USC, Lovemark Win Pac-10 Titles
April 25, 2007
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USC won its Pac-10 best 18th conference championship, freshman Jamie Lovemark became Troy's 20th conference individual title winner and senior Joshua Wooding and freshman Rory Hie finished third and fourth, respectively, as the Trojans ran away from the field on the final day of the 2007 Pac-10 Championships at the Eugene (Ore.) C.C., on Wednesday (April 25).
USC, under first-year coach Chris Zambri and ranked No. 5 in the latest Golfword.com poll, put together another dominating effort in the final round, combining to fire a 16-under 344 for a 72-hole, 51-under 1389 (358-342-345-344). USC's 1389 was its lowest 72-hole total ever at the Pac-10 Championships and was just five strokes off the conference record of 1384, set by Arizona State in 2000.
UCLA was second at 1425 (-15) and was followed by Arizona State (1433, -7), Stanford (1436, -4), Washington (1453, +13), Arizona (1457, +17), Oregon State (1458, +18), Oregon (1464, +24), California (1468, +28) and Washington State (1484, +44). The Pac-10 Championships, unlike most tournaments, features six-player teams with the low five scores counting toward each 18-hole round.
USC's 36-stroke margin of victory was the biggest Pac-10 title victory since the Sun Devils' 37-shot win in 2000. The team title is USC's first since winning back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002.
Lovemark is USC's first Pac-10 winner since Sam Randolph in in 1983, though Randolph tied for first that year. USC's last outright champion came in 1976 when Scott Simpson won the conference's southern division title.
Lovemark's final round 67 was his fourth straight sub-70 effort of the event for a 19-under 72-hole 269. It marked the biggest individual margin of victory since UCLA's John Merrick's 10-stroke win in 2003 and was the lowest 72-hole finish since Arizona's Ricky Barnes won the 2001 Pac-10 title with a 268. It was also the most under par at the Pac-10 Championships since Sun Devil Paul Casey's 23-under effort in 2000.
Without a bogey entering the final round, Lovemark showed he was human with hiccups on the 5th and 9th holes. But they were barely speed bumps on his road to the title. Lovemark went on to card seven birdies, including his fourth one on the 8th hole and the third on the 13th hole. He had five birdies on the back 9 without a bogey and finished with at least one birdie on 12 of the 18 holes during the four rounds of golf.
The title was Lovemark's third of the year and first since a tie for first at the Oregon Duck Invitational about four weeks ago on the same course. Arizona State's Niklas Lemke finished second (275, -13) with Wooding in third with a 10-under 278 (74-69-66-69) and Hie in fourth with a 9-under 279 (72-67-74-66).
Wooding's final-round 69 featured five birdies, including another on the par 5, 525-yard 13th hole, which he also birdied and eagled on Monday and birdied again on Tuesday. Wooding entered the championships with three rounds in the 60s this season and matched the total within the last 48 hours.
His third-place finish was the second best of his USC career, behind only a second place at the Inverness Intercollegiate at the start of the 2005-2006 season.
Hie moved up the leaderboard with a USC best 66 that included seven birdies, four on the front 9. He was 7-under until a bogey on the 17th hole, but still easily posted his 11th round in the 60s this season. Hie's fourth-place finish was his fourth top 6 finish in USC's last six tournaments.
Senior Jordan Nasser and sophomore Tom Glissmeyer tied for ninth at 3-under 285. For Nasser, it marked his second straight top 10 finish at the Pac-10 Championships after tying for 10th last year. Nasser (73-70-70-72) eagled the 8th hole (like Hie, he had three birdies and an eagle overall on the hole) and birdied the 12th during a solid final round. His finish was his best since last year's conference tournament.
Glissmeyer (73-70-71-71) posted his third straight sub-par round with a steady day that included birdies on the 2nd and 18th holes. His tie for ninth marked his fourth top 10 finish this season.
Sophomore Ryan Linton, in only his fourth tournament of the season, turned in his second straight top 20 finish with a tie for 19th at 1-over 289 (71-76-71-71). Despite finishing behind his Trojan teammates in the individual standings, three of Linton's four rounds counted towards USC's five-person tally during the championships. He had five birdies during his final round.
USC is next in action at the 2007 NCAA Championship Regionals, set for May 17-19.