The USC women’s golf team traveled to Wilmette, Illinois to face off against the top Division 1 programs in the nation. The Trojans finished the tournament on Tuesday with a disappointing 66-over-par, giving them a second to last-place finish.
The men’s team traveled to Fort Worth, Texas to take on an equally competitive Division I golf field. Unfortunately, USC was still unable to compete for the top spot in the tournament and finished with an average 31-over-par earning them a 10th place finish.
These finishes come as a disappointment to not only the fans but also the coaches. The season is still extremely young, so the Trojans have no reason to hit the panic button, yet. However, women’s head coach Justin Simmons certainly has much higher expectations for his team.
“Our expectation is to win every single golf tournament we play in,” Simmons said.
Freshmen Cindy Kou and Jackson Rivera are two players that are exceeding expectations. Kou and Rivera were USC’s lowest scores in this week’s tournaments, which Kou has done twice now in only two starts, and Rivera has done for the third time in as many starts.
Kou finished the third round with three birdies in her final five holes to vault her way up the leaderboards and finished with another impressive score of only 3-over-par earning a top-five finish at the Windy City Collegiate.
Rivera also finished strong posting a 5-under-par on the final day of the tournament, lowering his total score to 2-over-par for the week. Rivera’s performance netted him a season-best 13th place finish at the Colonial Invitational.
“I’m hopeful that we show a lot more fight, a lot more heart these next couple tournaments and show that we belong,” men’s head coach JT Simmons said.
Talent-wise USC should expect to compete for the top spot in every tournament they play in. The problem that plagues the Trojans is consistency. USC shot a total of 300 in round one of the Windy City Collegiate but followed that score with a 315 in rounds two and three. If USC were able to improve or at the very least maintain that round one score then USC would have finished 6th overall.
As the season progresses, USC needs to find a way to consistently score low in upcoming tournaments.
“You got to hit driver, but you got to be able to hit your driver in play or else you are going to have a hard time scoring,” Simmons said.
Now hitting a long drive is easier said than done, but for USC golf to thrive, high expectations must be met.
Looking forward USC women’s golf will head to the Bay Area to participate in the Stanford Intercollegiate next Friday, Oct. 16. The men’s team will have a longer wait as they prepare for the Golf Club of Georgia Intercollegiate on Oct. 22.