Erie, Colo.-----San Jose State University senior Mark Hubbard won his first college golf tournament with a seven-under par 209 for 54 holes at the Mark Simpson Invitational hosted by the University of Colorado.
The Denver, Colo., native was the only golfer in the 84-player field to post under-par scores in each of the three rounds on the par 72, 7,741-yard Colorado National Golf Club course, 45 minutes from home. After an opening-round 69, Hubbard had a pair of 70's and finished two strokes ahead of New Mexico's Travis Ross who was second at 211.
Matthew Hovan of San Jose State, one of four players with a final-round 68, the low score of the day, and Gaston De La Torre of New Mexico State tied for third at 212. Tying for third is a career best for the Spartan junior and the third time he has a top-five finish. Only nine players in the field finished under par for the tournament.
"It was awesome," Hubbard said of his first college individual victory. "Literally, everyone was out here, my high school golf coach (Beth Folsom), my grandparents and my dad, who used to watch me in every single sporting event until I went to college. He doesn't get to watch me much anymore so that was extra special."
"I did everything well. I drove the ball okay, managed the course really well and putted awesome. My irons were really good, too. They have been for a while," said Hubbard about his play on a course he had a chance to play over the summer and for a previous U.S. Amateur qualifier.
"With Mark, it doesn't get exciting until he gets the putter in his hand," said San Jose State coach John Kennaday. Hubbard finished the tournament with 10 birdies and an eagle.
With Hubbard and Hovan leading the way, San Jose State finished fourth in the 14-team field. The Spartans' 870 trailed #16-New Mexico, the team champion with an 859. Colorado State was second at 860 and Kansas was third at 869. San Jose State finished ahead of defending Western Athletic Conference champion New Mexico State, which completed 54 holes with an 872 total. Like their first tournament, the Spartans were under par as a team in the second and third rounds of the Simpson Invitational.
"It's important to play par golf. To make a habit of playing this way will serve us well throughout the season," the Spartans' coach said. "There definitely are a lot of positives we can take away from this tournament. We're making progress with our attention to detail and our play. Our best golf still is ahead of us."
In his first college tournament, redshirt freshman Justin Estrada tied for 42nd at 225 that was highlighted by an even par 72 in round two. Jay Myers was 45th at 226 and Nick Brown bounced back from a rough 36 holes with a final round 75 for a 232 total and a tie for 65th place.
San Jose State returns to action, Monday, October 4, at the Rees Jones Intercollegiate hosted by Michigan State in Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. The 54-hole tournament concludes, Tuesday, October 5.
Final 54-hole results from the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational men's golf tournament
Colorado National Golf Club, Erie, Colo.
7,741 yards, Par 72
1. New Mexico 859
2. Colorado State 860
3. Kansas 869
4. San Jose State 870
5. New Mexico State 872
6. Brigham Young 873
7. Colorado 874
8. Denver 885
9. Utah 898
10. Texas El Paso 900
11. Wyoming 901
12. Northern Colorado 910
13. Air Force 911
14. Southern Utah 941
1. Mark Hubbard, San Jose State 69-70-70-209
2. Travis Ross, New Mexico 74-69-68-211
3. Matthew Hovan, San Jose State 73-71-68-212
Gaston De la Torre, New Mexico State 69-73-70-212
5. Ryan Peterson, Colorado State 75-70-68-213
Sam Chavez, New Mexico 76-66-71-213
Other San Jose State scores
42. Justin Estrada 77-72-76-225
45. Jay Myers 78-74-74-226
65. Nick Brown 77-80-75-232