UW Falls In Playoff To UCLA After An Impressive Rally
Feb. 8, 2013
WAIKOLOA, Hawai'i -- The seventh-ranked Washington men's golf team rallied at Waikoloa Kings' Course on Friday to force a playoff in the Ameri Ari Invitational, but UCLA ultimately escaped the tournament with the team title.
The Husky men's golf team had all but resigned themselves to an impressive second-place finish at the 20-team tournament, but the equivalent of a buzzer-beater down the stretch gave Washington second life. Sophomore Cheng-Tsung Pan and freshman Jonathan Sanders both finished birdie-eagle over their final two holes to tie the Huskies and Bruins at 22-under 842 after 54-holes of play and force a sudden-death playoff.
The teams reconvened on the 17th-hole for a count four-out-of-five playoff where UCLA's quintet all scored par, while the Huskies had three pars and two bogeys.
"It was kind of a buzz kill to a very strong finish and great weekend for us," said Husky Coach Matt Thurmond. "We had a really rough start to the day, but the guys kept fighting."
Washington combined to shoot 1-under 287 on the day, which was impressive after the Huskies got off to a slow start that saw them shoot 8-over par through the first three holes. The slow start and UCLA's fast start gave the Bruins a lead that they would hold onto until the very end.
Trevor Simsby was the Huskies star this weekend on the Big Island. After starting Wednesday with a par-72, the junior Ben Hogan Award watch member shot 66 and 69 to end up tied for second at 9-under 207. Simsby was bogey free until a 5 on the par-4 16th hole, but his fourth birdie of the day on the final hole allowed him to finish 3-under for the day.
"Trevor was tremendous all week and his play really validated him," said Thurmond in reference to Simsby's inclusion on Hogan Watch List.
Pan and Sanders each finished at 5-under to notch 10th-place overall finishes. The duo each registered 71's on the day. Pan had finished no worse than third in four fall tournaments, while Sanders' result established a new career best.
Chris Williams, the current No. 1 ranked amateur in the world, entered Friday's final round tied for third, but a 76 derailed any hopes of contenting for the title. The senior ended up 2-under 214 and tied for 20th in a field of 116 competitors.
Freshman Chris Babcock also shot 76 and finished 6-over 222. He tied for 71st.
Junior Gerrit Chambers competed as an individual and ended up 8-over 224. He tied for 89th.
Auburn's Dominic Bozzelli finished 11-under to finish two strokes better than Simsby and Oregon State's David Fink.
The Huskies return to action on Feb. 18 for the three-day Prestige at PGA West tournament in La Quinta, Calif.