Senior Smith, coming off his first career first, leads USC into the 2013 NCAA Men's Golf Championships.
May 25, 2013
The No. 13 USC men's golf team, two-time winners this year and gunning for its first NCAA team title, is off to the 2013 NCAA Men's Golf Championship, Tuesday through Saturday (May 28-June 2), at the Capital City Club/Crabapple Course in Atlanta, hosted by Georgia Tech.
Thirty teams and six individual entries will tee off Tuesday on the par 70, 7,320-yard course beginning at 7 a.m. ET 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.
for Georgia Tech's home site for the NCAA Championships.
for the NCAA's championship site.
for live results at Golfstat.com
Live web streaming coverage will be available at NCAA.com
for the final round of stroke play on May 30 between 3-8 p.m. ET. Coverage will also be available for the three days of match play between May 31-June 2, beginning at 1:15 p.m. ET.
USC hosted the NCAA Championships in 2012 at Riviera C.C. in Palisades, Calif. Texas defeated Alabama in the final round of match play to take the title.
USC AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
USC is making its 54th team trip to the NCAA final (third most behind Oklahoma State's 66 and UTEP's 57) and its seventh trip in a row under seventh-year head coach Chris Zambri. USC is tied for third with Texas for the longest active streak at seven. 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 15th last year, 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 2013 TROJANS
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
* Senior Sam Smith set the USC record for lowest score over two consecutive rounds when he opened the 2013 NCAA Pullman Regional with a 62 and a 64, going to 18-under after 36 holes. Though he carded a 76 in the final round, he was still able to snare a share of his first career title at 14-under 202.
* Smith's 62 tied the school record for low round, held by Rory Hie, who did it twice during the 2008 season. Earlier in the season, Smith fired a then-career best 65 en route to fourth at the North Ranch Intercollegiate.
* Smith, in the midst of his top season as a Trojan, has led USC in its last five outings and boasts a team-best stroke average of 71.85 and a team-best nine top 20 rounds, including six in a row. Smith's seven rounds in the 60s are second best.
* Freshman Yi Keun Chang leads the Trojans in rounds in the 60s with eight and is second in stroke average (72.03) and first in top 10 finishes (four), including a win at the North Ranch Intercollegiate, his first collegiate title. He has seven top 20 results.
* Sophomore Anthony Paolucci is second on the team with three top 10 finishes (he has five in the top 20) and is third on the squad with a 72.44 stroke average and has had just one round higher than 76 this year. He has led USC three times this year.
* Junior Jeffrey Kang is fourth on the team with a stroke average of 73.65 and has four top 15 finishes.
* Senior Stewart Hagestad has come on of late and was USC's third-highest finisher at the 2013 Pac-12 Championships (tying for 29th) and at the NCAA Pullman Regional (tying for 23rd). Hagestad's appearance at the 2013 NCAA Regional was his first. He has also never played in an NCAA final.
* Junior Ramsey Sahyoun has been solid this year with four top 26 finishes.
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).
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.
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. bested Troy for a fourth event in a row with a tie for 17th at the Pac-12 Championships and then made it five in a row with his share of first at the NCAA Pullman Regional.