Lovemark, Hie Lead USC To Lead At Pac-10 Championships

April 23, 2007

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Freshman Jamie Lovemark is 9-under after two rounds while freshman teammate Rory Hie is 5-under, pacing four Trojans who are under par through the first 36 holes and establishing an eight-shot team lead on Monday (April 23), halfway through the 2007 Pac-10 Championships at the Eugene (Ore.) C.C.

USC, ranked No. 5 in the latest Golfword.com poll, posted rounds of 358 (-2) and 342 (-16) for a two-round 700 (-18). UCLA is in second (355-353, 708) while Stanford is in third (356-364, 720). The Pac-10 Championships, unlike most tournaments, features six-player teams with the low five scores counting toward each 18-hole round.

'I think we got off to somewhat of a slow start, but we were able to get it together,' first-year USC head coach Chris Zambri said. 'I think we have a good team and I'm not totally surprised they played this well.

'Rory has been playing great all spring. He's just such a good ball striker that he can shoot 5-under and not make a lot of putts.'

Lovemark is in first after a two-round 135 (-9). He opened play with a first-round 3-under 69 that featured three birdies. He followed it with a 6-under 66, going, 3-under on the front and back 9s, good for his 13th and 14th rounds in the 60s this season. The 66 tied for his second lowest round of the season.

'I feel really good about both rounds,' Lovemark said. 'It was very important to take advantage of the weather. The birdies were plentiful and tomorrow it might not be the case.

'This was the first time [second round] all year where we all played really well.'

Hie is tied for second, four shots behind Lovemark with a 36-hole 139 (-5). He opened play with a par 72 that included three birdies and three bogeys, then followed it with a season-low tying 67. The second round included a 4-under on the front 9 for his 10th sub-70 round of the season. Hie is tied with Arizona State's Niklas Lemke.

'I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities and made some putts,' Hie said. 'Everything worked pretty well today. It was pretty nice to see everyone play well in the second round.'

The Trojans, aiming for their Pac-10 best 18th conference title and first since back-to-back wins in 2001 and 2002, also got 36-hole 1-under performances from seniors Joshua Wooding and Jordan Nasser and sophomore Tom Glissmeyer that left them tied four 10th at 143.

Wooding posted rounds of 74 (+2) and 69 (-3), the latter round including five birdies and an eagle and a 4-under performance on the back 9. His eagle came on the par 5, 525-yard 13th hole.

Nasser turned in a 73 (+1) and a 70 (-2). Nasser, like his senior teammate, was hot in the second round, posting six birdies overall and three on a 3-under back 9. Glissmeyer, like Nasser, posted a 73 and a 70, turning in 1-under front and back 9s.

Sophomore Ryan Linton rounded out USC's contingent. His first round 1-under 71 counted toward USC's first-round total while he finished the second round with a 76 for a two-round 147 (+3), tied for 34th. His first round was an even affair with two birdies while his second round included a 1-under on the back 9.

The championships continue Tuesday and Wednesday with action starting at 8 a.m.

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