Trojans Advance To NCAA Championships Final
May 19, 2007
Freshman Jamie Lovemark finished tied for second and for the second straight day led a quintet of Trojans who fared no worse than par as the No. 5 USC men's golf team qualified for the NCAA Championships final with a tie for third on the final day of the 2007 NCAA Championships West Regional on Saturday (May 19) at host Arizona State's Karsten G.C., in Phoenix.
Playing in its 37th consecutive NCAA Championships in weather that approached 100 degrees for the third day in a row, the Trojans began and finished their day tied for third with No. 19 Arizona State. Both the Trojans and Sun Devils carded combined 274s to finish at 40-under 824.
The top 10 teams from the West, Central and East NCAA Regionals advanced to the NCAA Championships final, set for May 30-June 2, at Golden Horseshoe G.C. in Williamsburg, Va. USC advances for the fourth time in the last five years (and sent Taylor Wood as an individual entry last season).
In a region that features every Pac-10 team but Washington State (which wasn't selected to the NCAA field), Southeastern Conference participant South Carolina took first with a 44-under 820 (273-269-278) while No. 8 UCLA finished at 42-under 822 (268-273-281) with USC (277-273-274) and Arizona State (275-275-274) right behind. Vanderbilt was fifth (-38, 826, 283-276-267), Arizona was sixth (-36, 828, 282-275-271), No. 2 Stanford was seventh (-33, 831, 277-280-274) and New Mexico was eighth (-31, 833, 275-282-276). Wake Forest, East Tennessee State and Oregon State finished tied for ninth at 25-under 839. In a three-way playoff to secure the ninth and 10th spots going to the NCAA finals, Oregon State was the odd team out.
Lovemark began the final round hunting for his fourth title of the season and fired a 3-under 69 to finish at 15-under 201 (69-63-69), but it wasn't enough to catch winner Benjamin Alvarado of Arizona State. Playing on one of his home courses, Alvarado knocked out a third-round 6-under to finish at 18-under 198. Lovemark finished tied for second with UCLA's Kevin Chappell and Vanderbilt's Jon Curran.
Lovemark's steady final round included birdies on the 5th, 6th, 11th and 15th holes against a bogey on 4. Firing his 19th sub-70 round of the season, the 69 came on the heels of his USC single-round record tying 63 on Friday.
Lovemark, dating back to his Pac-10 title in April, has posted seven consecutive rounds in the 60s, the second time he's had a streak that long this season. He was also USC's top finisher for the seventh time this season and finished third or better for the seventh time.
Fellow freshman Rory Hie fought his way back into the top 20, finishing tied for 14th at 11-under 205 (67-71-67). Hie went out in 2-under with birdies on the 5th, 7th and 8th holes and stayed hot on the way home with birdies on the 11th and 13th holes and an eagle on the par 5, 527-yard 14th hole. His second bogey of the day on 18 left him with his second 67 of the tournament.
Sophomore Tom Glissmeyer, in his first NCAA regional action, climbed up the standings for the second day in a row, turning in a final round 4-under 68 for a three-day 210 (73-69-68) to tie for 40th. His final-round effort was his ninth round in the 60s this season and included an eagle on the par-5, 500-yard 5th hole as well as birdies on the 6th, 10th and 14th holes.
Senior Jordan Nasser posted his third straight day under par to finish tied for 43rd at 5-under 211 (70-71-70). Nasser was 2-under on the front 9 with birdies on the 5th and 9th holes. On the back 9, he birdied the 10th, 14th and 17th holes to offset three bogeys. Nasser tied for 82nd at last year's NCAA East Region.
Senior Joshua Wooding was even on Saturday to finish tied for 62nd with a 3-under 213 (71-70-72). After a triple bogey on the par-4 2nd hole, Wooding recovered with a birdie on 3 and pars for the rest of the front 9. He then birdied the 10th, 14th and 16th holes for a 2-under back 9 to finish at par for the day. Wooding was 59th last year at the NCAA Regionals.
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