Sometimes a pretty performance is not enough. Entering a packed crowd at the US Intercollegiate, the USF men’s golf team put on a solid performance with a team total of 841 before eventually finishing fourth in a tournament behind No. 24 Saint Mary’s, No. 11 Texas Christian University and the eventual winner No. 9 Stanford. Heading into the second round with a total of 275, the Dons were able to keep pace with the top three finishers — they went into the second round only five shots off the Cardinals who finished with a team total of 270.
Looking impatient, the Dons made critical mistakes that would eventually solidify their place behind the top three finishers. San Francisco hit 284 and 282 in the second and third rounds, enough to fend off UC Davis for fourth place. Rough starts and the harder setup for rounds two and three contributed to the higher scores, putting the Dons in an uphill battle.
Featuring four teams ranked on the top-25 list, the U.S. Intercollegiate was hosted by the Stanford Cardinal at the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, whose performance as hosts did not disappoint spectators. The beautiful weather and scenery provided a nice backdrop to TCU’s Paul Barjon’s performance, shooting 199 (-11) and coming away with a medalist honor. Three Dons would enter the individual Top Ten as freshman Sebastian Crookall-Nixon, senior Taylor Travis and junior Cory McElya would share places among the leaderboard. Freshman sensation Crookall-Nixon finished sixth with a pleasing 207 that featured three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole, cementing his status as a person of interest to watch in the upcoming competitions.
“There were sometimes that he could have easily let the round get away from him but he kept calm and stuck to the game plan,” Assistant Head Coach Matt Miller said.
With the end of the season nearing, the Dons now turn to Bremerton, Washington, April 15-17 where they will compete in the 2013 West Coast Conference Championships. With seemingly only St. Mary’s in their way, senior Dash Lindsell and Taylor looked to finish on top and fulfill preseason expectations by winning the elusive West Coast Conference title.