Men's golf team 4th at conference tourney
In a furious, fleeting comeback attempt, the USF men's golf team made a cameo atop the leaderboard in Tuesday's final round before sagging to a fourth-place finish at the American Athletic Conference championships.
The Bulls recorded a three-day 15-over-par team score on Innisbrook's hailed Copperhead Course, nine shots behind winner SMU. UCF (7-over) and Houston (14-over) finished second and third, respectively. The Bulls entered the final round seven shots off the lead, but shot 4-under as a team on the front nine Tuesday before fading.
"We wanted some wind and we knew we needed to make up a little ground and did a great job of getting off to a great start," USF coach Chris Malloy told gousfbulls.com. "We took the lead and just gave up too many shots going down the stretch."
Sophomore Chase Koepka, the 2013 Big East Player of the Year, finished second individually at 2-under for the tournament, five shots behind SMU's Bryson Dechambeau. Koepka collected three birdies Tuesday en route to a 1-under 70 and 211 three-day total. Bulls freshman Rigel Fernandes (3-over 216) finished ninth.
The Bulls, ranked 30th nationally by Golfweek, are locks for a second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. The selection show is Monday at 10 a.m. on Golf Channel.