No. 5 USC To Defend Conference Title This Week
Trojans looking for conference best 20th team win.
April 26, 2012
The No. 5 (Golfweek) USC men's golf team, the 2011 Pac-10 champion which has posted top 2 finishes in five of the past seven stroke play events, looks to defend last year's title at the first-ever 2012 Pac-12 Championships, Friday through Sunday (April 27-29), at the Trysting Tree G.C. in Corvallis, Ore.
Teams will play 36 holes on Friday and 18 each on Saturday and Sunday. Action begins at 8 a.m. on Friday and Sunday and at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Six players compete for each team with the top five scores per round counting. USC will tee off with Oregon and host Oregon State to begin the first day.
The Pac-12 field is as deep as any conference in the nation, featuring six teams in the top 12, including No. 3 UCLA, No. 5 USC, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Oregon, No. 8 California and No. 12 Washington.
for Oregon State's Pac-12 Championships page.
for the Pac-12 Men's Golf Championships home page.
for live results at Golfstat.com.
USC'S HISTORY AT THE PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Entering the first year of the Pac-12, the Trojans have won Pac-10 titles a conference-best 19 times, including a 2011 playoff win and a dominating 36-stroke win in 2007. USC came close in 2008 with back-to-back wins (like they did in 2001 and 2002), but fell in a playoff to ASU ... Troy claimed the crown 15 times between 1962 and 1986 ... USC boasts 21 individual champions, most recently Martin Trainer in 2011, who outlasted Oregon State's Alex Moore during a seven-hole playoff for the win. Jamie Lovemark won in 2007, which ended a drought that dated back to Sam Randolph's tie for first in 1983 ... USC has also earned eight Pac-10 Golfer of the Year honors, including Matt Giles in 2009, Lovemark's 2007 distinction and Kevin Stadler's in 2002.
Within the USC-UCLA Crosstown Gauntlet competition, the season-long battle between Trojans and Bruins in all sports, points for men's golf are awarded to the highest finisher between the rivals at the Pac-10 Championships. Five points are up for grabs for men's golf. The winning school needs 57.5 points to clinch.
THE 2012 TROJANS
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 three top 20 finishes each.
Senior Steve Lim, a two-time All-Pac-10 second teamer ranked No. 17 in the nation by Golfweek.com, leads the squad with his 71.54 stroke average and his six rounds in the 60s are tied for second. Lim, who has two top 3 finishes and five in the top 14, 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 and tied for 11th at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at 3-over 219 (75-70-74). He also tied for 13th at the U.S. Collegiate Championship at 1-under 215 (66-73-76) and tied for 14th at the Barona Collegiate Cup at 5-under 211 (70-73-68).
Sophomore Jeffrey Kang, another All-Pac-10 second teamer last year ranked No. 39, 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 72.11 stroke average while leading the team lead with seven 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) during a stretch of three top 8 finishes in a row. He tied for 10th at the U.S. Intercollegiate at 2-over 212 (70-70-72).
Junior Martin Trainer, the 2011 Pac-10 Championships individual champion and an All-Pac-10 first teamer in 2011, has posted three top 12 finishes in three of his past five events. He tied for third at the San Diego Intercollegiate at even 216 (70-77-69) and tied for ninth at 9-under 207 (71-68-68) at the Barona Collegiate Cup. He tied for 12th at the U.S. Intercollegiate at 3-over 213 (69-76-68) and tied for 20th at the Gifford Collegiate. His six rounds in the 60s are tied for second best.
Freshman Anthony Paolucci, the nation's No. 1 recruit last year, is off to a strong start to his career with four 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. Other strong efforts include a tie for 13th at the Gifford Collegiate at 3-over 216 (68-76-72), a tie for 14th at the U.S. Intercollegiate at 4-over 214 (70-76-68) and a tie for 17th at The Prestige at PGA West at 5-under 211 (74-71-66). He is fourth on the team with a 72.70 stroke average and has six rounds in the 60s.
Junior Sam Smith, also All-Pac-10 second team last year, is third on the team with a stroke average of 72.24. He posted a career-best tie for second at the U.S. Intercollegiate with a 1-under 209 (70-69-70). He also 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 and has two other top 25 marks.
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 added the Barona Collegiate Cup to make up for the missed rounds.
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.
2012 Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, March 9-11
Senior Steve Lim tied for 11th while sophomore Jeffrey Kang posted a team-best 73 to lead USC during the final round of the 2012 Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at the Southern Highlands G.C. in Las Vegas. The Trojans finished eighth at 31-over 895 (298-291-306). Lim posted his fourth top 13 finish this season at 3-over 219 (75-70-74). Starting on the 10th hole, he opened with 12 straight pars before a bogey on 4 and a birdie on 7. Only a double bogey on the final hole kept him out of the top 10.
2012 Barona Collegiate Cup, March 22-23
Senior Steve Lim and junior Martin Trainer each fired 4-under 68s to lead No. 6 USC as it almost came back from a double-digit deficit before finishing second at the 2012 Barona Collegiate Cup at the Barona Creek G.C. in Lakeside, Calif. The Trojans were some 10 strokes down when second-round play was halted due to darkness Tuesday night. They closed to within eight by the time the second round was completed and flirted with the lead before bowing to the host Aztecs, who won their fourth straight event. USC finished a combined 27-under 1053 (352-354-347), two back of San Diego State's 29-under 1051 (348-350-353) in the six-play, five-count format. USC's final round of 13-under 347 was best of the day, helping the Trojans secure their fourth top 2 finish in the past five events.
2012 U.S. Intercollegiate, March 30-April 1
Junior Sam Smith finished a career-best tied for second, sophomore Jeffrey Kang tied for 10th while junior Martin Trainer and freshman Anthony Paolucci each carded 68s as the Trojans shaved all but one stroke off a final-round eight-stroke deficit to finish second at the U.S. Intercollegiate at the Stanford (Calif.) G.C. USC finished at 2-over 842 (279-285-278), producing the best final round of the day to secure its fifth top 2 finish in their past six stroke play events. Oregon finished at 1-over 841 with a final round 285. Host Stanford took third at 9-over 849. Smith secured his second top 10 finish at 1-under 209 (70-69-79). He was 1-under on the front 9 with three birdies and two bogeys. He got to 2-under with an eagle on 16 before bogeying 17 and 18 to finish at par for the day. Kang's tie for 10th at 2-over 212 (70-70-72) was his fourth top 10 finish this year. He was 4-over on the front 9 and was still at 4-over through 14 before finishing with birdies on 15 and 17.
2012 Western Intercollegiate, April 14-15
Senior Steve Lim tied for 20th and sophomore Jeffrey Kang tied for 23rd to lead No. 3 USC on the final day of the 66th Annual Western Intercollegiate at the Pasatiempo G.C. in Santa Cruz, Calif. The Trojans, in their final regular season event, began and finished the day in fourth in the 14-team field. Troy combined for a final round 17-over 367 and wrapped up play at 39-over 1089 (358-364-367). Texas maintained its day one lead and won at 10-over 1060 with Stanford second (1064) and UCLA third (1067). Lim tied for 20th at 7-over 217 (75-70-72).