Men's Golf
    No. 11 USC Set For Pac-12 Championships At L.A. C.C.

    Senior Sam Smith

    April 26, 2013

    The No. 11 USC men's golf team, two-time winners this year, begins the postseason at the 2013 Pac-12 Championships at the L.A. C.C., Monday through Wednesday (April 29-May 1).

    Golfers will play two rounds on the par 70, 7,236-yard course beginning at 8 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 followed by the second round teeing off at 1 p.m. Action on Tuesday and Wednesday begins at 8 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 as well. Each team will feature six players with the top five scores counting each round.

    California enters as the No. 1 ranked team in the country and is joined in the top 25 by No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 Washington, No. 8 Stanford and No. 11 USC.

    Click here for the Pac-12's full championship release.
    Live results for this year's event can be found here.

    The Trojans have won conference titles a Pac-12-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 ... USC finished third in 2012. 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 60 points to clinch.

    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 (71.74), rounds in the 60s (six, tied) and top 10 finishes (four), including a win at the North Ranch Intercollegiate, his first collegiate title ... Senior Sam Smith fired a career-best 65 at the North Ranch Intercollegiate and has a team-best six top 17 results this year. He is second on the squad in stroke average (72.30) and has been USC's top finisher the best three events ... Sophomore Anthony Paolucci is third on the squad with a 72.37 stroke average and hasn't had a round higher than 76 this year. 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 fourth on the team with a stroke average of 73.00 and has four top 15 finishes ... Junior Ramsey Sahyoun has been reliable with four top 26 finishes this season and with at least two counter rounds in all but two events.

    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.

    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). Smith led USC at both the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and the U.S. Intercollegiate with ties for 16th. He then led USC at the Western Intercollegiate with a tie for 12.