USC Golf: Trojans Behind the Eight-Ball at NCAA Championships


The 13th-ranked USC Men’s Golf program is off and running at the 2013 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, which take began Tuesday  at the Capital City Club in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Trojans have won two tournaments on the year and are looking to win their first golf national championship in school history, something that continues to frustrate head coach Chris Zambri.

Thirty teams and six individual entries teed off on the par 70, 7,320-yard course beginning at 7 a.m., with the pressure shining bright, following a rough 8o in the first round of action on Tuesday, the Trojans combined with a stronger 66-performance yesterday.

Freshman Yi Keun Chang fired a 4-under 66, while senior Stewart Hagestad carded a 1-under 69 leading the  Trojans strong performance on the second day of action at the NCAA Championships, pushing them up the leaderboard.

The Trojans began ended the day tied for 19th, but still have their work cut out for them. Following today’s action, only the top eight teams will advance to a three-day match play tournament for the NCAA title.

With a combined 9-over 569 (291-278) tally, the Trojans are nine back of eighth-place Texas A&M with 11 teams ahead of them for the final playoff spot. Individual medalist honors however, will go to the top finisher after the initial 54 holes which conclude today.

Heading into today’s action, the host school Georgia Tech holds the lead at 12-under 548, leading UC Berkeley by one stroke following the first three days of action. The defending national champion Texas is in third place, two strokes off the lead, while the runner-up Alabama sits fourth at nine-under par.

Here are some of the highlights from the Trojans work on the course in yesterday’s action:

  • Sophomore Anthony Paolucci, who led Troy with a 69 Tuesday, is tied for 37th at even 140 (69-71). He was 1-under on his front 9 and was at 2-under before a triple bogey on 6 derailed his momentum.
  • Senior Sam Smith is tied for 72nd at 3-over 143 (71-72). He got off to a slow start, going 4-over through his first seven holes, but found his groove in the final stretch shooting under par the rest of the way.
  • Junior Jeffrey Kang improved upon his first-round 83 with a second-round 75, but was not able to generate enough momentum to produce a scoring round because the tournament only takes the top performers from each school for its total scoring tally.

The Trojans will need to make up some ground this morning at the wonderful Capital City Club links in Atlanta Georgia. Here is the link to the NCAA coverage of the fourth and most crucial round before the start of playoffs at the Men’s Golf Championships.