Cats Race Up Leader Board on Day Two

April 11, 2009

TUCSON, Ariz.- The Cats sat 23 strokes off the lead and in twelfth place when the third round began. Arizona used the lowest round of the day Saturday to move up seven places and into a tie for fifth. It was led by Rich Saferian and Tarquin MacManus, who each finished in the top ten.

Host ASU cruised to victory with a score of 838 (-14). The only team under par, ASU topped the second place tie of San Diego State and Denver by 18 strokes. San Diego State was in second after the first round but fell to fifth in the second round following an 18 over round two. The Aztecs recovered in the final round with a 281 (-5) to move them back into second. It tied with Denver, which was the second-round second-place team. TCU finished fourth, one stroke behind the second place duo. Arizona’s final round of 278 (-8) shot it into a tie for fifth with UC Irvine.

After the first day of competition, ASU golfers claimed each of the top four positions in the individuals. At the end of the tournament, ASU held on for three of the top six, with one player taking home a share of the title. The crown was split between Stephan Gross of ASU and Steve Saunders of New Mexico. The pair shot 210 (-3) for the tournament. One stroke behind the two, there was a four way tie for third. ASU’s Knut Borsheim and Scott Pinckney, Oregon’s Daniel Miernicki and Arizona’s Rich Saferian make up that tie. Round one leader Cameron Edens, competing for ASU’s “B” team struggled to a 76 (+5) third round, dropping him to a tie for ninth. Also in that tie: Arizona’s Tarquin MacManus.

For the second tournament in a row, an Arizona golfer finished in the top five. Last time it was Jonathan Khan taking fourth in the NIT, this time it was Saferian taking third. The sophomore transfer carded a 66 (-5), tied for the lowest round of the tournament, and moved up 33 places on the leader board. MacManus carded his lowest round of the tournament, shooting a 70 (-1), moving him from 16th to 9th. Also climbing the leader boards on day three was Jonathan Khan. He fired a 70 (-1) as well, moving him 18 places into 32nd. Brad Nicholson also shot a 70 (-1) in the third round. Nicholson also climbed the score board with his score, moving from 73rd to 53rd. Tyler Neal concluded a disappointing tournament with a 77 (+6); he finished tied for 84th. Arizona also entered three players as individuals. Phil Bagdade, competing as an individual, was tied for 16th after round two, and looking to improve on his four top-20 finishes on the season. Bagdade was four over on day three, dropping him to 39th. Nick Park shot a 230 (+17) for the tournament, tying him for 89th. Kenji Hernandez finished 93rd.

The ASU Thunderbird Invitational was contested at the Karsten Golf Course, in Tempe, a par 71, 7,057 yard course.

The tournament concluded Arizona’s regular season. The Cats’ 2008-09 campaign was highlighted by second place finishes in the NIT and the Wolf Pack Classic. Arizona also earned a pair of third place finishes in back to back tournaments in the Spring: the John Burns Intercollegiate and the Braveheart Invitational. While no Arizona golfer won a tournament this season, MacManus and Neal each recorded second place finishes. MacManus finished second in the John Burns Intercollegiate with a 206 (-10). Neal tied for second in the Braveheart Invitational with a 217 (+1).

Arizona will compete in the Pac 10 Conference Championships April 27th-29th in Seattle, Wash.

Top Five Teams

1. ASU 272 287 279 838 (-14)

T2. San Diego State 275 300 281 856 (+4)

T2. Denver 284 282 290 856 (+4)

4. TCU 280 290 287 857 (+5)

Two Tied at 858 (+6)

Top Five Individuals

T1. Stephan Gross ASU 69 70 71 210 (-3)

T1. Steve Saunders New Mexico 69 73 68 210 (-3)

Four Tied at 211 (-2)

Arizona Finishers

T3. Rich Saferian 70 75 66 211 (-2)

T9. Tarquin MacManus 72 71 70 213 (E)

T32. Jonathan Khan 76 71 70 217 (+4)

T39. Philip Bagdade* 70 73 75 218 (+5)

T53. Brad Nicholson 74 76 70 220 (+7)

T84. Tyler Neal 76 73 77 226 (+13)

T89. Nick Park* 81 77 72 230 (+17)

93. Kenji Hernandez* 80 80 73 233 (+20)

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