TEMPE, Ariz. (April 6, 2012) -- Behind the play of senior Alex Kang, the 12th-ranked San Diego State men's golf team owns a four-stroke advantage through 36 holes at 11-under 557 Friday at the 40th annual Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. An Aztec also owns a share of the individual lead, as Kang is tied for first along with Arizona State's Austin Quick at 9-under 133 on the par-71, 7,026-yard Karsten Golf Course.
SDSU was in third place after the opening 18 holes, sitting two strokes behind BYU and six in back of third-ranked California with a 2-under 282. The Aztecs came back with a vengeance in the afternoon, logging the best round of the tournament by any squad with a 9-under 275 to put them four strokes ahead of Cal (561) and eight in front of third-place New Mexico (565). The team has three golfers in the top 17 on the individual leaderboard, while the entire starting five is among the top 35 in the 95-player field.
Kang (Oak Park, Calif.) fired 11 birdies and an eagle on the day, jumping from seventh into a tie for first place with the help of a team season-low 6-under 65 in the second round. Kang started the afternoon with four birdies on his first six holes before bogeying the par-4 eighth. He got that stroke back plus one with his eagle on the par-5 10th. Kang finished the day with six pars, two birdies and a bogey to pull even with Quick at 9-under 133, which is his season best for 36 holes.
Two-time defending medalist, SDSU senior J.J. Spaun (San Dimas, Calif.), is also in the top 10 with his 3-under 139 to tie for ninth place. Spaun had nine total birdies, highlighted by three in a row, which led to a second-round 2-under 69 and a five-spot jump in the individual standings. Aztec junior Tom Berry (New Haw, England), meanwhile, continued his strong play with back-to-back even-par rounds, bolstered by six birdies to put him in a seven-way tie for 17th with a 142.
Senior Matt Hoffenberg (Simi Valley, Calif.) bounced back from an opening 76 by taking six strokes off his first-round score to move from 62nd all the way into a tie for 32nd with a 4-over 146. Classmate Colin Featherstone (Fallbrook, Calif.) is just one stroke behind him at 5-over 147 to tie for 34th place, while junior Cameron Tennant (Woodland Hills, Calif.), who is competing as an individual, is in 92nd place with a 160 to round out the San Diego State contingent.
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