tournament just behind Banke in a tie for 61st at 11-over 224 after posting a 77 on Monday. The Rancho Bernardo High alumnus was 1-under for the round after starting with a birdie at No. 1, followed by nine straight pars. However, a double bogey at the par-4 11th proved ominous, and Jin never recovered, playing the next six holes at 6-over, which sandbagged his round.
Oklahoma (-5) took home the Gopher Invitational crown after outlasting Texas (-2) and Iowa (-1), which posted a tournament-low 277 on Monday, while Arkansas (+7) finished fourth, followed by both host Minnesota (+12) and Purdue (+12).
The Sooners’ Blaine Hale also shared medalist honors with William Buhl of Arkansas after each completed the event at 7-under 206, while Texas’ Steven Charvony (-5) landed in the third spot ahead of Arkansas’ Julian Perico (-4) and Iowa’s Matthew Walker (-3).
San Diego State also had six unattached golfers compete in the Pioneer Creek Collegiate hosted by St. Thomas University over the weekend in Maple Plain, Minnesota.
Sophomore Steve Sugimoto (San Diego, Calif.) was the Aztecs’ top player at the event, finishing a solo fifth after carding a 54-hole total of 3-under 213 at the par-72, 6,994 Pioneer Creek Golf Course. The Rancho Bernardo High product shot a final-round 67, highlighted by six birdies, to climb nine places from the 15th spot in round two.
SDSU also a received a pair of seventh-place performances from junior transfer Newport Laparojkit (Montebello, Calif.) and freshman Joey Moore (Billings, Mont.), who each completed the tournament with a 1-under 215.
Senior Otto Vanhatalo (Espoo, Finland) and junior transfer Ambrose Abbracciamento (Newtown, Pa.) also landed in the top 20, as both tied for the 16th position at 2-over 218, while Aaron Whalen (Ephrata, Wash.), another junior transfer, tied for 36th at 10-over 226.
Michigan State’s Devin Deogun (-11) was the Pioneer Creek Collegiate’s individual winner, earning a three-shot victory over Texas’ Spencer Soosman (-8).
San Diego State returns to the fairways in just under two weeks when in participates in the 65th annual William H. Tucker Intercollegiate, Sept. 28-29, in Albuquerque, N.M.
Windsong Farm G.C.
Par 71, 7,368 yards
Team Standings (Top 6 teams of 15 schools + SDSU)
1. Oklahoma 284-285-278—847 (-5)
2. Texas 291-278-281—850 (-2)
3. Iowa 288-286-277—851 (-7)
4. Arkansas 288-291-280—859 (+7)
T5. Minnesota 288-288-283—864 (+12)
T5. Purdue 282-294-288—864 (+12)
11. San Diego State 292-286-297—875 (+23)
Individual Leaders (Top 6 of 75 players + SDSU)
T1. William Buhl, Arkansas 69-67-70—206 (-7)
T1. Blaine Hale, Oklahoma 68-69-69—206 (-7)
3. Steven Chervony, Texas 73-68-67—208 (-5)
4. Julian Perico, Arkansas 68-74-67—209 (-4)
5. Matthew Walker, Iowa 73-71-66—210 (-3)
T32. Puwit Anupansuebsai, SDSU 74-69-76—219 (+6)
T49. Youssef Guezzale, SDSU 71-81-70—222 (+9)
T49. Leo Oyo, SDSU 74-74-74—222 (+9)
T52. Christian Banke, SDSU 75-69-79—223 (+10)
T61. Zihao Jin, SDSU 73-74-77—224 (+11)
Pioneer Creek Collegiate
Maple Plain, Minn.
Pioneer Creek G.C.
Par 72, 6,994 yards
SDSU Individual Results Only (82 players overall)
5. Steve Sugimoto, SDSU 76-70-67—213 (-3)
T7. Newport Laparojkit, SDSU 72-72-71—215 (-1)
T7. Joey Moore, SDSU 73-69-73—215 (-1)
T16. Otto Vanhatalo, SDSU 69-74-75—218 (+2)
T16. Ambrose Abbracciamento, SDSU 75-71-72—218 (+2)
T36. Aaron Whalen, SDSU 75-75-76—226 (+10)