Pullman, Wash.-----With the only under-par team score of the final round, a two-under par 286, San Jose State vaulted into a second-place finish at the Palouse Collegiate men's golf tournament.
The Spartans, who started the last 18 holes in fifth place, posted a 54-hole team total of 877 on the par 72, 7,308-yard Palouse Ridge Golf Club course. Only host Washington State finished ahead of San Jose State with an 873 total.
The second-place finish is the best season-opening performance by a San Jose State men's golf team since John Kennaday was named head coach in 2005 and the program's best start to a season in the 21st century.
Sophomore Matthew Hovan, in the lineup for the first time, was the top San Jose State golfer. He was one of two players to record two sub-70 scores in the three-round tournament. His final round five-under par 67 included four birdies, an eagle and just one bogey. Hovan finished fourth among the 78 players in the field with a four-under par 212.
"Matt has played very well and consistently the last couple of months. He played like a veteran. It was great to see," said the San Jose State coach. "He's done a lot of work with his wedges and putting - parts of the game that travels well. If your wedge, putting and driver are all working, you can go anywhere and play well. He is reaping the rewards of hard work."
Boise State's Blake Brown, the only other golfer to match Hovan with two sub-70 scores, and Washington State's Kevin Tucker, the second-round leader, were declared co-medalists with a 208 total. UC Davis' Austin Graham was third at 211.
Hovan was one of two Spartans under par in the final round. Nick Brown's one-under par 71 moved him into an eighth-place tie at 218 and his first major college top-10 finish.
San Jose State's Jay Myers, a sophomore like Hovan and Brown, tied for 12th at 220. Mark Hubbard, 41st at 228, and Drew Nottenkamper, tied for 59th at 233, rounded the Spartans' scoring.
"Palouse Ridge is a fabulous golf course. It was designed by the same person who designed Cinnabar Hills. It's only a year old. In our practice round, we did a good job of picking our lines and angles into the greens. We used the course to our advantage and it wrorked out well," added Kennaday. "We didn't play particulalrly well (Monday afternoon). Today, they made the course tougher, but I knew we put up a good number."
The Spartans return to action, October 5, in the 54-hole Rees Jones Invitational hosted by Michigan State University in Daufauskie, South Carolina.
Final 54-hole results from the Palouse Collegiate men's golf tournament
Palouse Ridge Golf Club, Pullman, Wash.
Par 72, 7,308 yards
1. Washington State 873
2. San Jose State 877
3. UC Davis 879
4. Idaho 880
5. Sacramento State 881
6. Loyola Marymount 892
7. Weber State 897
8. Boise State 898
9. Gonzaga 904
10. Spokane Community College 915
11. Seattle University 920
12. Lewis & Clark State 942
1. Blake Brown, Boise State 73-69-66-208
Kevin Tucker, Washington State 72-66-70-208
3. Austin Graham, UC Davis 73-73-65-211
4. Matthew Hovan, San Jose State 69-76-67-212
5. Jake Sarnoff, Loyola Marymount 71-70-72-213
6. Grant Rappleye, Sacramento State 70-71-73-214
7. Chris Williams, Washington 74-75-66-215
8. Nick Brown, San Jose State 73-74-71-218
Brad Tensen, Idaho 76-71-71-218
Other San Jose State Scores
12. Jay Myers 73-74-73-220
41. Mark Hubbard 76-77-75-228
59. Drew Nottenkamper 77-76-80-233