Men's Golf Tees Sunday At 7 a.m. With Seven-Stroke Lead Over Teammates

April 12, 2008

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Playing three freshmen and two sophomores, the Arizona State men's golf team is in first place after 36 holes at the 36th annual 15-school ASU Thunderbird Invitational held at ASU's Karsten Golf Course (par-71/7,057 yards). ASU shot a 5-under 279 and is now at 10-under 558 for the tournament (279-279), seven shots ahead of the ASU Maroon Team, which is at 3-under 565 (279-286).

Tee times begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday, with ASU's players beginning at 7:42 a.m.

Erik Coover leads the Sun Devil Maroon squad as he is third with a 4-under 138 (71-67).

Sophomore Braxton Marquez, who was tied for first after the first round with a 5-under 66 in just his third appearance on the year, shot a 73 Saturday and is at 3-under 139 and is tied for fourth to lead the Sun Devils first-place squad.

Sun Devil sophomore Knut Borsheim (73-68) shot a 3-under 68 and is tied for ninth with freshmen Stephan Gross (71-70) at 1-under 141.

Kyle Nielsen of New Mexico carded a 66 in the first round and followed it up with a 1-under 70 to take the 36-hole lead at 6-under 136. New Mexico's Charlie Beljan won the tournament with a 15-under 201 last year (April 13-15, 2007). Zen Brown of Colorado State is at 5-under 137 (68-69), as the Rams are third at even 568 (280-288).

Denver is at 1-over 569 (285-284) and is in fourth.

Freshman Cameron Edens is tied for sixth with a 2-under 140 (68-72). He entered the tournament with a 75.42 stroke average in four previous appearances. Sophomore Tristan Bierenbroodspot is at even 142 (70-72).

Freshman Jesper Kennegard, who entered the tournament with a 71.86 stroke average, shot a 3-under 68 and is tied for 17th with a 1-over 143 (75-68). Kennegard's stroke average (71.86) is the second-best by a freshman in ASU history, behind Alejandro Canizares in 2003 (71.65), when he won the national title.

Freshman James Byrne, who carded a 2-under 69 on Friday, is tied for 36th with a 4-over 146 (69-77). Friday's round marked his third in the 60s this year in his fifth appearance.

For the Sun Devil Maroon team, Phil Telliard is at 3-over 145 (70-75) while Scott Pinckney is at 4-over 146 (71-75).

Oregon, led by Derek Sipe's 3-under 139 (71-68), is in fifth at 4-over 572 (291-281). Sipe is tied for fourth.

ASU has won five of the past nine Thunderbird Invitationals (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004) and 13 times overall since the tournament began in 1973. Eight Sun Devils have won the tournament on nine occasions, with Alejandro Canizares the most recent with a 16-under 200 in 2004.

PAST ASU WINNERS: Thirteen 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 and 2004.

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).

NOTES: ASU is trying to win its first tournament since the National Invitational in Tucson last spring (April 2-3, 2007). Knut Borsheim is the only current member of the team to play in that tournament...Oregon won last year's Thunderbird Invitational with a 20-under 844 (277-279-288), three shots ahead of Arizona State which was at 17-under 847 (281-283-283), as par was set at 72 (288 for the team rounds and 864 for the final team score)...ASU next will play at the Stanford Intercollegiate April 19-20 and then travels to the Pac-10 Championships April 27-29 in Oakland. NCAA Regional play will be held May 15-17 while the NCAA Championships will be held May 28-31 at West Lafayette, Ind.

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