Santa Cruz, Calif.-----Prior to the start of the spring season, GolfWorld rated the 65th annual Western Intercollegiate as the eighth toughest men's college golf tournament in 2011. Nine top-30 teams including defending NCAA champion Augusta State would be among 15 six-man squads vying for the title in the longest running tournament west of the Mississippi.
San Jose State, the host and ranked 76th nationally, finished sixth in this heavyweight field ahead of four top-30 teams in the last regular season event before the Western Athletic Conference championship.
A VERY STRONG FINISH
"I am very pleased with our performance. When you start beating top-30 teams you're doing all right," said San Jose State coach John Kennaday, whose squad finished ahead of #18-California, #19-Stanford, #22-Arizona State and #29-Washington on the par 70, 6,615-yard Pasatiempo Golf Course.
The Spartans vaulted from eighth after the second round to their sixth place finish with the second best team score of the final round of the 54-hole tournament. Only Oregon's 352 was better than San Jose State's eight-over par 358 for the last 18 in the six-player, score-five format.
Jay Myers led the way with a four-under par 66 - the best score in the 92-player field for the final round. Freshman Justin Estrada and Mark Hubbard added one-over par 71's. Estrada played in his first tournament of the spring and Hubbard finished second in the individual battle for Western Intercollegiate medalist honors.
"That's the second or third tournament in a row that Jay's had the low round of the day in the final round. That's a great habit to get into," says the Spartans' coach about Myers who was one of two San Jose State players to finish in the top-10. Myers tied for ninth at 213.
HUBBARD SECOND AMONG 92
"Mark Hubbard, being the competitor he is, is not happy with second place. He's a proven winner, big competitor and it hurts for him to come up short."
Hubbard finished in a three-way tie with Stanford's Andrew Yun and Patrick Reed of Augusta State for second at one-under par 209. Hubbard fired one-under par 69's in rounds one and two.
"I don't think I really played that great. I scrambled around, but I stayed really patient and hung in there. I have mixed feelings about my placing. I'm happy I got second, but I wasn't exactly pleased with my play," says the San Jose State senior who had rounds of 69-69-71.
WRAPPING UP THE WESTERN
New Mexico State's Tim Madigan earned medalist honors with a 207, two strokes better than Hubbard, Stanford's Andrew Yun and Patrick Reed of Augusta State.
UCLA picked up its third win of the 2010-11 season and first in the spring winning team with a 1,066 team score. USC was second at 1,074.
Augusta State, ranked seventh nationally, and two-time Western Intercollegiate defending champion Oregon, ranked 26th, tied for third at 1,076. #7-San Diego State was fifth at 1,085.
Local foes California and Stanford were ninth at 1,099, and tied for 11th at 1,113, respectively.
"We did pretty good as a team. We beat a lot of teams higher ranked than us," concludes Hubbard.
65th annual Western Intercollegiate men's golf tournament
Pasatiempo Golf Course, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Par 70, 6,615 yards
1. #3-UCLA 1,066
2. #20-Southern California 1,074
3. #26-Oregon 1,076
#7-Augusta State 1,076
5. #5-San Diego State 1,085
6. San Jose State 1,087
7. #22-Arizona State 1,089
8. New Mexico State 1,098
9. #18-California 1,099
10. UC Irvine 1,107
11. #19-Stanford 1,113
13. Denver 1,118
14. Colorado 1,137
15. Hawaii 1,163
1. Tim Madigan, New Mexico State 69-68-70-207
2. Mark Hubbard, San Jose State 69-69-71-209
Patrick Reed, Augusta State 66-75-68-209
Andrew Yun, Stanford 68-70-71-209
5. Pontus Widegren, UCLA 65-72-73-210
Martin Trainer, Southern California 70-69-71-210
Other San Jose State scores
9. Jay Myers 73-74-66-213
33. Justin Estrada 72-77-71-220
33. Matthew Hovan 74-72-74-220
57. Daniel Semmler 75-74-76-225
87. Nick Brown 80-78-80-238
72. Drew Nottenkamper 72-78-81-231*
72. Ryan Collins 79-76-76-231*
* - played as an individual entry