Men’s tennis set for battle at UCLA

first_imgAfter a commanding 5-2 win over Stanford in Palo Alto last weekend, the Trojans will head to Westwood Tuesday to face UCLA at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.They will try and secure back-to-back road victories against Pac-12 teams in nonconference matches.Both teams look as strong as expected this season, with UCLA posting a ranking of fourth in the nation, while USC sits at 13th and is likely to rise after the win over Stanford.The Trojans faced some adversity to begin the match after losing the doubles point to go down 1-0 early. They then rattled off five consecutive singles match wins to clinch the match before a loss in a third set tiebreaker for the second loss of the day for USC.Junior Nick Crystal tied the match-up with a straight sets win, and freshman Jake Devine continued his stellar debut  season after finishing a third set win, 6-1. Sophomore Thibault Forget clinched the match with the Trojans’ fourth singles win in another three-setter, and senior Max de Vroome pulled off a big upset over Stanford’s Tom Fawcett, the fourth-ranked player in the country. The Trojans hope to ride this momentum into this rivalry match and a difficult schedule against many top teams across the country.The Bruins provide a challenging matchup with their top three players: junior Mackenzie McDonald, sophomore Martin Redlicki and junior Gage Brymer are all top-50 players in the country. McDonald leads the team with experience as a junior ranked 19th in the nation who has not only succeeded at UCLA but has also won some lower-level professional matches. The Bruins also have senior Karue Sell, their fourth nationally ranked player at 94. The Bruins’ talented group has led them to a 9-2 record on the season, which brings an additional challenge in the rivalry match.The Trojans counter with an array of solid players for the difficult challenge the Bruins will bring. De Vroome is coming off his biggest win of the year in the Stanford match and will be playing one of the top singles slots for the Trojans with a ranking of 65th nationally. Crystal is just behind de Vroome at 67th in the country, adding an early Pac-12 Player of the Week award this season to an already strong resume in his first two seasons at USC. Freshman Logan Smith boasts the Trojans’ top ranking with a mark of 56th nationally and will try to add yet another win to his young career. Rounding out the Trojans singles players are the freshman duo of DeVine and Jack Jaede as well as experienced sophomore Forget.USC brings a young team to the table, but so far this season the inexperience has been far overshadowed by the talent of these players as well as the leadership of the veterans on the team. The Trojans hope to repeat the success they had against the Bruins last season, winning both matches on each team’s home court during the regular season and beating them in the Pac-12 tournament for a three-match sweep.Correction: This post originally appeared with the title “Fourth-ranked men’s tennis set for battle at UCLA.” The men’s tennis team is ranked 13th. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.last_img read more

Foulkes is the local hero – in extra time

first_img Local man Martin Foulkes deserved to win the English Men’s Mid Amateur Championship for the Logan Trophy at his home club of Worksop even if he had to win it twice.He looked to be cruising to the title with a comfortable four-shot lead with two holes to play when disaster struck. A quadruple-bogey eight at the 17th when he tangled with the punishing rough, saw the 36 year old finish with a level par 72 for 214, two under, and into a tie with Paul Kirkwood, who returned 71.It meant a sudden death playoff, Foulkes winning with a par four at the first hole after Kirkwood had missed the fairway and the green then failed with his par putt.“It proved more difficult that it should have been but I got there in the end,” said Foulkes. “I’ve possibly taken eight on the 17th before but I can’t remember when. But this is a massive win for me. I’ve won county events but never a national title.“It’s also massive for the club. Playing on your home course brings extra pressure and there were so many good players in the field. I’m delighted.”In ideal conditions but with the course asking its usual difficult questions, particularly on the greens, Foulkes began the day sharing the lead on two under with Scot David Primrose. But the Worksop man raced away, covering the front nine in 32 strokes with an eagle and three birdies.That saw him open a five-shot lead which no one managed to reduce. It looked a one-horse race with Foulkes seemingly cantering home. But the 17th came back to bite him.He drove into the left rough, gained a free drop from a staked tree, then took three more shots to escape before his approach finished short of the green. A chip and two putts later and his advantage had disappeared.“In hindsight I should have just chipped out,” Foulkes added. “After that my head was spinning. Before I teed off on 17 I was cruising. I didn’t know the situation but at six under, I didn’t think anyone had got to that and if I could finish four-three I would be O.K. Then that happened.”At the last he still had a chance to win in normal time if he could hole a lengthy putt. But, with his head still spinning, he had to settle for a par three and extra time.Kirkwood admitted he wasn’t expecting to be in a playoff. “I saw Martin having trouble on the 17th but I didn’t know that he had taken eight,” he said.“I had a good go at my putt in the playoff but I wasn’t expecting to do this well this week. “I’m a bit disappointed but fair play to Martin to make par and he deserved to win.”Surrey-based Primrose closed his successful week with 74 for 216, level par, and third spot with Lancashire’s Michael Hunt, who returned a second successive 70 for 217.Past champion Martin Young (74) from Hampshire and Justin Phelps (71) from Middlesex shared fifth place on 219, while Worcestershire’s Paul Scarrett, joint runner-up a year ago, posted 69, the best round of the day, for equal seventh spot.For the second successive day the tournament was graced by a hole-in-one. It was achieved by Stephen Brennan who sank his five iron tee shot at the 207-yard eighth hole.“The ball faded into the flag and my wife told me it had gone in,” said Yorkshire-based Brennan. “It was my sixth hole-in-one but only the second in competition.”For more information, visit the Logan Trophy webpage. 6 Jul 2014 Foulkes is the local hero – in extra time last_img read more