May 24, 2012
The No. 5 USC men's golf team, the 2011 Pac-10 champion and the 2012 Ann Arbor Regional winner coming off top 5 finishes in eight of the past nine stroke play events, will vie for its first NCAA team title and play host at the same time Tuesday through Sunday (May 29-June 3) at Riviera C.C. in Pacific Palisades.
Thirty teams and six individual entries will tee off Tuesday on the par 71, 7,292 yard course beginning at 7 a.m. PT for the first of three days of stroke play. The top eight teams after 54 holes will advance to a three-day match play tournament for the NCAA title. Individual medalist honors will go to the top finisher after the initial 54 holes.
USC will begin first-round play Tuesday with UCLA and Auburn off the first tee at 12:40 p.m. It will join the same group Wednesday beginning at 7:20 a.m. off the 10th tee. Thursday's pairings and tee times will be determined after play Wednesday.
Click here for pairings and tee times for Monday's practice round and the first two rounds Tuesday and Wednesday.
Links to Live streaming coverage. Each link will be active when coverage begins that day.
Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday
Click here for live stats at NCAA.com, click here for the NCAA's host site and click here for ticket and parking information.
(There will be no spectator parking at Riviera C.C. All spectator parking for the event will be at Paul Revere Middle School with shuttles running two hours before play begins each day and lasting two hours after play concludes. Click here for a detailed parking map.)
The only other time USC hosted the NCAA Championships was in 1988 at North Ranch C.C. in Westlake Village, Calif. The Trojans were such nice hosts, their cross-town rival Bruins came away with the team title with a 1,176. UTEP, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State tied for second (1,179). USC finished 13th.
Riviera, considered one of the most classic golf courses in the country since it opened for play in 1927, has hosted the 1998 U.S. Senior Open, the 1995 and 1983 PGA Championships and the 1948 U.S. Open, which was the first time the U.S. Open was played west of the Rockies. The Club began hosting the Los Angeles Open in 1929, which quickly became one of the top annual tournaments on the schedule (although it was also hosted by other Los Angeles courses). Nissan became a title sponsor in 1987 and in 2008 the event was reincarnated as the Northern Trust Open. A home to some of professional golf's top events, the 2012 NCAA Championships will mark the first time Riviera has hosted an amateur event.
USC AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
USC is making its 53rd team trip to the NCAA final (third most behind Oklahoma State's 65 and UTEP's 57) and its sixth trip in a row under sixth-year head coach Chris Zambri. With the Cowboys failing to qualify for the final and ending their amazing consecutive streak of NCAA finals at 65, USC is now tied for third with Texas for the longest active streak at six. Florida is the current leader at 12 with UCLA at 10 ... The Trojans are still after the program's first NCAA title ... USC tied for 12th in 2011 and was 15th in 2010. In 2009, USC rallied from a rough start to tie for third in stroke play (led by Tom Glissmeyer, who tied for third) and reach the eight-team match play finale. The Trojans fell in the quarterfinals to Michigan, 3-2 ... USC's highest finish at an NCAA Championship final is third, something the Trojans did most recently in 2008, when they finished just two strokes out of first. That was Troy's top result since a third in 1975. The Trojans' most recent top 10 finish prior to 2008 came in 2005, when they took sixth ... Troy boasts four NCAA individual title winners. Scott Simpson won back-to-back NCAA crowns in 1976 and 1977 and Ron Commans did it in 1981. A long drought ended in 2007 when then-freshman Jamie Lovemark came from behind to win the individual title ... After failing to advance as a team in 2006 (though Taylor Wood qualified individually and tied for 27th), USC returned to the NCAA Championships final in 2007. Though USC was cut after three rounds, Lovemark's score, however, allowed him to continue as an individual entry, setting himself up for his final-round run to the title.
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 was recently named an All-Pac-12 first teamer after two years as an All-Pac-10 second teamer. He is ranked No. 24 in the nation by Golfweek.com, leads the squad with his 71.58 stroke average and his seven rounds in the 60s are tied for third. Lim, who has two top 3 finishes and six 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) as well as at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at 3-over 2-under 211 (72-70-69) and tied for 14th at the Barona Collegiate Cup at 5-under 211 (70-73-68).
