Stanford, Calif.-----Despite being pulled off the course four times due to inclement weather conditions, the San Jose State University men's golf team kept its focus and turned in one of its best days of play in the 2009-10 season. In a 20-team field with seven top-25 nationally-ranked teams, the Spartans are sixth heading into the final round.
San Jose State has a 36-hole total of 573 on the par 70, 6,742-yard Stanford University Golf Course. Washington, ranked third nationally, and San Diego State, ranked 33rd, share the tournament lead in the team competition at 562. Oregon, sixth nationally, is third at 563. USC, 14th in the country, at 564, and fourth-ranked UCLA at 566 also are ahead of the Spartans.
Finishing the April 11 opening round more than 27 hours after it began and playing through in chilly, wet, rainy and windy conditions, the Spartans got a three-under par 67 in the opening round from sophomore Jay Myers and a matching score in round two from sophomore Matthew Hovan. Myers, who was five under par for the three par 5 holes in round one, was the individual leader for most of the opening round and goes into the final 18 holes on April 13 tied for fourth place at 138.
Hovan had his best round of the spring season leading the way for San Jose State in round two. After opening with a 79, he parlayed four birdies and only one bogey for his 67 - the first time since the opening tournament of the season that he was under par for 18 holes.
PLAYING TOUGH AND HANGING IN THERE
"Matt didn't play poorly (in the first round). He just didn't get a score. He played well all day and was rewarded for it (in round two)," said San Jose State coach John Kennaday.
"We've run the gauntlet this spring. We've played the toughest schedule since I've been here (as coach). It hasn't been pretty at times, but it (the schedule) has been good for us. We're getting stronger and tougher.
"The conditions (at Stanford) were tough and nasty, but we've played in this type of environment all year. It's been hard, but it's great to see the guys learning...We played tough and hung in there."
Kennaday also pointed to the Spartans' ability to make birdies - a factor that has plagued the team in recent tournaments. After 36 holes, San Jose State racked up 26 birdies and two eagles, both by Myers. In comparison, the Spartans didn't have as under-par holes playing with six players for 54 holes at the Linger Longer Invitational in Greensboro, Ga., the most recent tournament prior to the Stanford Invitational.
In the individual race, Myers is just two shots out of the lead held by Washington's Nick Taylor at 136. Andrew Putnam of Pepperdine and J.J. Spaun of San Diego State are tied for second at 137. Only nine golfers in the 108-player field are under par.
Hovan's 67 moved him into a 41st play tie with teammate Mark Hubbard and three others at 146. Stephan Stallworth is tied for 50th at 148. Rosco Valentine, whose second-round 78, was not counted in the team scoring format, is tied for 74th at 152.
The 54-hole tournament concludes on April 13 with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. The Spartans will begin play on holes four through seven.
36-hole results from the U.S. Intercollegiate men's golf tournament
Stanford University Golf Course, Stanford, Calif.
Par 70, 6,742 yards
1. Washington 562
San Diego State 562
3. Oregon 563
4. Southern California 564
5. UCLA 566
6. San Jose State 573
7. Oregon State 575
8. Pepperdine 576
9. Stanford 577
10. Arizona State 581
11. California 585
12. UC Irvine 586
13. USF 587
14. Lamar 594
15. Long Beach State 595
Washington State 595
17. Fresno State 597
18. UC Davis 600
20. Hawaii 625
1. Nick Taylor, Washington 68-68-136
2. Andrew Putnam, Pepperdine 68-69-137
J.J. Spaun, San Diego State 69-68-137
4. Jay Myers, San Jose State 67-71-138
John Chin, UC Irvine 66-72-138
Daniel Miernicki, Oregon 70-68-138
7. Domingo Jojola, USF 68-71-139
Diego Velasquez, Oregon State 71-68-139
T.J. Vogel, Southern California 74-65-139
Other San Jose State scores
41. Matthew Hovan 79-67-146
41. Mark Hubbard 72-74-146
50. Stephan Stallworth 74-74-148
74. Rosco Valentine 74-78-152