Hovan's 66 Leads The Spartans' Way In Hawaii

Waikoloa, Hawaii-----San Jose State University's Matthew Hovan strung eight consecutive birdies without a bogey over 16 holes for a career-best six-under par 66 in the first-round of the 21st annual Amer Ari Invitational men's golf tournament.

Hovan's 66 was good for a three-way tie for second place after the first 18 holes on the par 72, Kings' Course. The San Jose State junior is four shots behind Oregon's Daniel Miernicki who matched Hovan's eight birdies and added an eagle in his bogey-free round.

"Matt putted very well and put himself in a position to score consistently. He played really solid all the way through the round," said San Jose State coach John Kennaday.

San Jose State posted a one-under par 287 team score with Hovan leading the way. Senior Mark Hubbard added a one-under par 71, his eighth under par round in 16 this season, and is tied for 31st place in the 114-player field. Jay Myers and Ryan Collins each shot 75 for the Spartans' team score. Drew Nottenkamper's 77 was San Jose State's non-counting score.

"We started on a difficult stretch of holes and they got us. We hung in there, fought hard all day and put ourselves in a decent position," added Kennaday, whose team was under par for the eighth time in 2010-11. In comparison, the 2009-10 San Jose State team was under par five times in 33 rounds. "It was another team round under par for us. It's a good habit to have shooting under par as a team."

The Spartans are tied for 12th, but are ahead of three top-50 ranked teams, #25-Washington in 14th place, #34-Florida State in a 15th place tie, and #9-Stanford in 19th place.

#24-ranked Southern California is the team leader at 17-under par 271. #5-Georgia Tech and #4-Oklahoma State are tied for second at 278.

The 54-hole tournament continues February 3 with 18 holes and concludes the next day with a final 18. Live stats are available at www.golfstat.com

18-hole results from the 21st Amer Ari Invitational men's golf tournament

Kings' Course, Waikoloa, Hawaii

Par 72

Team Scores

1. Southern California            271
2. Georgia Tech                     278
    Oklahoma State                 278
4. Arizona State                    279
5. Oregon                             281
6. Texas                                282
7. Oregon State                     284
    Texas Tech                        284
    UC Davis                           284
10. UCLA                               285
    Colorado                            285
12. San Jose State                 287
      TCU                                287
14. Washington                     288
15. San Francisco                  290
      Hawaii-Hilo                     290
      Fresno State                    290
18. Hawaii                            292
19. Stanford                         293
20. Western Washington        294

Leading Individuals

1. Daniel Miernicki, Oregon              62
2. Matthew Hovan, San Jose State    66
    Sam Smith, Southern California    66
    Jeffrey Kang, Southern California  66
5. Martin Trainer, Southern California 67
    Jesper Kennegard, Arizona State   67
    Kevin Tway, Oklahoma State         67
    J.T. Griffin, Georgia Tech               67

Other San Jose State scores

31. Mark Hubbard             71
88. Jay Myers                   75
88. Ryan Collins                75
104. Drew Nottenkamper   77