Trojans Finish 2nd At Gifford Collegiate|
Nov. 5, 2014
Senior Paul Smith used a final-round 66 to finish a Trojan career-best third while freshman Sean Crocker tied for 10th as the No. 18 USC men's golf team took second at the Gifford Collegiate at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., on Wednesday (Nov. 5) in the team's final day of fall action.
The Trojans, in the six-player, count-five format, finished at 12-under 1053 (353-345-355), three back of No. 8 UCLA (1050) and 13 better than third-place No. 16 Stanford (1066). No. 4 Texas was fourth (1069).
USC, which was coming off a win in its previous event (the Bill Cullum Invitational), booked its fourth top 2 finish in five fall events.
"The team had a darn good fall," USC ninth-year coach Chris Zambri said. "We got a lot of good play from 4 to 5 guys. We showed the kind of golf that could lead to a run at a national championship. That's exciting. Now that we have a fairly sizable break to finish up with finals this fall, the hope is that the guys remain hungry and return in the spring better than they are now."
Smith finished at 7-under 206 (67-73-66) to tie for third, two back of first, for his best effort as a Trojan. His previous highest finish was a tie for seventh last year. Starting on the 2nd hole in the shotgun start, he birdied three of his first seven holes en route to a six-birdie, one-bogey round.
Crocker's tie for 10th at 2-under 211 (69-68-74) is his third top 10 of fall play. He was 1-under on the front 9, 4-over on the back.
Sophomore Rico Hoey finished 13th at 1-under 212 (74-69-69). He was 2-under with five birdies on the front 9 and even on back. Senior Eric Sugimoto tied for 14th at 1-over 214 (70-74-70) with three birdies on the day, his second top 14 of the fall.
USC is off until the spring semester, when it plays in the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii in the first week of February.