San Jose, Calif. --- The San José State University men’s golf team kicks off its Spring season on Thursday, February 2, at the Amer Ari Invitational on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The 26th annual Amer Ari Invitational will be played at the Waikoloa Beach Resort’s King’s Course and features some of the best players and teams in the nation.
“It is a true honor,” said Spartans head coach John Kennaday, “It’s a top three tournament in college golf each year, and the people there are so amazing. They feel like family and it is wonderful to go there and compete with the best.”
21 teams will play on the par 72, 7,074 yard Waikoloa King’s Course at the Amer Ari Invitational. According to Golfstat.com, eight schools are ranked top-25 in the nation: (4) Oklahoma State, (6) Stanford, (7) USC, (10) Texas, (12) Auburn, (19) Texas Tech, (20) Oregon, and (25) Georgia Tech.
The rest of the field includes: (28) Colorado, (33) Arizona State, Oregon State, San José State, Texas Christian, UC Davis, UCLA, Hawai’i Hilo, Hawaii, Pacific, Chico State, St. Mary’s, Osaka Gakuin
Playing in a tournament with some of the best schools in the country, John Kennaday told his team, “Play the golf course, we can’t play defense. We have to worry about what we can do.”
The 54-hole tournament will be played over three days from February 2 to 4, with 18 holes played each day. The Spartans’ will play the tournament with a lineup that will be Kevin Velo, Scott Munger, Matthew Murray, Sean Talmadge, and William Barnett.
Four of Golfstat’s top 20 players in the nation are playing in this tournament: #3 Wyndham Clark (Oregon), #4 Maverick McNealy (Stanford), T-#11 Jonah Texeira (USC), T-#11 Will Long (Auburn).
You can follow the Amer Ari Invitational with live scoring updates here.
Winter Offseason focus:
The Spartans last competed at Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational on October 28–30 in El Paso, Texas. On the par 72, 7,307-yard Butterfield Trail Golf Club the Spartans finished in ninth place. San Jose State University’s Matthew Ashley had his first top-20 finish placing 17th in the tournament.
During the team’s three-month offseason break head coach John Kennaday wanted to emphasis on getting the ball accurately onto the green, “This offseason, and the rest of spring, we will be focused on shots 150-yards and in.”
Previously at the Amer Ari Invitational:
This will be the Spartans’ seventh consecutive season at the Amer Ari Invitational. Last season the Spartans tied for 13th place, their best finish in the tournament.
Three of the five Spartans who competed previously at King’s Course are returning to Hawaii from last season. Kevin Velo who lead the team at two-under par tied for 30th and shot the lowest score for the Spartans with a 67. Scott Munger tied for 36th, and shot one under par on the tournament. Matthew Murray tied for 88th.