Trojans Fall To Michigan In NCAA Championships Quarterfinal Match Play
May 29, 2009
USC's amazing march through the 2009 NCAA Championships - where it survived more than one close call - was ultimately stopped in the match-play quarterfinals where it fell to Texas, 3-2, on Friday (May 29) at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
Following a dramatic comeback in the strokeplay competition that saw USC rally from near last place to a third-place finish, the Trojans and third-year head coach Chris Zambri had high hopes to continue their postseason run.
But the goal of the program's first NCAA title fell short against the Wolverines. Still, the top 8 finish marked USC third top 10 finish at the NCAA Championships in the past five years.
Freshman Steve Lim, playing at No. 4, took care of Bill Rankin, 4&3. Lim never trailed in the one-sided match. Senior Ryan Linton was USC's other winner at No. 5, taking out Nick Pumford, 3&2. Linton trailed early, but took over the match on the back 9.
Action came down to No. 1, where Troy's Matt Giles fell behind three holes on the back 9 to Michigan's Lion Kim. Giles got back to one down late in the round, but an approach shot by Kim from 200 yards out that stuck less than a foot from the hole ultimately doomed the Trojan sophomore. Kim converted his birdie while Giles left himself too much yardage to birdie himself and fell 2&1.
Zambri said the disappointment of not advancing was tempered some by the resolve USC, playing without All-American Jamie Lovemark, showed to get to the final eight.
'I'd be lying to say there was no satisfaction in what we did to get here,' Zambri said. 'It was incredible what they did at regionals in the last round and the last two days here were incredible. The guys played like pros. In the end it's disappointing to fall short here, but there's some good the guys can take from it. Every one of them.'