The USC men’s golf team finished up action at the U.S. Collegiate Championship in Alpharetta, Ga., on Tuesday with a disappointing third round that left it in fourth place.
Despite a stellar first two rounds and a season-best performance by sophomore T.J. Vogel, the Trojans were unable to hold on to their second-place position. USC fired a 12-over-par 300 to put its total at a 3-over-par 867 (288,279,300), just one stroke behind third-place Texas A&M. Home team Georgia Tech won with a 28-under-par 836 (271,285,280).
Vogel led the Trojans on Tuesday, posting the best score of any golfer in round three with a 6–under-par 66. Hitting six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle, Vogel placed second overall in a field of 78, totaling 7-under-par 209 (74, 69, 66). Vogel steadily improved from a rough first round to take the top spot for the Trojans.
“I’m excited in the way I played [Tuesday] and how I finished,” Vogel said. “Second place is a good finish considering where I started in the tournament, so I’m excited about that.”
Second for the Trojans was junior Steve Lim, who grabbed sixth place with a 3-under-par 213. Lim shot a 3-over-par 75 in round three, with three birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey. In the first two rounds, Lim hit consecutive 3-under-par 69s and sat in second place.
Next for the Trojans was freshman Jeffrey Kang. Kang finished the tournament in a tie for 33rd place at 7-over-par-223 (69, 76, 78). Kang’s third round was his worst, where he hit a 6-over-par 78, with eight bogeys and two birdies. Kang was in second place in the individual scoring after round one but couldn’t manage to hold on to his spot.
Fourth for USC was freshman Ramsey Sahyoun, making his debut for the team. Sahyoun finished in a tie for 53rd place with an 11-over-par 227. Sahyoun hit a 9-over-par 81 in round three, following a 3-under-par 69 in round two and a 5-over-par 77 in round one. Sahyoun had three bogeys, two double bogeys, a triple bogey and just one birdie in a tough round that dropped him from 23rd place to 53rd.
Rounding out the Trojan squad was sophomore Sam Smith, who dropped from 33rd to tie for 62nd after round three. Smith finished with a 14-over-par 230 following a 10-over-par 82 in the final round of play. Smith’s best round was his second, where he hit an even-par 72. In his first round, Smith hit for a 4-over-par 76.
Despite a tough third round, the Trojans are looking more promising with each tournament. This was their third, and they have steadily improved with each showing.
The team remains optimistic about future events,
“In Ohio we started a little slow and finished in the middle of the pack, but in this tournament we came out strong and played well the first two days and we were right in second place,” Vogel said. “We’re young, and we had to play in the final group, which is a lot of pressure, and we’re only going to gain experience from this. Hopefully next tournament we’ll be able to take that experience and we’ll be able to come through better.”
USC gets its next shot at the Gilford Collegiate Championship, UCLA’s home tournament, on Nov. 8-10.