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Thunderbird Invite: San Jose State Wins

ST. GEORGE, Utah (Feb. 10, 2008) -- Freshman Jay Myers and senior Aaron Conrad each posted an even par 72 for San Jose State University in the final round leading the Spartans to the team title of the 5th annual Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational men’s golf tournament.

In its opening tournament of the spring season, San Jose State posted a 584 team score for 36 holes on the 6,758-yard Sunbrook Golf Course for its first team win since the 2005 Anteater Invitational. The Spartans were six strokes better than Washington State at 590. Denver and Southern Utah at 598 rounded out the top five teams in the 14-team field.

“Our guys played their game and stuck with the game plan. They didn’t let anything bother them,” said San Jose State coach John Kennaday, whose team rolled in 34 birdies, tops in the field.

“We’ve worked hard on our putting and it’s beginning to pay off. We paid a lot of attention to the wedge and the putters (during the break).”

Cal State Northridge senior Erik Jarvey fired a final round (-1) 71 to finish regulation tied but won individual medalist honors on the first playoff hole and Cal State Northridge finished third at the event.

The third-place team finish is the Matadors best since the winning their own Bill Cullum Invitational in October. In tough conditions, Northridge posted rounds of 297-294 for a two-round total of (+15) 591. The Matadors finished seven shots behind team champion San Jose State (584) and one back of second-place Washington State (590).

Jarvey won a one hole playoff with Washington State's Nick Ellis to claim individual medalist honors. Ellis hit his tee shot out of bounds and Jarvey parred the extra hole to clinch the title. Northridge's leading scorer coming out of the fall, Jarvey finished with rounds of 70-71 for a two-round (-3) 141. He improved on his second place finish at Northridge's Bill Cullum Invitational.

Playing in temperatures that peaked in the mid-40’s and winds that gusted to 25 miles an hour, Myers was the top San Jose State individual with a one-under par 143 for third place, his third top-10 placing in as many tournaments and his best finish of the season. Conrad was right behind in a four-way tie for fourth at even par 144 for his best individual finish since he won the Del Walker Intercollegiate in Long Beach in September 2006.

“Aaron’s worked so hard to get through his injuries. He has a great work ethic and commitment to the game, his team and the school. It was great to see him do so well again,” added the San Jose State coach about Conrad, who was in the lineup for just the second time this season and led all players in par-4 scoring for the tournament at five-under par. “We know Aaron is a player when he is healthy.”

All five team members had at least one of their rounds count in the team scoring format that adds the best four scores from a five-man team. Mark Hubbard was 12th at 148. Rosco Valentine tied for 22nd at 151 and Peter Gibbs, whose final-round 75 counted in the second-round scoring, was 27th at 152 in the 100-player field.

Stephan Stallworth also posted a 151 total playing as an individual entry.

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