The Trojan men’s golf team had a rough third day of competition at the Ping/Golfweek Fall Preview in Stillwater, Okla. on Tuesday, finishing up a disappointing first outing.
At the end of competition on Monday, the Trojans were at a 60-over-par 636 (331-305) in last place but within striking distance of 14th place Texas Christian University.
Day three proved to be no easier. The Trojans, led by sophomores T.J. Vogel and Martin Trainer, shot a 24-over-par 312 and finished last in a field of 15.
The team was unhappy with the final result.
“It was disappointing,” Trainer said. “We know we can be in a position to win or at least be in contention at an event like this.“
Best on the day for the Trojans was Vogel. Dealing with a hip injury that sidelined him in the first round, he managed a 4-over-par 76 — two strokes more than his second-round score.
Vogel had a tough first nine, hitting two bogeys, one triple bogey and only one birdie. He pulled it together for the last nine holes, hitting one birdie and one bogey, coming out even. Vogel was not eligible for individual scoring, however, because he sat out Sunday.
Next came Trainer, hitting a 6-over-par 78.
Trainer struggled throughout his round, hitting three double bogeys, two bogeys and two birdies. On Monday, Trainer came through with a solid 3-over-par 75, but could not repeat on Tuesday.
“Today was frustrating,” Trainer said. “Seventy-five percent of my game was really good, but the other 25 percent was awful. There were four or five holes where I made really poor decisions, but other than that I played well.”
Trainer was USC’s highest finisher, hitting a 16-over-par 232 (79-75-78), enough for 48th in the 73-man field.
Sophomore Stewart Hagestad and freshman Jeffrey Kang both hit 7-over-par 79s.
Both had trouble on the first nine holes, with Hagestad losing five strokes and Kang six before rallying for a strong last nine. Hagestad ended up with a 20-over-par 236 (79-78-79) and tied for 58th, while Kang hit 22-over-par 238 (81-78-79) and tied for 63rd.
Rounding out the Trojans was sophomore Sam Smith, who hit a 14-over-par 86. Although he hit the team’s only eagle in round three, Smith was not able to match his day two scores, falling behind that mark by another five strokes. Smith finished 73rd, hitting a total 43-over-par 259 (92-81-86).
The Trojans were missing junior standout Steve Lim, who was attending a family wedding in Korea.
“We really missed Steve,” Trainer said. “The course really suits his style of play and he would have done well.”
Despite a disappointing first outing, the Trojans remain optimistic.
“We definitely didn’t meet our full potential. We can do a lot better,” Trainer said. “We just need to get out there and practice hard.”
The Trojans’ next shot at redemption is Oct. 11 and 12, when they face Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.