Kohala Coast, Maui-----Demonstrating it can play capable golf with the top men's teams in the country, San Jose State University was one of eight in a 22-team field to close the 21st annual Mauna Lani Invitational with an under-par final-round score.
The Spartans rebounded from a disastrous second round on the par 72, Mauna Lani North Course with a 31-stroke improvement and a one-under par 287 team score to finish in 17th place at 913.
Senior Rosco Valentine matched his major college best round for the second time with a five-under par 67 to lead the San Jose State charge. Starting on the 14th hole, he started on fire with three birdies in his first five holes and knocked in three more birdies on the front nine. The only blemish was a bogey on the 4th hole for his first-under par round of the season. For the 54-hole tournament, Valentine had 13 birdies and finished as the top San Jose State player tying for 21st place at 220.
The 67 by Valentine matched the third lowest score of the final round in the 120-player field. Only medalist Bobby Hudson of Texas with a 66 for a 209 total and Florida State's Brooks Koepka with the tournament's low score of seven-under 65 for a 210 were better than the San Jose State senior who has recorded one sub-70 score in three of the five times the Spartans have played in Hawaii during his college career.
For the Spartans to finish with an under-par team score in the final round, San Jose State also received much-improved play from sophomore Jay Myers, who shot an even par 72 after an uncharacteristic 89 a day earlier. Junior Mark Hubbard and senior Stephan Stallworth also had their best rounds in the final 18 holes with two-over par 74's. The Spartans did not count junior Christopher Lang's 76 - his best 18-hole score of the tournament.
After Valentine's 220, Hubbard was next for San Jose State with a 226 for 53rd place. Stallworth was 90th at 235, Lang, tied for 95th at 237; and Myers, tied for 103rd at 239.
Number-two ranked Stanford captured the team championship with an 866 total. Oregon, currently ranked 29th, and 12th-ranked Washington tied for second at 869. Texas, ranked eighth, and top-ranked Oklahoma State at 870 and 871, respectively, rounded out the top-five teams in the toughest overall field San Jose State has faced to date.
Yet, the Spartans finished with a better final 18 holes than Washington, #21-USC, #13-Oregon State and #7-TCU.
San Jose State returns to action, March 8-9, at the Fresno Lexus Classic hosted by Fresno State.
Click on the links above for final team and individual standings