San Diego State University’s men’s golf team, keyed by Steele Canyon High School alumnus Shea Lague, finished the fall season ranked 20th in the Bushnell/ Golfweek Division I coaches poll.
Lague, the San Diego Junior Golf Association’s boys championship player of the year in 2021, and his Aztec teammates appear to be picking up where they left off as the calendar has flipped to the spring semester after placing 11th at the University of Arizona National Invitational Tournament March 17-18 in Tucson.
SDSU shot a 1-over-par 289 in the final round to finish at 4-under 860 on the par-72, 7,200-yard Omni Tucson National course.
The host Wildcats, ranked 18th in the latest GolfStat computer rankings, won the tournament at 840 (-24) ahead of No. 9 Pepperdine (841, -23) and No. 3 Arizona State (842, -22).
Lague was the Aztecs’ top finisher in a three-way tie for 13th out of 84 golfers at 5-under 211. Lague fired his second straight 2-under 70 in the final round, opening with two birdies in the first three holes and four through his first 10 (along with two bogeys), before recording pars on the final 10 holes.
USC’s Jackson Rivera and Arizona’s Zach Pollo each tied for medalist honors at 13-under 203, three shots clear of Pepperdine’s William Mouw (-10).
Lague has consistently scored high for the young SDSU team in 2022-23. He paced the Aztecs with a 69.0 stroke average in fall play to rank 20th in the GolfStat individual rankings. He led the Aztecs with a 69.53 scoring average through five tournaments and 15 rounds in the spring to garner a 28th place ranking in the GolfStat individual ratings released on Feb. 21.
Lague had a breakout performance at the U.S. Amateur over the summer by advancing all the way to the quarterfinals. He tied for 39th in stroke play at 4-over 145. He defeated No. 14 Hazen Newman in 21 holes in the round of 64 and defeated No. 19 Yuxin Lin, 3 and 2, in the round of 32 before knocking off No. 3 Hugo Townsend in 19 holes in the quarterfinals. He fell to No. 59 Derek Hitchner, 3 and 2, in the quarterfinals.
The Aztecs hosted their lone home tournament of the season, the 16th annual Lamkin Classic, March 6-7 at the historic San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista.
SDSU finished in second place at -19, one shot behind team champion New Mexico (-20).
Sophomore Justin Hastings (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands) tied for second out of 95 players at -8 as SDSU’s top finisher while Lague tied for third at -6 on the is a par-72, 7,033-yards course. Both Aztec sophomores posted impressive finishes as the two SDSU golfers finished among the top five scorers in the two-day event.
Washington’s Petr Hruby claimed top scoring honors at -12, followed by Hastings in a tie with New Mexico’s Bastien Amat.
Lague finished in a three-way tie with New Mexico’s Albert Boneta and Colorado State’s Christoph Bleier.
Hastings finished the three rounds with scores of 69-70-69 while Lague finished his three rounds with scores of 67-71-72.
SDSU led the field after the opening two rounds.
Following SDSU and New Mexico among the top five scoring teams were Washington and Colorado State, both tied for third place at -7, and UCLA in fifth place at -3.
SDSU co-hosted the tournament with the University of San Diego.
SDSU ended its fall campaign on Oct. 11 with a runner-up finish at the 12-team Wolf Pack Intercollegiate. The Aztecs also won the 19-team William H. Tucker Invitational (Sept. 23-24) and finished eighth of 18 in a loaded Maui Jim Intercollegiate (Sept. 9-11).
Lague topped the squad with eight rounds below par and four rounds in the 60s.
Four other Aztecs shot under par in fall play: senior Youssef Guezzale (La Jolla, 70.22), freshman Dylan Oyama (Pacific Ridge, 70.67), Hastings (70.78) and freshman Tyler Kowack (Canyon Crest Academy, 71.00).
SDSU won the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M. by eight strokes featuring four underclassmen in the five-man lineup. The Aztecs shot a 1-over 289 to finish 16-under 848.
The only other schools under par on the par-72, 7,546-yard UNM Championship Course were the host Lobos (-8), UNLV (-6), TCU (-4) and BYU (-3).
Guezzale was SDSU’s top finisher, tying for fifth out of 104 golfers at 6-under 210. Kowack tied for seventh at 5-under 211 while Lague (two birdies and two bogeys) finished in a tie for 14th at 2-under 214.
The Aztecs began the spring campaign at the Southwestern Invitational, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village by tying Wake Forest for eighth place out of 12 participating teams (Texas led wire to wire to capture the championship award).
Hastings tied for ninth out of 66 golfers at 1-under 215 to pace SDSU while Lague tied for 15th at 1-over 217.
Next up was a fifth-place team finish at the John Burns Intercollegiate Feb.16-18 in Linhue, Kaua’i, Hawaii.
Lague, benefiting from an 8-under 64 in the final round, continued his strong start to the 2022-23 season by finishing in a tie for ninth out of the 126 golfers at 11-under 205 to lead the Aztecs. His 64 score, which featured eight birdies, including four over his final five holes, and no bogeys, tied his collegiate low and is tied for the eighth-lowest round in SDSU program history.
The former Cougar standout catapulted 17 spots on the final day to slip into the top 10 with sole possession of ninth place.
Hastings finished in a tie for 14th place at 9-under 207 as the Aztecs finished with an incredible second half of the tournament after languishing in last place for much of the first round.
The competition took on a more challenging tone when SDSU competed at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Feb. 26-28 in Las Vegas. The Aztecs finished in a 13th-place tie with New Mexico at +9 in the 15-team elite field that also included No. 4 North Carolina, No. 7 Illinois, No. 8 Georgia Tech, No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 11 Florida, No. 14 Pepperdine, No. 15 Texas A&M and No. 16 Texas. Illinois won the tournament at -21.
Lague and freshman Chanachon Chokprajakchat (Bangkok, Thailand) each tied for 40th out of 84 golfers to pace SDSU at 2-over 218. Lague came back from consecutive 74s with a 70 in the final round. He sank six birdies on the day.
Lague, who was ranked 28th in the GolfStat individual ratings released on Feb. 21, was tied with Hastings for the team lead with six rounds in the 60s.