Sophomore Jeffrey Kang, named a Pac-12 10 second teamer for the second year in a row and ranked No. 37, 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 is second on the team with a 71.71 stroke average while leading the team lead with nine rounds in the 60s and he has five top 10 finishes and six in the top 12. He is coming off a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at 4-under 209 (75-67-67). He 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) and took 12th at the Pac-12 Championships at 3-under 285 (73-70-71-70).
Junior Sam Smith, ranked No. 51st and named to the conference honorable mention team for the second year in a row, is third on the team with a stroke average of 71.79 and is tied for second on the team with eight rounds in the 60s. He has three top 10 finishes and five in the top 20. He posted a career-best tie for second at the U.S. Intercollegiate with a 1-under 209 (70-69-70) and then led USC at the Pac-12 Championships with a tie for third at 9-under 279 (77-68-67-67). He followed that with a tie for 17th at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at 1-under 212 (75-68-69). 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).
Junior Martin Trainer, the 2011 Pac-10 Championships individual champion and an All-Pac-10 first teamer in 2011 and a 2012 Pac-12 honorable mention pick, has posted three top 17 finishes in three of his past five events and has five top 20 finishes overall. Ranked No. 94, 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), tied for 17th at the Pac-12 Championships at 1-over 289 (74-74-71-70) and tied for 20th at the Gifford Collegiate. His seven rounds in the 60s are tied for third best.
Freshman Anthony Paolucci, the nation's No. 1 recruit last year, earned 2012 All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors and is tied for second on the team with eight rounds in the 60s. Ranked No. 78, he has five 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 ties for 13th at both the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at 2-under 211 (67-69-75) and 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 also tied for 21st at the Pac-12 Championships at 3-over 291 (70-72-75-74).
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).
2012 Pac-12 Championships, April 27-29
Junior Sam Smith tied for third and led No. 5 USC to the low round of the day as the Trojans finished strong, taking third at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships at the Trysting Tree G.C. in Corvallis, Ore. Down 14 strokes to start the day, defending conference champion USC finished just four back at 8-under 1432 (368-356-356-353) of Cal and Oregon, which tied at the end of regulation at 12-under 1426. Cal won the team title on the second playoff. Smith set a season-best Saturday with a 67 and matched the effort Sunday to finish 9-under 279 (77-68-67-67) for his second top 3 finish in the last three outings and his third top 10 finish this season. He was four shots out of first. Smith birdied seven times Sunday, including during a 4-under front 9 that included a stretch of four birdies over five holes. Sophomore Jeffrey Kang finished 12th at 3-under 285 (73-70-71-71), completing a steady tournament. He birdied 5 and 14 with a bogey on 15 Sunday. His finish was his fifth top 12 this year. Junior Martin Trainer, the defending conference individual champion, tied for 17th at 1-over 289 (74-74-71-70). He opened his final round at 2-over through 10 holes but finished 4-under the rest of the way to secure his fifth top 20 finish this year. Senior Steve Lim tied for 21st at 3-over 291 (74-72-72-73) along with Anthony Paolucci (70-72-75-74). Sophomore Ramsey Sahyoun tied for 43rd at 12-over 300 (78-76-75-71) after improving his score for the third day in a row.
2012 NCAA Ann Arbor Regional, April 27-29
Sophomore Jeffrey Kang carded his second consecutive 67 while senior Steve Lim and junior Sam Smith each fired 69s to lead the No. 5 USC men's golf squad to victory at the 2012 NCAA Ann Arbor (Mich.) Regional at the Michigan G.C. and earn a spot in the upcoming Trojan-hosted NCAA Championships. Troy began the day with a one stroke lead over Oregon, Kent State and TCU and held them all off to win at 11-under 841 (289-272-280), turning in a 4-under final round. Oregon took second (842), matching USC's final round, while Kent State was third (844), Virginia fourth (846) and TCU fifth (849). USC's win was its second this season and its eighth top 4 finish. Kang led four Trojans in the top 20 with a 10th-place finish at 4-under 209 (75-67-67) for his fifth top 10 mark this year and sixth in the top 12. He was 3-under during the front 9 and 1-under on the back, knocking in eight birdies on the day. Lim (72-70-69) and freshman Anthony Paolucci (67-69-75) tied for 13th at 2-under 211. Lim's final round included three birdies and an eagle on the par 5 11th hole. Paolucci didn't have a final-round birdie, but his strong first and second rounds helped him to his fifth top 17 finish this season.