Feb. 4, 2015
The USC men's golf team, led in fall play by trio of underclassmen who helped the Trojans post four top 2 finishes in fall action, travel to the nation's 50th state to play its first spring event, the Amer Ari at Waikoloa Beach, Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 5-7).
The Trojans, under ninth-year head coach Chris Zambri, join host Hawaii at Hilo as well as Hawaii at Manoa, Arizona State, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, San Jose State, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, UC Davis, UCLA, Texas, Colorado, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Auburn and Osaka Gakuin University from Japan.
Action begins with shotgun starts at 7:30 a.m. (HT) each day. Results will be available at Golfstat.com.
Freshman Sean Crocker
leads the Trojans in stroke average (70.27) and rounds in the 60s (eight) through the fall season. Sophomore Rico Hoey
, a 2014 All-American, is second at 70.67 with six rounds in the 60s while freshman Jonah Texeira
is third on the team at 71.87, also with five rounds in the 60s ... Crocker has a pair of top 4 finishes, tying for second at 5-under 208 (68-72-68) at the Southwestern Intercollegiate and fourth at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational at 2-under 210 (73-68-67). He also tied for 10th at the Gifford Collegiate-CordeValle at 2-under 211 (69-68-74) and 19th at the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate at 1-over 211 (71-69-71) ... Hoey has a pair of top 3 finishes, taking third at the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate at 5-under 205 (66-65-74) and 2nd at the Bill Cullum Invitational at 12-under 204 (65-67-72) ... Texeira's top 10 finishes include a third at the Bill Cullum at 11-under 205 (67-66-72) and a tie for 10th at the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate at 1-under 209 (67-69-73) ... Junior Bobby Gojuangco
has a pair of top 10s, tying for seventh at the Bill Cullum Invitational at 5-under 211 (68-71-72) and a tie for 10th at the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate at 1-under 209 (69-67-73) ... Senior Paul Smith
finished fall with his Trojan best tie for third at the Gifford Collegiate-CordeValle at 7-under 206 (67-73-66).
2014-15 OUTLOOK IN BRIEF
USC returns three starters from last year's squad that made its eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship final round (tied for second longest active streak nationally), including Hoey and returning seniors Paul Smith and Eric Sugimoto.
Hoey put together one of the top seasons in Trojan golf history as a 2014 freshman, leading USC in stroke average (71.36), top 10 finishes (eight), rounds in the 60s (16), birdies (165) and eagles (eight) en route to 2014 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, All-Pac-12 first team and GCAA All-West Region honors. A 2014 Palmer Cup pick, Hoey's 16 rounds in the 60s and his 26 rounds of par or better were the most since Jamie Lovemark's 20 and 27, respectively, during his 2007 freshman season. Hoey's eight top 10s were actually all top 7 or better, including six in the top.
Smith had five top 20 finishes last season, including a tie for seventh at the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational. He has three rounds in the 60s, each coming in final rounds, and was fifth on the team with a 73.44 stroke average.
Sugimoto joined the Trojans in spring and was third on the team in stroke average (72.96) while posting a pair of top 10 finishes.
Also back and looking for increased roles are junior Bobby Gojuangco and sophomores Khaled Attieh and Danny Ochoa. Bolstering the lineup as well are a trio of freshmen in Sean Crocker, Jonah Texeira and Bakari Bolden.
Key losses from last year included departed senior and former All-American Jeffrey Kang, senior and frequent starter Ramsey Sahyoun and departed junior Anthony Paolucci, who left school a year early to pursue a professional career.
Freshman Sean Crocker tied for second at 5-under to lead USC's season-opening efforts at the 2014 Southwestern Intercollegiate, the Trojans taking second after final-round play finished at the North Ranch C.C. in Westlake Village, Calif., on Sept. 9. USC combined for a three-round 11-over 863 (288-292-283), finishing 15 back of winner Stanford (848). Washington State was 10 back of the Trojans for third (873) while Pepperdine, co-hosting with Troy, was seventh (885). Crocker tied for second at 5-under 208 (68-72-68) after his second 3-under round of the tournament. He was 1-under going out and 2-under coming home with four birdies on the day. Senior Eric Sugimoto tied for ninth at 3-over 216 (72-76-68) while sophomore Rico Hoey, in his first event after his All-American freshman campaign, tied for 16th at 6-over 219 (74-73-72). Sugimoto opened play 4-under through 10 before settling for 3-under with a five-birdie round. Hoey was 1-over on the front with two birdies and even on the back with two more birdies.
Itani Quality Homes Collegiate
Sophomore Rico Hoey took third while the USC men's golf team rallied to tie Oregon and force a playoff before falling on the first hole on the final day of the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate at the Paolouse Ridge in Pullman, Wash. The Trojans finished at 6-under 834 (273-270-291) during a windy final round and tied with Oregon after a tight final few holes. In the playoff on 18, Oregon finished with one birdie, two pars and two bogeys to best USC's three pars and two bogeys. Cal took third at 3-under 837. Hoey finished third at 5-under 205 (66-65-74) while junior Bobby Gojuangco (69-67-73) and freshman Jonah Texeira (67-69-73) tied for 10th for collegiate bests at 1-under 209. Hoey finished one stroke back of first and had four birdies against six bogeys in the day for his first top 10 of the year. He had eight last year.
Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational
Freshman Sean Crocker finished fourth to lead the USC men's golf team on the final day of the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational at the Colonial C.C. in Fort Worth, Texas. The Trojans finished sixth at 32-over 872 (293-289-290), 21 back of first-place Oregon (851) while Stanford took second (857) and Oklahoma third (860). USC had finished in the top 2 of its first two events in the fall. Crocker posted his second top 4 finish of the season with today's result after tying for second at the season-opening Southwestern Intercollegiate. Crocker carded a team-best fifth round in the 60s this season to finish at 2-under 208 (73-68-67). Starting on the 10th hole, he was 3-under through 9 and got back to 3 under with a birdie on 9 to finish the day. Sophomore Rico Hoey tied for 22nd at 10-over 220 (72-71-77). He was 1-over on the front 9 but couldn't get untracked on the back 9, going 6-over.
Bill Cullum Invitational
Sophomore Rico Hoey and freshman Jonah Texeira finished second and third, respectively, while freshman Sean Crocker and senior Paul Smith each closed with 5-under final rounds as the USC men's golf team won the Bill Cullum Invitational by 11 strokes on at the Wood Ranch G.C. in Simi Valley, Calif. The Trojans won at 31-under 833 (275-280-278), 11 better than second-place Arizona State and 28 better than third-place Washington State. It is USC's second first-place finish, though it fell in a playoff in the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate. Hoey finished second at 12-under 204 (65-67-72) while Texeira was third at 11-under 205 (67-66-72). It was Hoey's second top 3 finish and Texeira's second top 10. Hoey carded a pair of birdies and an eagle on the par 5 18th hole while Texeira had four birdies in the final round.
Gifford Collegiate Championship
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 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). 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. 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.