USC hangs with Pac-10 foes in Tempe

first_imgPlaying on one of the toughest fields in the country in hot and dry desert conditions, the No. 10 USC men’s golf team finished in third place at this week’s Pac-10 championships in Tempe, Ariz.Consistent · Junior Matthew Giles finished the Pac-10 tournament at 8-under-par, good enough to finish in a tie for 10th place. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information The Trojans closed with a strong final round of four under par Wednesday, helping them jump up two places on the leader board after entering the day in fifth.USC, which ended the week at 24 under-par, finished well back of newly crowned Pac-10 champion                     No. 4 Washington (-37) and runner up No. 3 Stanford (-34).“It’s kind of a similar story to the last few events,” junior Matthew Giles said. “Close [to winning] but just not quite there right now. But it’s coming around.”Eric Mina of California won the individual Pac-10 championship with a four round total of 16 under par.Giles led the Trojans, shooting a consistent 68-70-70-68 to finish the tournament at eight under par, good for a tie for 10th place.“I played pretty solidly all week and hit the ball quite well,” Giles said.Freshman T.J. Vogel had a great start to the tournament, sitting in fifth place after his opening three rounds of 65-70-67. Vogel struggled in Wednesday’s final round, however, shooting 78 and falling into a tie for 16th at 4 under par.“He played great leading up to today,” USC coach Chris Zambri said. “He got off to a rough start today and couldn’t recover. But he’ll bounce back. He’s too good not to.”Freshman Sam Smith, playing in his first tournament for USC in nearly two months, performed well, carding 68-74-71-69 to finish tied for 20th at two under par.“He put up some good rounds for us,” Giles said. “Especially today, when we really needed it.”Sophomore Steve Lim finished one shot behind Smith, shooting 69-69-73-72 and putting him in a tie for 26th.Freshman Martin Trainer shot 70-66-78-70 to finish at even par for the tournament and tied for 28th place.“It was perfect scoring conditions,” Trainer said of the course and the weather. “I’m hitting the ball so much better than I’m scoring right now. I really should be doing a lot better.”Stewart Hagestad, the fourth freshman competing for a young USC squad at the tournament, struggled with his game and shot 74-81-75-72 to finish in 59th place at 18-over-par.USC will tee it up next in one of six NCAA Regional Championships to be held May 20 to 22.If they finish among the top five teams in their region, the Trojans will play for the national championship June 1 to 6 in Chattanooga, Tenn.“We just need to be more consistent,” Trainer said. “We have the game to be the best team in the country.”Last season, USC lost to Michigan in the quarterfinals of match play at the NCAA championship.“We probably haven’t been good enough to win a bunch of times,” Zambri said about his team this season. “But we have two of the biggest and best events left, and we’re getting better all the time, so we’ve got a chance to win a national title still.”last_img

first_imgPlaying on one of the toughest fields in the country in hot and dry desert conditions, the No. 10 USC men’s golf team finished in third place at this week’s Pac-10 championships in Tempe, Ariz.Consistent · Junior Matthew Giles finished the Pac-10 tournament at 8-under-par, good enough to finish in a tie for 10th place. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information The Trojans closed with a strong final round of four under par Wednesday, helping them jump up two places on the leader board after entering the day in fifth.USC, which ended the week at 24 under-par, finished well back of newly crowned Pac-10 champion                     No. 4 Washington (-37) and runner up No. 3 Stanford (-34).“It’s kind of a similar story to the last few events,” junior Matthew Giles said. “Close [to winning] but just not quite there right now. But it’s coming around.”Eric Mina of California won the individual Pac-10 championship with a four round total of 16 under par.Giles led the Trojans, shooting a consistent 68-70-70-68 to finish the tournament at eight under par, good for a tie for 10th place.“I played pretty solidly all week and hit the ball quite well,” Giles said.Freshman T.J. Vogel had a great start to the tournament, sitting in fifth place after his opening three rounds of 65-70-67. Vogel struggled in Wednesday’s final round, however, shooting 78 and falling into a tie for 16th at 4 under par.“He played great leading up to today,” USC coach Chris Zambri said. “He got off to a rough start today and couldn’t recover. But he’ll bounce back. He’s too good not to.”Freshman Sam Smith, playing in his first tournament for USC in nearly two months, performed well, carding 68-74-71-69 to finish tied for 20th at two under par.“He put up some good rounds for us,” Giles said. “Especially today, when we really needed it.”Sophomore Steve Lim finished one shot behind Smith, shooting 69-69-73-72 and putting him in a tie for 26th.Freshman Martin Trainer shot 70-66-78-70 to finish at even par for the tournament and tied for 28th place.“It was perfect scoring conditions,” Trainer said of the course and the weather. “I’m hitting the ball so much better than I’m scoring right now. I really should be doing a lot better.”Stewart Hagestad, the fourth freshman competing for a young USC squad at the tournament, struggled with his game and shot 74-81-75-72 to finish in 59th place at 18-over-par.USC will tee it up next in one of six NCAA Regional Championships to be held May 20 to 22.If they finish among the top five teams in their region, the Trojans will play for the national championship June 1 to 6 in Chattanooga, Tenn.“We just need to be more consistent,” Trainer said. “We have the game to be the best team in the country.”Last season, USC lost to Michigan in the quarterfinals of match play at the NCAA championship.“We probably haven’t been good enough to win a bunch of times,” Zambri said about his team this season. “But we have two of the biggest and best events left, and we’re getting better all the time, so we’ve got a chance to win a national title still.”last_img

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