Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Host Arizona in Sixth at NIT; Oja top Wildcat Individual
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 16, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 16, 2012

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TUCSON, Ariz. - San Diego State grabbed the lead on the first day of play Friday at the National Invitational Tournament at Omni Tucson National Golf Course.

The Aztecs placed four golfers in the top-20 places following 36 holes in posting a 10-under 566 total. SUSU was the only team in the field of 12 to finish under par in both rounds on Friday, and hold a six-stroke lead heading into Saturday's final round.

BYU (572) sits in second place, one stroke ahead of UNLV (573), while SMU (576), Memphis (579) and host Arizona (587) round out the top half of the field.

SDSU's J.J. Spaun carded rounds of 67 and 66 to finish the day with an 11-under 133 total and leads by one stroke over BYU's Zachary Blair.

Leading the way for Arizona was Erik Oja, who currently is tied for ninth place with a one-under 143 tally. His second-round 69 was his 10th round at par or better on the season and his fifth round in the 60s.

Three other Wildcats - Alex McMahon, Philip Bagdade and Juan Pablo Hernandez - joined Oja in the top-20 places. McMahon's 145 total equals his low total of the season through 36 holes, while Bagdade's first-round 68 was his lowest round since April 2010. Both players are tied for 14th place at 145 (+1) Hernandez, who has collected five top-20 finishes in eight start this season, is tied for 18th place at two-over 146.

Rounding out the Arizona varsity contingent was Brenden Refern, who tied for 55th place at 153 (+9), and Trent Redfern, who is tied for 69th place at 12-over 156.

The 2012 National Invitational Tournament concludes with 18 holes Saturday. Omni Tucson National Golf Course is a par-72, 7,219-yard layout.

Top-Five Teams
1.  San Diego State, 282-284=566 (-10)
2.  BYU, 284-288=572(-4)
3.  UNLV, 283-290=573 (-3)
4.  SMU, 284-292=576 (E)
5.  Memphis, 297-282=579 (+3)

Top-Five Individuals 1. J.J. Spaun, San Diego State; 67-66=133 (-11) 2. Zachary Blair, BYU; 65-69=134 (-10) 3. Marc Sambol, SMU; 70-70=140 (-4) 4. Jack Belote, Memphis; 72-69=141 (-3) Colin Featherstone, San Diego State; 71-70=141 (-3) Carl Jonson, UNLV; 68-73=141 (-3)

Arizona Finishers T9. Erik Oja, 74-69=143 (-1) T14. Alex McMahon, 72-73=145 (+1) T14. Philip Bagdade (Ind.), 68-77=145 (+1) T18. Juan Pablo Hernandez, 75-71=146 (+2) T27. Kenji Hernandez (Ind.), 74-74=148 (+4) T32. Benson Liu (Ind.), 76-73=149 (+5) T44. Ben Esparza (Ind.), 78-73=151 (+7) T48. Ricky Lee (Ind.), 77-75=152 (+8) T55. Brenden Redfern, 78-75=153 (+9) T63. Dylan Kornberg (Ind.), 80-75=155 (+11) T69. Trent Redfern, 78-78=156 (+12) 71. Parker Houston (Ind.), 82-78=160 (+16) WD Nick Olsgaard, WD WD Tucker Wadkins, WD

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