Surging Simsby Nabs First Career Victory
Oct. 9, 2012
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. -- Trevor Simsby mounted a final round rally to win his first collegiate tournament but it was not enough to help the Huskies overtake California in the team standings of the inaugural Pac-12 Preview on Tuesday.
Simsby, who entered the day tied for 5th, shot a sizzling 6-under 66 on the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club to end 11-under 205 for the tournament. He fended off Arizona State's Jon Rahm Rodriguez, who fired an equally impressive 65 in Tuesday's final round but ended up one stroke behind Simsby.
Cheng-Tsung Pan ended up tied with David Boote of Stanford for third after both finished 8 under.
"The biggest thing this tournament shows is how awesome we are at the top of our lineup," UW Coach Matt Thurmond said. "Trevor Simsby just won what is the equivalent of a Pac-12 championship and he is our number three guy. Everybody knows how good Chris (Williams) and Pan are, but the way Trevor is playing you can start talking about the big three instead of the big two."
Despite the one-two punch of Simsby and Pan (Williams was returning from Turkey and did not compete this week) , the Huskies could not catch No. 1 California. The Golden Bears won their third tournament in three tries, finishing at 29-under-par 835 overall, seven shots ahead of the Huskies. Washington finished 22 strokes under par as a group and left their head coach gleaming with pride following the tournament.
"It was one of the coolest tournaments that I have coached," said Thurmond, who is in his 11th year of leading the Huskies. "We played against a field like this, in the best conference in the country, without Chris Williams - our top player and the best amateur player in the world.
"You always hope guys will step up in those situations and they did."
None stepped up bigger than Simsby. He followed up a 69 and 70 on Monday at the 7,017-yard, par-72 course with a bogey-free 66 on Tuesday. He had four birdies on the back nine, including one of the 18th hole to clinch the victory.
"Trevor Simsby was just incredible," gushed Thurmond like a proud papa. "Yesterday he gutted it out when he wasn't playing great and then today everything went his way and he felt awesome.
"It has just been fun to watch him get better all the time."
Pan was his usual steady self. He shot 3-under 69 on Tuesday and if not for a quadruple bogey as darkness set in on Monday, he would have been atop the leaderboard himself.
"Pan is just a guy that you know is going to find a way to get the job done," Thurmond said. "He had that quadruple bogey to finish his round yesterday and he was so mad. As the night went on he thought he could win the tournament and he wanted to try to come out and win it.
"Even today was a struggle for him, but he birdied a few holes coming in and worked his way into third place. He is such a fighter and he is so steady emotionally. He is an amazing guy to have in your lineup."
The most pleasant surprise of the week for Thurmond was the play of Tyler Salsbury. With Williams out of the lineup after helping Team USA win the World Amateur Team Championship, the freshman from Enumclaw provided a huge lift for the team. He led the tournament after two rounds of play and looked poised to win his first collegiate event after birdying three of the first four holes. Unfortunately he went 8 over during the final 14 holes to shoot 77 for the day and end up 4-under for the tournament.
"I told him great tournament," is what Thurmond said to Salsbury after he ended up tied for 14th.
"Hopefully he will learn whatever he needs to learn from today. Even though he struggled on the back nine today it doesn't take away from the way he played yesterday and the way he helped us have a great tournament as a team."
Senior Charlie Hughes shot even-par 72 in Tuesday's final round. He had a pair of birdies and bogeys on his scorecard. The Canadian ended up +2 overall and finished 25th out of 60 competitors.
Freshman Kyle Bowser, like Salsbury, was also making his team competition debut. He shot 89 on Tuesday, largely due to an 11 on the water-protected par-3, fifth hole. He finished strong shooting 2-under over the final seven holes.
The Huskies are off until Friday, Oct. 19 when they start the three-day U.S. Intercollegiate at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta.