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
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
12. San Jose State 287
14. Washington 288
15. San Francisco 290
Fresno State 290
18. Hawaii 292
19. Stanford 293
20. Western Washington 294
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