Trojans Extend Lead At Day Two Of Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship

April 24, 2007

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EUGENE, Ore. - The considerable leads both Jamie Lovemark and USC held heading into the third round of play at the Pac-10 Conference men's golf championship grew even larger on Tuesday.

Lovemark, the fifth-ranked Trojan freshman, shot another bogey-free round with a 5-under-par 67 to move to 14-under for the tournament being played on the Eugene Country Club's par-72, 7,033-yard course.

Lovemark has a five-stroke lead over UCLA's Daniel Im, the defending conference champion, and fourth-ranked Niklas Lemke of Arizona. Both are at 9-under.

Meanwhile, USC has essentially locked up its 18th championship crown, and first since 2002, with a 23-stroke advantage over the Bruins.

The Trojans are at 35-under and have five individuals in the top 11. Josh Wooding, who posted the lowest round in the field on Tuesday with a 66, is fourth at 7-under. Rory Hie and Jordan Nasser are tied for seventh at 3-under, and Tom Gissmeyer is tied for 11th at 2-under.

The Bruins are at 12-under, while Arizona State is in third place at 4-under. Stanford, ranked No. 2 in the country, is in fourth at plus-1.

'I'm definitely surprised that we're this far ahead of some of the teams,' USC coach Chris Zambri said.

'Stanford definitely had a better year up until now...but I do think we're good enough to do something like this.'

And it all started with Lovemark, who hasn't made a bogey through the first 54 holes of the tournament.

Lovemark made five birdies on Tuesday -- all between the 5th and 13th holes -- to give him 14 for the tournament.

'I got off to a pretty good start and once again didn't make any mistakes today which is key when you're trying to shoot a good number,' Lovemark said.

'I was waiting for my tee-shot on 12 and he made his putt on 11 to go 5-under, and I was like 'This guy is pretty good,' ' Im said. 'But he's human, he has to make par somewhere.'

Im had a solid round on Tuesday as well, getting three birdies on the back-nine to pull even with Lemke.

'I had a pretty solid round,' Im said. 'In my mind I could have done a lot better. I missed some close shots and didn't make any putts.'

Lemke started the day tied for second place with Hie at 5-under, but the 2006 Pac-10 runner-up shot a 4-under 68 to separate himself.

'I made a little run,' said Lemke, a senior. 'I knew Jamie played well yesterday and I had to do something today to have a chance tomorrow.'

Lemke, the Pac-10's highest-ranked individual, was at plus-1 through the first five holes on Tuesday. But he birdied the par-5 sixth hole and the par-5 eighth to make the turn at 6-under overall.

He then birdied both par-5s on the back nine and added another on the par-4 17th.

'Today was a little better,' Lemke said. 'Yesterday I hit the ball terrible all day long. Today I hit a couple of fairways. It was a little bit easier. Yesterday was a struggle all day.'

Now Lemke will attempt to catch Lovemark in the final round.

'You pretty much just have to keep doing what you're doing and follow your strategy or your game plan,' Lemke said. 'It's all about making the putts in the end. You just have to keep on grinding out there.'

Wednesday's final round begins at 8 a.m.

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