No. 4 Trojans In Vegas For Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters
USC looking for fourth straight top 2 finish in stroke play events.
March 8, 2012
The No. 4 USC men's golf team, the 2011 Pac-10 champion which has posted three straight top 2 stroke-play finishes, is in Nevada this weekend for the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at the Southern Highlands G.C. in Las Vegas, Friday through Sunday (March 9-11).
USC and host UNLV are joined by Alabama, ASU, Cal, Duke, Florida, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and UCLA. Action on the par 72, 7,510-yard course begins at 8 a.m. each day with tee times off the No. 1 and No. 10 holes. Results will be available at Golfstat.com.
The Trojans have featured a balanced lineup this season, boasting two players with individual wins, five with top 9 finishes and six with at least one top 20 finish. Senior Steve Lim, a two-time All-Pac-10 second teamer, leads the squad with his 71.33 stroke average and his five rounds in the 60s is tied for team best. Lim led USC to a four-stroke win at the Gifford Collegiate Championship to close the fall slate, notching his first-career collegiate victory with an 11-under 202 (66-67-69). He tied for third at the San Diego Intercollegiate with an even 216 (288-299-290.
Sophomore Jeffrey Kang, another All-Pac-10 second teamer last year, posted his first college victory after winning a one-hole playoff to nab the Amer Ari at Waikoloa Beach. He finished regulation at 11-under 205 (67-69-69) and used a par on the first playoff hole for the win. Kang, second on the team with a 71.80 stroke average while being tied for the lead with five rounds in the 60s, was also sixth at the Gifford Collegiate and tied for eighth at the San Diego Intercollegiate at 3-over 219 (72-75-72), giving him three top 8 finishes in a row.
Freshman Anthony Paolucci, the nation's No. 1 recruit last year, is off to a strong start to his career with three top 17 finishes, including a tie for ninth at the Amer Ari, where he finished at 6-under 210 (69-70-71). He also went 3-0 at the Del Walker Match Play. He is fourth on the team with a 72.40 stroke average and has three rounds in the 60s.
Junior Martin Trainer
, the 2011 Pac-10 Championships individual champion and an All-Pac-10 first teamer in 2011, is coming off his top effort of the year, a tie for third at the San Diego Intercollegiate at even 216 (70-77-69). He also tied for 20th at the Gifford Collegiate.
Junior Sam Smith, also All-Pac-10 second team last year, is third on the team with a stroke average of 72.25. He 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).
Sophomore Ramsey Sahyoun has a pair of top 20 finishes, tying for 17th at the Gifford Collegiate and tying for 20th at the Amer Ari at 4-under 212 (69-72-71). He also went 3-0 at the Del Walker Match Play. Junior Stewart Hagestad rounds out the team, but he has not seen any action this season.
USC only played in three fall events after severe weather forced the Trojans to withdraw (along with the majority of the field) from its season-opener, the 2011 Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational. The Trojans have since added the Barona Collegiate Cup, March 22-23.
USC, which will serve as the NCAA Championships host in 2012 at the famed Riviera Country Club in Palisades, Calif., is guided by sixth-year head coach Chris Zambri. Zambri has directed the Trojans into the NCAA Championships final each of his first five years and has guided USC to a pair of Pac-10 titles.
Troy won twice last season, claiming the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in addition to the conference crown, and also posted a pair of second-place finishes. Trainer's Pac-10 title was its only individual victory.
2011-12 Event Recaps
2011 The Prestige At PGA West, Oct. 9-11
Sophomore Ramsey Sahyoun turned in his second-highest finish as a Trojan to lead the USC men's golf team at The Prestige at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The Trojans, playing in their first event of the year after the season-open was rained out, finished 10th at 3-under 861 (289-285-286), 29 strokes behind first-place Oregon (832) in the 16-team field. Washington took second (834) while Stanford was third (840).
