Trojans Among Top 3 Heading Into Final Day At NCAA Championships

June 3, 2005


A rainy, sloppy day near the nation's capitol made conditions tough for the 30-team field at the 2005 NCAA Men's Golf Championships, but continued persistent play by sophomore Joshua Wooding and junior Taylor Wood helped keep USC among the leaders as the Trojans easily made the 15-team cut after the third day at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., on Friday (June 3).

USC, which was among the first to play in the heaviest showers of the day, moved from fourth to third place at the end of the third round with a three-day total of 875 (+35), 20 shots behind leader Georgia at 855 (+15). Georgia Tech is second at 864 (+24).

The Trojans, with 13 teams behind them separated by only eight strokes, are looking for their first top 10 finish since placing ninth in 1996. USC has finished as high as third six times, most recently in 1975. USC's most recent top 5 finish was fifth in 1995.

Wood led USC's squad, which started on the 10th hole again, with a 2-over-72 in a round that featured three birdies and nothing worse than a bogey. So far, all his rounds have been 72 or lower and he stands at 212 (+4). Wooding was 4-over on his first nine holes, but rallied over the final nine, going 1-under with a pair of birdies to finish at 3-over-73, leaving him tied with Wood.

The pair is tied for sixth overall and they are only five shots behind individual leader Michael Putnam of Pepperdine (207).

'We are further from the lead than we'd like, but it was a survival test today and Joshua and Taylor played phenomenal rounds, especially the last nine holes,' Director of Golf Kurt Schuette said. 'They really hung tough. Taylor birdied the sixth hole, which is the toughest hole on the course. We needed every shot.

'The guys kept battling. Even the guys who weren't playing as well hung in there. We look forward to the opportunity to be in the final pairing with the leaders and give it all we have and hopefully it's enough to challenge for the title.'

Senior Ben Hayes and junior Bradley Shaw both came in at 79 (+9) while junior Tyler Ley finished at 82 (+12). Shaw is now 223 (+13) for the tournament while Hayes is 228 (+18). Ley stands at 234 (+24).

The tournament concludes on Saturday (June 4). The Trojans will tee off with Georgia and Georgia Tech in the final pairing of the tournament.

Portions of this year's championships are being televised by The Golf Channel. The Golf Channel is broadcasting the final three days of the championships from 12 to 2 p.m. and will replay the broadcasts from 10 p.m. to midnight (PST).

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