No. 8 USC, Chang Winners At North Ranch Intercollegiate|
Feb. 26, 2013
Freshman Yi Keun Chang overcame a rocky start - as did the entire USC men's golf team - but both came up winners on the final day of the 2103 North Ranch Intercollegiate at North Ranch C.C. in Westlake Village, Calif., on Tuesday (Feb. 26).
The Trojans opened play with a 10-stroke lead after a 36-hole Monday, but saw the advantage whittled to just a few strokes midway through the first round. USC closed strong, however, and claimed first at a combined 11-over 863 (285-279-299), nine better than second place BYU (872) and 12 better than third-place Pepperdine (875).
It marks USC's second first-place finish in a row after tying with Washington in its previous event.
Chang earned his first victory as a Trojan and notched his fourth top 10 of the season with a 2-under 211 (70-68-73). Despite opening at 3-over through nine holes, he rallied for 1-under on the back 9 for the one-stroke win.
"He had a rocky start to say the least but he came back super strong and he closed well today," USC Head Coach Chris Zambri said. "When the chips were down, he ends up playing 1-under on the back 9 and wins by a shot."
Senior Sam Smith tied for fourth, a season-best finish, at 3-over 216 (65-71-80) despite a tough final round.
Juniors Ramsey Sahyoun (80-71-72) and Jeffrey Kang (76-69-78) and sophomore Anthony Paolucci (74-73-76) tied for 15th at 10-over 223. Sahyoun was 3-over through 11 before finishing the final seven holes at 2-under.
"Ramsey did great and followed a bad first round with two really solid rounds and Sam had two great rounds as well," Zambri said. "Neither Jeff nor Anthony were great overall, but both contributed to what was a good team win."
The competition soon ramps up for the Trojans, who will participate in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, March 8-10, at the Southern Highlands C.C. in Las Vegas, an event featuring one of the toughest fields during the collegiate season.