Playing individually, freshman Anthony Paolucci was actually USC's top finisher in his debut event in the Cardinal and Gold, tying for 17th at 5-under 211 (74-71-66). His final round, beginning on the 10th hole in the shotgun start, included a 3-under front 9 and a 3-under back 9 with seven birdies overall. Sahyoun tied for 24th at 3-under 213 (73-70-70).
2011 U.S, Collegiate Championship, Oct. 23-25
The USC men's golf team spent the better part of three rounds battling for first at the 2011 U.S. Collegiate Championship before struggling over the final stretch, ultimately finishing seventh at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga. The leaders after the first round and tied for third after the second, USC was unable to maintain the momentum and finished seventh at 7-over 871 (282-288-301). UCLA took first at 12-under 852 while Washington and Auburn tied for second at 9-under 855.
Senior Steve Lim was USC's highest finisher, tying for 13th at 1-under 215 (66-73-76). He had four bogeys during his final round and 14 pars. Freshman Anthony Paolucci tied for 31st at 4-over 220 (71-71-81).
2011 Gifford Collegiate Championship, Oct. 31-Nov. 2
Senior Steve Lim fired a final-round 69 to not only lead the USC men's golf team to its first title this season but also claim his first collegiate title at the 2011 Gifford Collegiate at the CordeValle G.C. in San Martin, Calif. ... The Trojans built a 12-stroke lead after the second round and put the cushion to good use, holding off UCLA for the win at 8-under 1057 (345-352-360), four shots better than the second-place Bruins' 1061 (348-361-352). Lim, USC's active leader in rounds in the 60s, put together one of USC's top tournaments in recent memory to win at 11-under 202 (66-67-69). Though he bogeyed his final two holes to take some off the gloss off a 4-under start, Lim was still able to hold off UCLA All-American Patrick Cantlay, who finished at 10-under 203 (63-70-70).
2012 Amer Ari at Waikoloa Beach, Feb. 1-3
Sophomore Jeffrey Kang won a one-hole playoff to claim his first collegiate title and helped lead the No. 11 USC men's golf team to second-place at the 22nd annual Amer Ari at Waikoloa (Hi.) Beach. USC began the day in third place, four strokes back of Texas. The Trojans maintained striking distance with Texas throughout the final round but couldn't catch the Longhorns, who won at 30-under 834. USC took second at 25-under 839 (276-285-278) while Stanford was third at 20-under 844. Kang finished at 11-under 205 (67-69-69), tied with Texas's Jordan Spieth. On the first playoff hole, Kang carded a par for the title. His final round featured four birdies with only a bogey on 16. His win marked his second straight top 6 finish and the fifth top 6 result of his career.
2012 San Diego Intercollegiate, Feb. 13-14
Senior Steve Lim and junior Martin Trainer tied for third and led the No. 4 USC men's golf team to second place - its third top 2 finish in a row - at the 2012 San Diego Intercollegiate at the San Diego C.C. in Chula Vista, Calif. The Trojans battled second-round leader Washington throughout the final round and finished at 13-over 877 (288-299-290), seven back of the winning Huskies (870). It was USC's second straight second-place finish in two spring events. USC also won its final fall event.
Trainer, the 2011 Pac-10 champion, registered his first top 10 finish this season at even 216 (70-77-69) and did so with some flair, using four consecutive birdies late in his round for a 3-under day. Lim, a winner in the fall, collected his third top 13 finish with a steady 216 (72-71-73).
2012 Del Walker Match Play Championship , Feb. 27-28
Sophomore Ramsey Sahyoun and freshman Anthony Paolucci each went 3-0 individually, but USC finished 1-2 in the 2012 Del Walker Match Play Championship in Long Beach, Calif., losing its two matches due to tiebreakers. USC tied Oregon State in the first match, 2-2-1, but fell to the consolation bracket due to a tiebreaker. The Trojans downed the host 49ers, 3-2, and then dropped its match to Oregon on another tiebreaker after the 2-2-1 tie.