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Men's golf hosts, wins Invitational

Canizares wins individual honors, shooting 16-under

 by Kyle Odegard
 published on Monday, April 12, 2004

Sun Devil sophomore Alejandro Canizares makes his last put and wins the individual title at the Thunderbird Invitational on Saturday at Karsten Golf Course./issues/sports/657523
Sun Devil sophomore Alejandro Canizares makes his last put and wins the individual title at the Thunderbird Invitational on Saturday at Karsten Golf Course.
 

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After last season's low scores in the Thunderbird Invitational, the maintenance crew at Karsten Golf Course tried to make the grass longer to stop a repeat performance.

It didn't work.

The No. 5 ASU men's golf team shot a 43-under to win its only home tournament of the year, defeating second place UA by 11 strokes. The three-round total of 821 eclipsed last year's tournament record by three strokes.

"Traditionally, we start off slow and get better as the tournament goes on," ASU coach Randy Lein said. "What we've done this year is we start off hot, and then we just stay hot. We are on a roll now, and we're just going to have to keep it going. "

USC came in third place in the tournament, 14 shots off the lead, followed by New Mexico and Pepperdine.

Sun Devil sophomore Alejandro Canizares took home individual medalist honors, shooting a 16-under to tie the tournament record set by TCU's Bret Guetz in 2002. Canizares defeated second place Ryan Moore of UNLV by two shots.

"It's always good to have a team member win an event," Lein said. "It was great to see Alejandro win because he had been struggling a little bit. (It's nice) to have his name along with the other greats on the board."

Canizares was happy with his play in the tournament.

"I haven't played very good so far this season, but now I am starting to feel better," Canizares said. "I putted very well over the weekend."

Senior Chez Reavie shot a final round 67 to come in third place overall, three shots behind Canizares.

California's Peter Tomasulo, who was tied for second place behind Canizares heading into the final round, was forced to withdraw with an injury after 12 holes.

ASU took advantage of its knowledge of the course, and the windy conditions did not affect the Sun Devils as much as it did the other teams.

"There is some home course advantage," Lein said. "We feel comfortable on the greens, and we just know how to play the course. On a neutral course, I still feel confident that we might have won, just not by as many."

The Sun Devils have now won the Thunderbird Invitational five times in the last six years, and the victory gives them four team tournament wins on the year.

In addition to the Invitational, ASU has won New Mexico's Tucker Intercollegiate, UNLV's Southern Highlands Championship and the National Invitational Tournament at UA. ASU had not won four tournaments in one season since 1999-2000.

The Sun Devils put two teams into the Invitational to get more golfers into the event. The ASU Maroon squad ended up finishing in sixth place with a 14-under total, beating 10 other participating schools.

Junior Kendall Critchfield led the Maroon squad with an 11-under par, which was good enough for a tie at sixth place. Critchfield fired a personal best 63 in the first round, including a double eagle on the Par 5 14th hole.

Junior Pat Moore ended up in a tie for 12th place with an eight under par for the Maroon team, eight shots behind Canizares.

Reach the reporter at Kyle.Odegard@asu.edu.



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