Sun Devils Are In Control After The First Day Of The Thunderbird Invitational

April 10, 2009

Arizona State finished the first day of the 37th annual Thunderbird Invitational, hosted at ASU's Karsten Golf Course, solidly in the lead by seven strokes.

Although the Sun Devils won the team trophy last year, they haven't won the individual title and the team championship since Alejandro Canizares took it home in 2004. After day one, they have the look and swagger of a group ready to bring them both back, holding the top four spots in individual play.

Sophomore Scott Pinckney led the way for the ASU Gold team, which finished with a 9-under 559 (272-287). The Arizona native shot a 4-under par 138 (67-71) after two-rounds, ending the day in sole possession of second place.

The Sun Devils second team, the Maroon squad, finished tied for sixth after shooting a 10-over par 578 (289-289). Sophomore Cameron Edens, also an Arizona native, had an impressive first day, shooting a 5-under par 137. He followed an even par 71 in the morning with a sizzling 5-under in the afternoon, pushing him to the top of the individual standings.

Stephan Gross (69-70) and Knut Borsheim (68-71), both on the Gold team, are tied for third place after each shooting a 3-under par 139. The fifth member of ASU to finish in the top-20, freshman Chan Kim carded a 1-over par 143 (68-75). Jesper Kennegard, the final member of the Gold team, ended the day tied for 86th with a 12-over par 154 (76-78).

Playing individually, senior Erik Coover from nearby Desert Mountain High cruised to a 4-over par 146 (71-75), finishing tied for 42nd, while classmate Ryan Kelley finished with a 14-over par 156 (77-79).

Braxton Marquez, playing for the Maroon side, shot a 5-over par 147 (74-73), putting him in the top-50. Following right behind him, fellow junior Tristan Bierenbroodspot ended with a 6-over par 148 (76-72). Rounding out the Maroon squad, James Byrne and Spencer Fletcher shot an 8-over par 150 (72-78) and a 9-over par 151 (72-79), respectively.

Live scoring of tomorrow's final round of eighteen, teeing off at 6:50 a.m, can be found at

ASU WINNERS: Fourteen ASU teams have won the Thunderbird Invitational, with ASU winning the title in 1984, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2008.

PAST ASU INDIVIDUAL WINNERS: Eight Sun Devils have won the individual titles on nine occasions, with Phil Mickelson (1991 and 1992) the only multiple winner. Other Sun Devil individual winners include Mark Sollenberger (1974), Jim Carter (1984), Larry Barber (1994), Todd Demsey (1995), Jeff Quinney (2000), Paul Casey (2001) and Alejandro Canizares (2003).

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