SDSU had previously been slated to begin their season earlier in the week at the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational in Bremerton, Wash., which was cancelled because of heavy rainfall. The Aztecs’ clubs were rust-free, though, as they shot their way to a top-three finish in a tournament that saw many of the nation’s most talented teams take to the greens.
After having entered the final round of the 57th annual William H. Tucker Intercollegiate tournament in fourth place, the SDSU men’s golf team shot a final-round 296 to propel itself into third. The Aztecs finished their season opener with a 54-hole total of 19-over 883, finishing 12 and 16 strokes behind host New Mexico and UNLV, respectively.
SDSU saw two of its players finish in the top 15 on the individual leaderboard, with senior J.J. Spaun tying for ninth with a 2-over 218, and freshman Wilson Bateman tied for 14th with a 4-over 220 in his first collegiate event. Sophomore Todd Baek (24th) and senior Alex Kang (34th) also shot well.
Junior Tom Berry rounded out the Aztec starting five with an 11-over 227 that left him in 41st place. Redshirt senior and former Mountain West Conference freshman of the year Matt Hoffenberg, who competed as an individual, shot an even-par 72 in the final round to vault himself from 47th to a tie with Baek for 24th.
BYU’s Zachary Blair would take the individual tournament crown with a phenomenal 7-under 209, while New Mexico’s James Erkenbeck (-3) and UNLV’s Derek Ernst (-1) rounded out the top three.
The Aztecs will have eight days of rest before they resume play at The Prestige at PGA West on Oct. 9 in La Quinta, Calif., where they will look to improve upon this weekend’s third place finish.