USC Men's Golf Opens Season at Southwestern Intercollegiate|
Sept. 5, 2014
The USC men's golf team, led by sophomore Rico Hoey, a 2014 freshman All-American, begins the 2014-15 season by co-hosting with Pepperdine the Southwestern Intercollegiate, Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 8-9), at the North Ranch C.C. in Westlake Village, Calif.
The Trojans, under ninth-year head coach Chris Zambri, and the Waves will compete in a 12-team field that also includes Arizona, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Hartford, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, San Diego State, Stanford, UC Davis and Washington State. The course is par 71, 6,964 yards.
Monday's 36 holes begins with tee times off 1 and 10 at 8 a.m. Tuesday's final round begins the same way. Results will be available at Golfstat.com.
USC returns three starters from last year's squad that made its eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship final round (tied for second longest active streak nationally), including Hoey and returning seniors Paul Smith and Eric Sugimoto.
Hoey put together one of the top seasons in Trojan golf history as a 2014 freshman, leading USC in stroke average (71.36), top 10 finishes (eight), rounds in the 60s (16), birdies (165) and eagles (eight) en route to 2014 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, All-Pac-12 first team and GCAA All-West Region honors. A 2014 Palmer Cup pick, Hoey's 16 rounds in the 60s and his 26 rounds of par or better were the most since Jamie Lovemark's 20 and 27, respectively, during his 2007 freshman season. Hoey's eight top 10s were actually all top 7 or better, including six in the top.
Smith had five top 20 finishes last season, including a tie for seventh at the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational. He has three rounds in the 60s, each coming in final rounds, and was fifth on the team with a 73.44 stroke average.
Sugimoto joined the Trojans in spring and was third on the team in stroke average (72.96) while posting a pair of top 10 finishes.
Also back and looking for increased roles are junior Bobby Gojuangco and sophomores Khaled Attieh and Danny Ochoa. Bolstering the lineup as well are a trio of freshmen in Sean Crocker, Jonah Texeira and Bakari Bolden.
Key losses from last year included departed senior and former All-American Jeffrey Kang, senior and frequent starter Ramsey Sahyoun and departed junior Anthony Paolucci, who left school a year early to pursue a professional career.