Despite best finish of the year, Trojans still want more

first_imgThe No. 9 USC men’s golf team registered its best finish of the year at The Prestige at PGA West tournament but left its coach wanting more.The Trojans finished the tournament tied for fourth with UCLA at 8-over 872, but the high finish did little to ease USC coach Chris Zambri’s frustration with his some of his players’ early struggles.“I’m not happy with our finish because we have guys in our lineup who are not playing their best golf,” Zambri said. “When you’re 20 you should be getting better every year and playing the best golf of your life every year, and we have some guys right now who aren’t doing that.”Part of what frustrated Zambri is his team’s continued inability to beat teams ranked higher than them. The Trojans have finished behind a team ranked outside the top 25 only once this season but have also failed to beat the top teams in their tournaments.“We still got beat by the best teams in the field [this week],” he said. “We just need guys to play up to the expectations that we have for them and if they do that I really do think we are one of the better teams.”No. 17 TCU blew away the field at The Prestige with a blistering 14-under 850. The Horned Frogs finished 16 strokes ahead of the runner-up, No. 4 Stanford. No. 3 Washington finished third at 5-over 869.Zambri said USC has to start winning tournaments if it wants to take the next step as a team. Beating only the opponents it should beat is not enough anymore.“After a while you start saying, ‘Well this isn’t a coincidence it’s just who we are,’” he said. “We have to get better so when we have what we think are semi-off weeks we finish second, not fifth or seventh.”One player who finally played up to his coach’s expectations was sophomore Steve Lim, who finished tied for third at 4-under 212.“He did everything well and he played like I thought he was going to play this year,” Zambri said. “I think it’s just the start of some really good things because so many parts of his game are really solid.”Lim had played poorly in the first two tournaments this year before putting it all together last weekend, thanks in part to some new equipment.“He didn’t play a lot of tournament golf over the summer and he also showed up with a driver that didn’t fit,” Zambri said. “He’s got a driver now that fits him great and he drove the ball really well.”Lim was also pleased with his finish but credited Zambri more than his new clubs for his improvement.“Coach Zambri is a great coach,” Lim said. “He’s a tour veteran, he’s played golf almost 30 years and he knows a lot about golf. He really has good ideas for all of us [as individuals].”One particularly long talk with Zambri helped the sophomore get his season on track. Lim said he expects to build on his latest performance going forward.“It boosts my confidence for the next tournament,” he said. “I feel great right now. It can’t be any better.”The rest of the team might not feel the same way. Freshman Martin Trainer played solid golf for the third consecutive tournament but finished tied for 18th at 3-over 219. Fellow freshman Sam Smith tied for 37th at 8-over 224.Junior Matthew Giles continued his early-season slump by finishing tied for 42nd at 9-over 225. The returning All-American has placed outside the top 30 in each of his last two tournaments. Junior Bo DeHuff tied for 47th at 10-over 226 in his first tournament action of the season.The rest of the USC golf team also played in the tournament as unattached entrants. Junior Daniel Park tied for 14th at 2-over 218 while freshman T.J. Vogel and Stewart Hagestad finished tied for 31st and 42nd, respectively.last_img

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