THIS SEASON Senior Sam Smith returns to USC as one of its top players and leaders, gunning for his first All-American honor.
2011-2012 Smith earned 2012 Division I PING All-West Region and All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors as a 2012 junior. He finished tied for second on the team in stroke average at 72.00 and tied for first in rounds in the 60s with nine. He had three top 10 finishes and five in the top 20. He posted a career-best tie for second at the U.S. Intercollegiate with a 1-under 209 (70-69-70) and then led USC at the Pac-12 Championships with a tie for third at 9-under 279 (77-68-67-67). He followed that with a tie for 17th at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at 1-under 212 (75-68-69). He also tied for eighth (while playing as an individual) at the San Diego Intercollegiate, tied for 20th at the Gifford Collegiate and tied for 23rd at the Amer Ari at 3-under 213 (68-70-75).
2010-2011 Smith was a 2011 All-Pac-10 honorable mention pick as a sophomore and was part of USC's starting lineup all spring. He had three top 10 finishes and five in the top 20, including a string of three straight in the top 13. At the 2011 Pac-10s, Smith was eighth at 2-over 282 (73-71-71-67), helping USC to the team title. That followed a tie for 13th at the Western Intercollegiate at 4-over 214 (70-71-73) and a tie for seventh at the ASU Thunderbird at 2-under 211 (72-68-71). He tied for fourth at the Anteater Invitational at 2-under 214 (71-73-70) and also tied for 17th at the Amer Ari Invitational at 5-under 211 (66-69-76). He was 60th at the NCAA San Diego Regional though his second-round 72 was a counting round. Smith's first round at the NCAA Championships was tossed out after he signed for a wrong scorecard (albeit for a round that would not have counted anyhow), but he followed it with a 71, the Trojans best round of the NCAAs ... Following the season, Smith tied for 19th at the Pacific Coast Amateur at 3-over 291 and was fourth at the Sahalee Players Championship at 1-over 289 (74-69-74-72).
2009-2010 Smith, as a 2010 freshman, had three top 30 finishes in nine outings and three others in the top 45. His best result of the season came at the Pac-10 Championships, where he tied for 20th at 2-under 282 (68-74-71-69) while posting his first two sub-70 rounds of the year. He followed it with a solid effort at the NCAA Regional, tying for 24th ... His stroke average of 74.32 was fifth on the team. His other top 30 result was a tie for 28th at the Gifford Collegiate Invitational, where he finished the event at par.
HIGH SCHOOL Smith prepped at Turlock (Calif.) High, where he put together a strong junior career and was the No. 1 ranked 2008-2009 prep golfer in California. Smith was a four-time Central California Conference MVP and champion and held an under par average throughout his high school-playing career. In 2008, he tied for fifth at the CIF State Championships and won the 2007 NCGA Junior Championship ... Smith played in the 2007 and 2008 U.S. Juniors and also played in the 2008 and 2009 U.S. Amateur, making match play in 2008. He was the 2008 Sacramento Bee boys' Golfer of the Year ... Smith tied for 10th at the Western Junior Amateur in 2007 and was second at both the AJGA PING Phoenix Championships and the AJGA West Coast Championships.
CAREER NOTES Lowest Round 67, 2012 Pac-12 Championships Lowest 54-hole score 209, 2012 U.S. Intercollegiate