James' Strong Finish Features Hole-in-One
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
Richard James’ hole in one highlighted his superb finish at the Linger Longer Invitational on Sunday afternoon in Reynolds Plantation, Ga.
The USF junior accomplished the incredible feat with a five iron on hole No. 14 and finished the tournament tied for second at 6 under. James also carded five birdies in the second and final round to finish just one stroke away from individual title winner Cory Whitsett from No. 2 Alabama.
“He played unbelievably against highly ranked players that were in the field,” head coach Chris Malloy said. “A second-place finish there is spectacular. He’s starting to settle into his own.”
The Bulls as a whole finished eighth among 14 teams in a loaded field that featured six ranked teams including four that are in the top 25. No. 2 Alabama took the team title and saw USF right behind in second with four holes to go in the first round.
“I think we learned that we can compete with anybody,” Malloy said. “Yesterday we were making a run at Alabama. We let some teams back into it but fortunately we have an opportunity to learn from that and get better. Good teams take learning experiences like this and capitalize on it.”
Chase Koepka finished in a tie for 23rd after carding a 1-under 71 in the second round, which resumed later than expected Sunday morning. The freshman posted an eagle on hole No. 2 and collected three birdies in the even that was reduced to 36 holes because of rain.
“He’s showing why he’s one of the best freshmen in the country,” Malloy said. “Now we have to get all five guys firing on all cylinders at one time and I think we can be pretty scary.”
The Bulls return to action April 7-8 at the Gary Koch Invitational in Tampa. It will mark USF’s final event before competing at the Big East Championships April 28-30 in Orlando.
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