For the second tournament in a row, the No. 12 USC men’s golf team entered the final three holes of an event three pars away from victory.And for the second straight tournament, the Trojans were unable to finish strong, playing the last three holes in a combined nine over par and slipping to third place at the Arizona State University Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.“It’s extremely disappointing when we were in a position where we were in control,” junior Matt Giles said. “When you’re in that position, you really need to just keep making pars and birdies but unfortunately we didn’t do that.”USC got as low as 17 under par in the third round before falling back to a 10 under par finish, three strokes behind tournament champion No. 3 Washington. The Huskies shot 16 under par on the final round and charged up from seventh place to win the title.It wasn’t all bad news for the Trojans, however. Giles seemed to have returned to his All-American form from a season ago, posting his first top-five finish of the season.“It’s all been coming together in the last few weeks and that’s exciting,” Giles said. “Now I’m looking to finish on a good note.”Giles tied for third, shooting 70-68-69 to finish six under par for the tournament.Sophomore Steve Lim led the field after two outstanding rounds on the opening day, recording 13 birdies and posting 68-65.“I felt absolutely great. My putting and short game were absolutely phenomenal,” Lim said. “Everything was working.”Lim struggled in the final round, however, shooting eight bogies and a double bogey to finish tied for eighth with a 75.“I just couldn’t make any putts,” Lim said. “I just couldn’t finish at all. I couldn’t finish to help myself as an individual or the team.”Freshman T.J. Vogel, who posted second-place finishes in the last two stroke play events, shot one under par for the tournament (69-71-72) and finished in a tie for 22nd.Freshman Martin Trainer shot 71-74-70 to tie for 35th, while fellow freshman Stewart Hagestad had a rough week, posting 71-75-79 to finish 76th.Redshirt junior Bo DeHuff competed as an individual and shot 69-76-71, good for a tie for 42nd.The tournament also acted as a preview for the Pac-10 Championships, which will be held on the same Karsten Golf Course from April 26 to 28.“It gives us an extra three competition rounds plus a practice round in order to prepare for [the championship],” Giles said. “We feel as though it’s a good course for us.”All of the Pac-10 teams competed in the Thunderbird Invitational hosted by Arizona State. USC placed ahead of seven of its conference foes, finishing behind only Washington and No. 6 UCLA.In spite of failing to close the deal on a victory for the second straight tournament, the Trojans’ third consecutive top-three finish has USC back into the national title picture.“We’re much better now,” Lim said. “We’re at the top of the list. A couple months ago we had absolutely no chance [to win]. We’re on the right track.”Giles agreed, saying that contending for tournament titles is a good sign.“We feel as if we’ve really improved as a team and we’re giving ourselves opportunities, which is a great thing,” Giles said.USC will tee it up on Sunday in the opening round of the Stanford Intercollegiate in Palo Alto, Calif.
Comments Published on March 3, 2019 at 4:48 pm Contact Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org No. 27 Syracuse (8-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) ventured to Atlanta to extend its four-game win streak. Instead, No. 35 Georgia Tech (5-5, 2-1) didn’t let it happen, defeating Syracuse 4-3.The match started outdoors for doubles play until it started raining. As the matches were disrupted, Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez were down 4-1 and Dina Hegab and Guzal Yusupova trailed 3-2 in doubles. Libi Mesh and Sonya Treshcheva were also losing 3-2 in Treshcheva’s first match back from a foot injury since Feb. 3.But the venue switch seemingly had no effect. Hegab and Yusupova lost 6-3 and Mesh and Treshcheva lost 6-2, giving Georgia Tech the first point of the match. Knutson and Ramirez were only down 5-4, but their match went unfinished.The first singles match of the day finished quickly. Sofya Golubovskaya, in just her second singles match since Feb. 10 after a shoulder injury, struggled at second doubles against Nami Otsuka. Golubovskaya fell in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.In first singles, No. 42 Knutson squared off against No. 24 Kenya Jones. Jones took the first set, 6-4, but Knutson fired back with a 6-4 set win of her own. But in the third set, Knutson hit a wall. Already down 5-0 in the set, a cross-court return by Knutson was fired back by a Jones backhand down the sideline and Knutson couldn’t get there in time, giving Jones the 6-0 set win. Minutes later, the Yellow Jackets clinched the match as Valeriya Deminova defeated Masha Tritou in fourth singles, 6-3, 7-5.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo. 71 Ramirez won 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in third singles and Yusupova, playing at sixth singles, also won in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (7-0). And at fifth singles, Mesh pushed Gia Cohen to three sets, winning the final set, 7-5.Syracuse will look to get back in the win column on March 11 when they travel to face Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, Florida. Facebook Twitter Google+