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San Jose State alum Hubbard, new PGA Tour record-holder, aims to build off Pebble Beach success

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Years before Mark Hubbard became golf’s iron man, he showed signs of endurance.

Before joining the San Jose State golf team in 2007, Hubbard thought about pursuing a basketball career at several Division II and Division III colleges. By his senior year, he won the 2011 Western Athletic Conference men’s golf championship in the third-sudden death playoff hole.

“He made a lot of progress here at State,” said SJSU men’s golf coach John Kennaday. “It was quite evident he was capable of doing what he is doing now.”

Hubbard turned professional in 2012 but struggled at times, winning and losing his Tour card but over the course of last season, said his primary focus was about getting “his floor a little bit higher and having his bad days be better.”

That happened in a matter of months.

He racked up 39 PGA Tour event starts in the 2022-23 season to set an iron man golf record — aided by a tweak to the tour schedule, setting up a 15-month season — and rose to No. 66 in the world.

“It’s the highest I have ever been,” Hubbard said. “I really want to keep that going.”

This year’s West Coast swing had Hubbard slowly finding his groove and finishing in a tie for fourth at the rain-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am just over an hour’s drive south of the San Jose State campus.

“I was happy,” Hubbard said. “I always felt like I could and should had played better than in the past.”

Hoping to make his fifth tournament cut of the year, Hubbard said he will utilize the rowdy vibes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“There is so much energy around this place that kind of picks you up at times when you aren’t feeling 100 percent,” said Hubbard, playing the event for the sixth time. “I’m really going to try to feed off the crowd, the fans and the energy.”

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