Wooding, Lovemark Help USC To Commanding Lead At Pac-10 Championships

April 24, 2007

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Freshman Jamie Lovemark extended his individual lead, senior Joshua Wooding tied his second lowest collegiate round ever and three other Trojans are among the top 11 as USC's lead bulged to 23 strokes after the third round of the 2007 Pac-10 Championships at the Eugene (Ore.) C.C., on Tuesday (April 24).

USC, ranked No. 5 in the latest Golfword.com poll and seeking its Pac-10 best 18th conference crown and first since 2002, turned in the low score for the second straight round, a 345 (-15) that gave Troy a 54-hole 1045 (358-342-345, -35). UCLA was next closest at 1068 (-12) and was followed by Arizona State (1076, -4), Stanford (1081, +1), Washington (1083, +3), Arizona (1092, +12), California (1100, +20), Washington State (1100, +20), Oregon State (1101, +21) and Oregon (1102, +22). The Pac-10 Championships, unlike most tournaments, features six-player teams with the low five scores counting toward each 18-hole round.

'I thought today was just as impressive of a round as yesterday even though we shot three strokes worse today,' first-year USC head coach Chris Zambri said. 'It is hard to come off of a low round and put together another round like that. We've got to play just as if we were trailing by 10 strokes. There are some good teams chasing us.'

Lovemark, in a bid to become USC's 20th individual Pac-10 title winner but the first since Sam Randolph in 1983, carded a 5-under 67 for a three-day 14-under 202 (69-66-67). He did most of his damage between the 5th and 13th holes, knocking down five birdies in that stretch. Lovemark has yet to post anything worse than a par during the first three rounds. He has at least one birdie on 11 of the 18 holes, including three on the par 5, 485-yard 8th hole.

'I almost bogeyed No. 9, but I was able to get up and down. It's been a good run here,' Lovemark said. 'I know that everyone says it, but I just have to take it one shot at a time and not try to look ahead to the next hole. As long as I play how I know I can, I will win.'

Lovemark, whose 67 was his 15th sub-70 round this season, holds a five-stroke lead over Arizona State's Niklas Lemke and UCLA's Daniel Im (197) and a seven stroke lead over Wooding.

Wooding fired a third-round low 6-under 66 and has a three-day 7-under 209 (74-69-66). The senior turned in a flawless round with six birdies, three on each half of the course. He has been especially strong on the par 5, 525-yard 13th hole, which he birdied and eagled on Monday and birdied again on Tuesday. Wooding entered the championships with three rounds in the 60s this season and has added two more within a 24-hour span.

Senior Jordan Nasser and freshman Rory Hie are tied for seventh at 3-under, 213. Nasser (73-70-70) posted his second straight under-par round with a solid effort that included four birdies and a 2-under on the back 9.

Hie (72-67-74) started the day tied for second, four shots back of Lovemark, but five consecutive bogeys on the front 9 set him back. The freshman, however, steeled himself after the last bogey on the 7th hole. He was 3-under the rest of the way to stay in the top 10.

Sophomore Tom Glissmeyer is tied for 11th with a 2-under 214 (73-70-71). His third round featured four birdies and he was 1-under on the back 9.

Fellow sophomore Ryan Linton, in only his fourth tournament of the season, is tied for 22nd at 2-over 218 (71-76-71). Linton's round counted towards USC's five-person tally for the second time in three rounds. He had three birdies during a solid round, including two on the 16th and 17th holes.

The championships concludes Wednesday with action starting at 8 a.m.

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