The No. 23 San Diego State men’s golf team contended for a tournament victory this weekend at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in Fairfax, but fell short once again. After rallying to take a share of the lead with only nine holes to play, SDSU was unable to complete a furious comeback.
The Aztecs would eventually fall to the position it started in Tuesday’s final round of the tournament: third place. Despite putting together a solid 9-under final round that ran the Aztecs’ 54-hole score to an impressive 33-under 819, third place was as good as it would get in a tournament that saw many of the nation’s top teams take to the greens, including co-champions No. 2 Oregon and No. 19 California.
Although the team has been in contention to win in all of its tournaments this year, the Aztecs have yet to be crowned tournament champions this season, much to the dissatisfaction of head coach Ryan Donovan.
“We need to become more disciplined with our course management decisions,” Donovan said.
Eugene Wong of Oregon, who is ranked No. 11 in the nation by golfstat.com, stole the show throughout the course of the tournament, posting a 18-under 195. California also saw two of its players place in the top four in Max Homa and Michael Kim, who shot 13 and 12 under par, respectively.
San Diego State’s Todd Baek continued to play well, notching his second top-five individual finish on the season with an 11-under 202. After having entered the final round in sixth, Baek, who tied for second at the same tournament a year ago, had five birdies against two bogeys throughout the final 18 holes to shoot a 3-under 68 that pushed him into fifth place.
J.J. Spaun and Tom Berry finished 12th and 17th on the individual leaderboard with scores of 7-under and 6-under, as well.
Aztec senior Alex Kang entered Tuesday’s final round in a tie for sixth, but triple bogeyed the par-4 second hole and failed to find his groove for the remainder of the round. After carding four more bogeys, Kang dropped into a tie for 20th place at 5-under 208.
Freshman Wilson Bateman rounded out the SDSU starting five with an unimpressive 4-over 217 that left him in 52nd place.
Donovan said he expects the team to be competitive for the remainder of the season.
The Aztecs won’t compete again until they open their spring campaign from Feb. 13 to 14, by playing host to the San Diego Intercollegiate Classic in Chula Vista.