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Men's golf two shots back of Pac-10 lead

April 29, 2008

The Arizona State men's golf squad, playing with three freshmen, two sophomores and a senior, fired the best round of the day Tuesday with a 1-over 356 and is just two shots back of defending Pac-10 Champion USC after the third round of the Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships held at The Meadow Club (par-71, 6,686 yards) in Fairfax, Calif. ASU¹s 1-over 356 was one shot better than USC¹s (338-274-357) 357, but no other team came within 13 shots of ASU as three freshmen continue to lead the Sun Devils.

Freshman James Byrne is tied for second at 3-under 210 (71-72-67) as he was the only player to break par on Tuesday and he did it in convincing fashion with his 67. He posted six birdies on the day, including five in a seven-hole stretch on the back nine, as his 67 was a season-best. He had posted three rounds in the 60s in five appearances prior. He trails only UCLA¹s Kevin Chappell, who is at 4-under 209 (70-68-71).

Freshmen Jesper Kennegard is at 1-under 212 (67-73-72), which is tied for eighth. Kennegard already has four top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes, as he entered the tournament with a 71.52 stroke average in 27 rounds, ahead of the ASU freshmen record set by four-time All-American and 2003 NCAA medalist Alejandro Canizares in 2003 when he posted a 71.65 average in eight events.

ASU has shot 354-361-356 and is at 6-over 1,071, while USC (38-374-357) is at 4-over 1,069.

Freshman Stephan Gross is tied for 11th at 1-over 214 (70-71-73). Gross has posted 40 pars in 54 holes.

Senior and team captain Phil Telliard is tied for 30th at 8-over 221 (76-69-76), as his 69 in the second round included five birdies and is the second-lowest score of his career.

Sophomore Braxton Marquez is tied for 41st at 10-over 223 (74-76-73), while sophomore Knut Borsheim is at 11-over 224 (72-81-71) and tied for 43rd. Marquez has played the par 5 holes at 6-under.

ASU will tee with USC beginning at 9:36 on Wednesday. The final tee time is set for 10:16. The Pac-10 Championship counts the low five scores from the six-man teams.

Live scoring of the tournament is available at

ASU AT THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Arizona State has won 11 Pac-10 titles in its 29 seasons, including a conference record six straight from 1995-2000. In addition to the six straight Pac-10 titles, ASU's other five Pac-10 titles have come in 1979 (its first year in the league), 1981, 1989, 1990 and 1993. ASU tied for the league title in 2005 with Washington but lost on a tiebreaker formula. In its past five Pac-10 championships, ASU has finished third (2003, 2006 and 2007), second (2004) and tied for first (2005).

GOING FOR EIGHT: ASU coach Randy Lein has led ASU to seven Pac-10 titles in his 15 seasons. ASU won titles in 1993, Lein's first year, and then won six straight from 1995-2000. ASU tied for first but lost in a tiebreaker in 2005, finished second in 2001 and 2004 and third in 1994, 2003, 2006 and 2007. Since joining the Pac-10 in the 1978-79 school year, ASU has finished out of the top five just twice in its 29 championships (ninth in 2002 and sixth in 1983).

SUN DEVILS AS PAC-10 MEDALISTS: Paul Casey won three straight Pac-10 titles from 1998-2000, which is the last time a Sun Devil won the title and is a conference record for consecutive Pac-10 titles. Other Sun Devils who have won the Pac-10 championship are Scott Johnson (1997), Phil Mickelson (1990), co-medalists Dan Forsman and Tony Grimes (1981), Jim Bertoncino (co-medalist in 1980) and co-medalists Scott Watkins and Dan Croonquist (1979). Niklas Lemke finished second the past two seasons and tied for seventh in 2005.

NEXT UP: The 2008 NCAA West Regional will be held in Bremerton, Wash., May 15-17. The 2008 NCAA Championships will be held in West Lafayette, Ind., May 28- 31 with Purdue serving as host.