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Claudio captures Mexican Amateur Championship

Claudio Correa continued to excel on the golf course Wednesday when he won the Mexican Amateur Championship by 10 strokes. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/GOUSFBULLS.COM

On an overcast day, USF sophomore Claudio Correa walked off the Concession Golf Course with a sickening feeling in his stomach after the men’s golf team was ousted from the NCAA Championships, 4-1, by Georgia in match play June 2.

It didn’t take Correa long to put those feelings behind him and get back into a winning mindset.

Two weeks after the championship loss, Correa stood victorious at the Mexican Amateur Championship on Wednesday at the Par-72 Yucatan Golf Club where he kicked off the short offseason with a dominant 10-stroke win.

The quest for a bounce-back victory started in the wrong direction after Correa carded a 2-over first round, but the AAC Freshman of the Year from Chile didn’t crumble under the pressure. 

After all, Correa’s win was two weeks after finishing sixth individually on college golf’s biggest stage.

Correa stormed back with a 4-under second round and broke away from the pack, shooting 2-under and 1-under in the final two rounds to capture his second win since the fall season began.

Correa led USF to its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance and won his first collegiate tournament with a 5-under performance in February at the Gator Invitational. He played in all 37 rounds as a freshman and finished in the top 10 six times.

Correa turned heads as a freshman and now two weeks into his sophomore season, he furthers his young legacy.

With a win at the Mexican Amateur, Correa earned a spot to play in the U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois Aug. 17-23.

Burke eliminated in amateur state championship

When the dark clouds and pouring rain rolled in to Placida, Florida at the Coral Creek Club, USF women’s golfer Ashley Burke was down one hole through nine to opponent Kimberly Benedict.

Burke was eventually eliminated in the round of 16 in the Florida State Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship after losing a one-hole playoff.

“Outside of school, you want to stay in good competitive shape for the season,” Burke said. “Also, I want to play golf after college so this is my life. I’m always playing.”

The USF sophomore and 15 other golfers remaining in the field endured a two-hour weather delay, which Burke said can become distracting.  

“It’s kind of tough because you get tired and you’re not really thinking,” Burke said. “You’re in the zone when you’re out there playing and then you come in and get a long break. Sometimes it helps, but you definitely have to try and stay focused.”

Burke took the 18th hole from Benedict to force a playoff, but a 15-foot putt from Benedict for birdie on the 19th hole ended Burke’s chances. 

She said she will play in two more tournaments before a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur in mid-July to stay ready for the upcoming season, which she said she expects to be her best yet at USF. 

“We all struggle a little bit with confidence and the team has a lot of talent,” Burke said. “We need to be confident that we can go out there and win tournaments. But our team is really young so I think next year will be a better year.”

USF wraps up 2015 satellite camps

Coach Willie Taggart and the USF football coaching staff will have two final chances to work with high school football players outside Tampa when the team’s satellite camps come to a close this week.

The Bulls’ coaching staff will head north after holding camps in Ft. Myers and Miami as they will hold one-day camps in Panama City today and Jacksonville on Friday. 

Still remaining on the Bulls’ schedule will be the 2015 Big Man Camp from July 18-19, which is a camp for defensive and offensive lineman from ninth grade to age 21.

On the same days, USF will also host its 2015 Sling and Shoot Camp, which is a 7-on-7 passing tournament.