No. 7 USC Looks To Continue Hot Streak In Vegas
March 7, 2013
The No. 7 USC men's golf team, coming off back-to-back first-place finishes, will face possibly its stiffest challenge of the regular season at the packed Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, Friday through Sunday (March 8-10), at the Southern Highlands G.C. in Las Vegas.
In addition to USC and host UNLV, the 15-team field includes 2012 NCAA runner up Alabama, California, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford, 2012 NCAA champion Texas, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Play will begin at 8 a.m. PST each day with tee times off the No. 1 and No. 10 holes.
Live results for this year's event can be found here.
USC returns five players from last year's squad and has welcomed three newcomers. The squad is led by junior Jeffrey Kang, a 2012 All-American honorable mention selection, and by senior Sam Smith, a two-time All-Pac-12 honorable mention pick. Sophomore Anthony Paolucci also earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors last year and the nation's top recruit in 2011 has taken a big step in the 2012-13 season. Also back are junior Ramsey Sahyoun, a 2012 Pac-12 All-Academic honoree and senior Stewart Hagestad. Joining the squad are highly touted freshmen Yi Keun "Jay" Chang, Michael Moorhead and Andrew Levitt.
Freshman Yi Keun Chang leads the Trojans in stroke average (71.33), rounds in the 60s (five) and top 10 finishes (four), including a win at the North Ranch Intercollegiate, his first collegiate title. He is also the only Trojan who hasn't had a round worse than 75 this season...Sophomore Anthony Paolucci is second on the squad with a 71.61 stroke average and has carded just two rounds above 74 this year (both 76s). He has three top 10 finishes and five in the top 20 and, like Chang, has been USC's top finisher three times this season ... Junior Jeffrey Kang is third on the team with a stroke average of 72.38 and is coming off back-to-back top 15 finishes ... Senior Sam Smith fired a career-best 65 in his last outing and has three top 17 results this year...Junior Ramsey Sahyoun has been reliable with four top 26 finishes this season and with at least two counter rounds in all but one event.
Troy opened spring play with a tie for fourth at the Amer Ari Invitational before tying for first at The Prestige at PGA West, coming from behind to earn a share of the title. USC continued the hot streak with a nine-stroke win at the North Ranch Intercollegiate in its most recent action.
USC posted a trio of third-place finishes in fall play at the Pac-12 Preview, the U.S. Collegiate Championship and the Gifford Collegiate-CordeValle. The Trojans also claimed the consolation final of the Stanford Classic Match Play while Kang tied for 12th in the individual-only Western Refining Collegiate.
Chang led all Trojan finishers at the Pac-12 Preview with a fifth-place finish at 7-under 209 (69-67-73). Kang tied for eighth at 5-under 211 (70-71-70). Chang paced USC again at the U.S. Collegiate Championship with a tie for ninth at 2-over 218 (71-75-72). He opened his final round with a 1-over front 9 but completed the day with a 1-under back 9, including birdies on 15 and 18. Paolucci (74-72-74) and Smith (71-76-73) tied for 20th at 4-over 220. At the Gifford Collegiate, Paolucci led the Trojans with a tie for fifth at 2-under 211 (71-71-69) while Smith tied for 13th at 3-over 216 (76-67-73). Paolucci's tie for 10th at 5-under 211 again led USC's efforts at the Amer Ari Invitational and the sophomore did it again at The Prestige at PGA West, tying for second as USC claimed a share of the event title. Kang and Chang tied for seventh. Chang topped USC's finishers with his win at the North Ranch Intercollegiate, finishing at 2-under 211 (70-68-73) while Smith took fourth at 3-over 216 (65-71-80).