After last week’s 14th-place finish against some of the nation’s top teams, including No.1 Texas Christian, USF had a sixth-place showing against competitors that included tournament winner Campbell, Furman and West Florida at the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate Golf Tournament in Orlando on Monday and Tuesday.
Given their past two performances at The Adams Cup (11th) and The Gary Koch Invitational (14th), the Bulls were looking to make dramatic improvements in their play, and they were looking good after the first two rounds. They ended Monday with a fourth-place standing, shooting 288 and 287. Then the Bulls dropped to sixth with a high combined round of 297 on Tuesday.Playing well in the final round has been a problem.
“On Monday, their scores were very good. I was happy. They were happy,” coach Jim Fee said. “I think when we went out Tuesday we were just trying to stay focused and play one shot at a time, which you have to do. I think we didn’t do that quite as well as we did the first day.”
The only exception this week was senior Ricky Carrillo (75-73-72), whose high score came in the first round on Monday.”I just couldn’t make a putt. I wasn’t that happy with the way I played the tournament, even though I finished with an OK round,” Carrillo said. “I wasn’t happy at all with the way I played this tournament.”
The big improvement for the Bulls was their ability to come out on the first day and play a solid 36 holes.
“One of the good things is that we got ourselves into a good position after the first two rounds,” Fee said. “That’s something we haven’t really done yet this year. I see that as an improvement.”
So far this year, the problem for the Bulls has been the ability to have four good scores to count towards the team score. They are depending on the freshmen to post some of those scores to help the team. On Monday, freshmen Ryan Shears (76) and Brad Quiri (72) stepped up and shot well to help the Bulls finish in their highest placement this semester.
Carrillo praised the play of the freshmen.
“This was a big improvement for them,” Carrillo said. “They’re good players. They have a lot of talent.”
The Bulls next look to place someone in medallist honors Nov. 5-6 at the Fall Beach Classic in Gulf Shores, Ala.