BATON ROUGE, La., MAY 17, 2017 – Head coach Steve Bradley was looking to see what USF was made of after two tough rounds and the Bulls responded with their best performance of the Baton Rouge Regional.
USF shot 7-over as a team – seven strokes better than its opening round – and jumped up two spots to a tie for 10th place in the season finale at LSU's University Club (par 72, 7,324 yards). Bradley's Bulls tied for the fifth-best score of the day among the 14 talented teams in the field.
No. 6 LSU won the tournament at 2-over and was followed in the top five by No. 19 Duke (+10), No. 7 Oregon (+15), No. 18 Virginia (+17) and No. 42 Jacksonville (+19), which edged Northwestern in a playoff for the final advancing spot.
Jimmy Jones posted his team-leading sixth top-25 finish of the season by tying for 24th place at 8-over. The junior from Tampa carded his top round of the tournament with a 1-under 71 that included five birdies.
Junior Priyanshu Singh (Delhi, India) carded his second 75 of the tournament and tied for 44th place at 12-over. Senior Rigel Fernandes (Bradenton, Fla.) finished off his ultra-productive collegiate career with a 73 that moved him up eight spots to a tie for 51st place at 15-over.
Junior Claudio Correa (Santiago, Chile) also tied for 51st place after shooting a 76 that included three birdies. Junior Cristian DiMarco (Longwood, Fla.) finished with a 76, his best round of the tournament, and placed 61st at 19-over.
- USF was looking to book a trip to the final rounds of the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive season. The Bulls made their fifth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance.
- No team shot under par for the second straight day after the field had to deal with high wind gusts throughout the round.
- Jimmy Jones shot par or better on 45 of 54 holes, leading the team with 34 pars and 11 birdies.
Head coach Steve Bradley on the Bulls responding with their best round of the tournament:
“I think it went really well. That wind was blowing on our front side, which is the back nine out here, and we did not play that side particularly well the first two days. I think we shot 6-over today and that even included a double and a triple. But they made some birdies, they dug in and it showed they've got a lot of pride. They wanted to go out on the right note and played solid on that nine. Then we turned to the front, kind of rallied the troops and made some birdies. I was proud of their effort today, it was a good way to finish.”
Bradley on the way the team handled adversity throughout the season:
“It's been an unusual season for us, mostly off the golf course. Some of the guys have dealt with some things that you wouldn't want any 20, 21-year-old to deal with. The way they've handled themselves, the way they've conducted themselves for our golf team, for our university, for our athletic department, as a coach it makes me extremely proud. I certainly would have hoped they would have finished on a little better golf note, but at the end of the day they're still young men and they've got a bright future ahead of them. I'm really looking forward to next year already.”
“It was really good, especially after the way he made an 11 on a hole yesterday to bounce back and play well after that. Today, he made a triple bogey and still finished under par. He had 10 holes to go after his triple and really played pretty solid. He's got the firepower. For him, it's about confidence and keeping his emotions in check. For him to overcome what he overcame this year and just be part of this team, it's made everybody a better person at the end of the day, including myself as a coach.”
“Rigel is just an incredible young man. He embodies what you want to coach, as far as a team player, as far as a guy that works hard. He tries to do the right things off the golf course, as well as on the golf course. He's just mature beyond his years and he's an awesome kid. We're certainly going to miss him and what he's brought to the table for our golf program. He's left it in a better place than what it was when he got here. He's got a bright future ahead of him and he's somebody that I'm always going to keep in touch with and root for the best because he's just a great kid.”
USF men's golf returns three players from the 2015-16 team that made program history with a return trip to the NCAA Championship. The Bulls have won the past three American Athletic Conference Championships in head coach Steve Bradley's first three seasons with the program. Follow @USFMGolf on Twitter for the latest information concerning the program.