Pan, Simsby Perfect; UW Falls 3-2 To UCLA In Match Play Final
Feb. 28, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Top-seed Washington could not overcome a slow start and dropped a 3-2 decision to second-seed UCLA in the final round of the Del Walker Match Play Championship at Virginia Country Club on Tuesday.
Chris Williams ended up 2-1 after dropping a close match on Tuesday to UCLA's Patrick Cantlay, the No. 1 ranked player in the Royal and Ancient World Amateur Rankings.
On Tuesday, the Huskies were trailing in all five matches before mounting a comeback attempt on the back nine. Simsby led the Husky charge with spectacular play, but Pan and Williams were not too far behind.
"It felt like a rout early on," said Husky Coach Matt Thurmond. "They were ahead of us and dominating early but we got back into it with amazing play by Trevor Simsby and really nice play by Pan to get back into it. It just wasn't quite enough for us to get the team win."
Simsby recorded eight-consecutive threes, starting on the 10th hole to erase a two hole deficit into a 3&1 win over Alex Kim. He was 7-under on the back before closing out the match on No. 17.
"I didn't get to see much of it, but it was one of the most remarkable stretches he could have," Thurmond said of Simsby's finish. "The last hole, No. 18 is an easy hole and if he would have got a chance at it he would have probably birdied the hole and shot 28 (on the back nine).
"It's unbelievable. It was a huge week for Trevor. He was coming off two really good tournaments and now to make it three in a row; he won out and won all his matches pretty smoothly."
Pan started his comeback against Pedro Figueiredo on No. 7 and eventually won 2&1. The freshman from Taiwan won No. 7 when Figueiredo double-bogeyed and then took the next two holes with back-to-back birdies. He never gave the lead back from there.
Williams, the No. 5 ranked amateur player in the world, played solid against his Walker Cup teammate Cantlay but never led in the match. Cantlay, who claims Virginia CC as his home course, used a birdie on the third hole to propel him into a lead that he would never relinquish.
Williams trailed by two holes through 13 and had a chance to gain ground with a birdie on No. 14, but Cantlay answered with a birdie of his own. Cantlay finished off Williams with back-to-back birdies on No. 15 and 16 to seal the deal for the Bruins.
In the No. 4 match, Anton Arboleda beat Hughes 4&3, while at No. 5 Pontus Widegen beat Iverson 5&4.
Despite the loss, the chance to get some match play was a valuable experience for Thurmond's troops that should pay dividends down the road.
"It was a great learning experience for us," Thurmond said. "We won two matches; it was great for us to win and feel what that is like and get all this great match play experience. It was good to have Larry Iverson in the lineup and get him some experience.
"We haven't played much match play as a team and we needed some success. I think this was a successful week for us and next time we play match play we will be far more prepared than we were when we started this one."
Washington returns to the course on March 16-18 for the Bandon Dunes Championship. The Huskies are the reigning tournament champions and Hughes and Williams finished one-two at the event.
DEL WALKER FINALS