No. 14 USC Set For Pac-12 Preview To Open Season
Oct. 5, 2012
The USC men's golf team, ranked No. 14th and coming off of sixth straight NCAA Championships final appearance last season, will open the 2012-13 season at the Pac-12 Preview at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club's Witch Hollow Course in North Plains, Ore., Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 8-9).
The field will contain all 12 Pac-12 teams, hosted by Oregon. The teams will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday, beginning at 8:21 a.m. both days. Live results will be available at Golfstat.com.
USC returns five players from last year's squad and welcomes three newcomers. The squad will be 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 is ready to make a big leap in the 2012-13 season. Also back is junior Ramsey Sahyoun, a 2012 Pac-12 All-Academic honoree and reserve Stewart Hagestad.
In Oregon this weekend, Chang will make his debut with veterans Kang, Smith, Paolucci and Sahyoun.
Kang tied for second on the team in stroke average (72.00) last year with a team-high-tying nine rounds in the 60s, earning Pac-12 second team honors for the second year in a row in addition to his All-American nod. He 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. He had five top 10 finishes and six in the top 12.
Smith tied Kang for second on the team in stroke average last year (72.00) and with his team-high tying nine rounds in the 60s. He had 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).
Paolucci was third on the team last year with eight rounds in the 60s and was fifth in stroke average (72.92). He had 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 and tied for 13th at both the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at 2-under 211 (67-69-75).
Sahyoun, had a pair of top 20 finishes last year, 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 had two other top 25 marks.