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Men’s Golf finishes second at AAC championships

Sophomore Run Youprayong was USF’s best performer at the AAC golf championships, finishing second in the individual standings. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

USF men’s golf and sophomore Run Youprayong both finished second at the AAC Golf Championship at Southern Hills Plantation in Brooksville. The defending champion Bulls finished behind SMU by two strokes.

The Mustangs broke the 54-hole tournament scoring record of 29-under-par 835, while the Bulls finished at 20-under-par 844.

Going into Sunday’s final round, USF was third in the standings after having rather average performances the first two days of the tournament, finishing with 2-under-par 286 and 1-under-par 287, respectively.

However, the Bulls played better than any team in the tournament on the final day, shooting 17-under-par 271, one stroke shy of the single-round tournament record which they set last year. Each USF golfer finished 2-under-par or better for the round.

Coach Steve Bradley was happy with the energy his team came out with to close what had been an up-and-down three days.

“It was a bit of a rollercoaster this week,” Bradley said following Sunday’s performance. “We thought after the first round we were in position to do something, but we just didn’t play very good in round two and kind of went into today with a ‘who cares’ attitude. Playing conservative wasn’t going to get anything done for us. 

“I think the guys really kind of freed up and consequently you saw the result. All five guys played really good. I’m really proud of Run’s effort. It was awesome to see him get in contention and how he handled pressure and nerves.”

Driving Sunday’s dominant performance was Youprayong, who finished second in the individual standings. He was impressive throughout the weekend, but really turned it on for the final round, scoring par or better on every hole, including four birdies on his last five holes.

Youprayong finished 5-under-par 67 on Sunday, tying his lowest round of the season. He finished with a total score of 11-under-par 205, just two strokes behind SMU’s Nathan Petronzino, who went on to win the individual title.

“From tee to green was really good this week and I gave myself a lot of opportunities and some went in and some didn’t go in, but I am very proud of the way I hit it this week,” Youprayong said.

Junior Albin Bergstrom, who was the tournament’s defending champion, also impressed Sunday with a 3-under-par 69 and finished tied for fifth with a 7-under-par 209. He also increased his program record of rounds of par or better to 30, as well as finishing in the top 10 for the eighth time this year.

With the conference season behind them, the Bulls will now start preparing for the NCAA Tournament regional rounds that are set to take place May 16-18.