The University of Southern California (USC) women’s and University of Illinois men’s golf teams claimed the inaugural East Lake Cup presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise today at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga.
After dropping its opening match of the day, USC (No. 3 seed) rallied to win each of the final four matches to defeat Duke (No. 4 seed) 4-1 after knocking off Baylor University (No. 2 seed) Tuesday morning.
"It’s really special because this tournament turned out to be better than I could have ever expected," said USC head coach Andrea Gaston. "Just to have this opportunity for our kids to experience this and to see the bigger picture of what golf invites in their lives and the opportunities they can have. It means a lot."
Illinois (No. 3 seed) won two of its first three matches against Georgia (No. 4 seed) then leaned on senior Alex Burge, who clinched the Cup for the Illini by defeating Greyson Sigg in 19 holes en route to a 3 ½ - 1 ½ victory.
"We came here to win, we came here to compete and they got it done," said Illinois head coach Mike Small. "We also learned a lot about ourselves I think as a team and individually. I saw some guys get through some adversity. I think we have a lot to build on and this is what this tournament is supposed to do. It’s supposed to identify a winner, have a good spirited match, but also help identify things we need to do to get better."
In the consolation matches, Stanford University (No. 1 seed) defeated Baylor University (No. 2 seed) 4-1 in the women’s division, while USC (No. 2 seed) defeated LSU (No. 1 seed) 4 ½ - ½ on the men’s side.
The semifinal matches concluded this morning following suspension of play on Monday due to darkness. In the men’s division, Georgia (No. 4 seed) defeated defending national champions LSU 3 ½ - 1 ½, while Illinois defeated Southern California (USC) 4-1. In the women’s division, Duke defeated defending national champions Stanford 4-1, while USC defeated Baylor 4-1.
Presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), the East Lake Cup Collegiate Match Play Championship featured each of the four semifinal schools from the 2015 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. On behalf of tournament sponsors HPE, Rolex, and CSX, the East Lake Cup is making a charitable donation to the East Lake Foundation, the beneficiary of the championship.
Championship Matches Results:
USC defeats Duke 4-1 to claim the inaugural East Lake Cup
USC (No. 3) vs. Duke (No. 4)
Robynn Ree Virginia Carta (2&1)
Karen Chung (4&2) Celine Boutier
Kyung Kim (3&1) Gurbani Singh
Gabriella Then (1up) Leona Maguire
Tiffany Chan (3&2) Sandy Choi
Illinois defeats Georgia 3 ½ - 1 ½ to claim the inaugural East Lake Cup
Illinois (No. 3) Georgia (No. 4)
Thomas Detry (4&3) Sepp Straka
Dylan Meyer Zach Healy (2 up)
Charlie Danielson (3&2) Jaime Rivarola
Alex Burge (1up, 19 holes) Greyson Sigg
Nick Hardy halved Lee McCoy
Consolation Matches Results
Stanford defeats Baylor 4 ½ - ½
Stanford (No. 1) vs. Baylor (No. 4)
Mariah Stackhouse halved Laura Lonardi
Lauren Kim (6&5) Lauren Whyte
Quirine Eijkenboom (5&3) Louise Gateau-Chovelon
Casey Danielson (3&2) Giovana Maymom
Shannon Aubert (1up) Maggie Beth Byers
USC defeats LSU 4-1
LSU (No. 1) vs. USC (No. 2)
Sam Burns Sean Crocker (3&2)
Nathan Jeansonne Justin Suh (5&3)
Zach Wright Rico Hoey (3&2)
Brandon Pierce (2&1) Andrew Levitt
Eric Ricard Jonah Texeira (3&2)
USC’s Gabriella Then on defeating Duke’s Leona Maguire 1up
"I had a chance on 17 to win the match, and it was about the same distance, and I figured this was my second chance to finally close out the match, so I felt really good about it. I know [Maguire’s] well decorated and that she is the best out here. I was feeling really good about my game today and I was just hoping my best could outdo her."
Duke head coach Dan Brooks
"I feel great about the effort we made with our win earlier today. Didn’t work out for us in the second match, but we can hold our heads up high and feel good about the effort."
Illinois’ Alex Burge
"I made a good bride at 16 to get back to 1 down and that was big to see that putt go in the hole. It feels awesome. I had the guys out there watching and supporting the last few holes. I knew if I were to win, the team [would] win as well. It feels great. It’s big. We’ve had a good stroke play fall so far, but to win a match play event, we know at the national championship that is what it comes down to. Match play is a weird thing, you have to learn how to play it and we are getting it down."
Georgia’s Greyson Sigg
"Alex [Burge] was playing some really great golf down the stretch. And I knew once he hit another great chip on 18, I knew I had to make [my putt] to stay alive for the team… It was a really big putt for the team and [for] me to get some momentum, but unfortunately [I] wasn’t able to capitalize on the [19th hole]."
Georgia head coach Chris Haack
"Very proud and I know the Bulldog nation is proud of them as well. That’s golf. To me it was an unbelievable day. I think the real winner was college golf. These guys got so see some really fantastic golf. My guys are really special. My hat is off to Illinois, what a great team. Mike Small does a great job and we lost to a really good team today in extra holes. It doesn’t get more exciting than that. The whole tournament has just been unbelievable. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Rolex and BMW and CSX rolled out the red tape for us. This heartbreak is one of those things where it’s just golf. That’s just the way it goes. We’ll learn from it, and hopefully we’ll be able to play these guys again come late May. It’s great for college golf."
Illinois head coach Mike Small
"I’m proud of them. We came here to win, we came here to compete and they got it done. But we also learned a lot about ourselves I think as a team and individually. I saw a lot of great things today. I saw some guys get through some adversity. I think we have a lot to build on and this is what this tournament is supposed to do. It’s supposed to identify a winner, have a good spirited match but also help identify things we need to do to get better."
"I think we’re a veteran team and we’ve had enough talk about that, that the expectations won’t [be an issue]. We try to check expectations at the door every day. Just play as hard as we can. When you put expectations on yourself and set things that tight and you don’t reach those things right away then stress develops and tension develops. We believe in ourselves, we believe in our ability to compete, and we’ll take it as it comes."
"Georgia is a great team. They impressed me. I haven’t seen much of them this year or for the last year-and-a-half. They’re impressive. I learned a lot about our guys. I learned Thomas Detry can play that first spot, we knew he could. You want to put your gun out there and have him get it done, because you’ve got to win three matches. You can’t fake your way to a win. You can’t strategize your way to a win. You’ve got to just get out there and beat your guy. So we learned that about Thomas and obviously Charlie [Danielson] came up big all week. Even Dylan Meyer, he ran into a rough patch this morning and lost a bunch of holes in a row and I think he learned from that. You lose four holes in a row and you only lose by one on the last hole, if you can hold those four holes together tighter on the front nine, and not get sideways, you have a chance at the end. So I think a lot was there to learn. Alex Burge, he was down two with three to go and came back and won his match, so a lot of positives. But again, this is a great week. It’s fun for us. But it ends tonight, and we start worrying about the spring after this."