No. 2 USC Set For 2008 NCAA Championships Final
May 21, 2008
The surging No. 2 USC men's golf team, which has won three of its last four events and four of its last six (and tied for first at the Pac-10 Championships before falling in a playoff), has its sights squarely on winning its first ever national championship as it prepares for the 2008 NCAA Championships set for May 28-31 on the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue University is the host institution for this year's championships.
USC, under second-year Head Coach and 2008 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Chris Zambri, is coming off its first-ever NCAA Championships Regional win, a 4-stroke victory at the Gold Mountain G.C. in Bremerton, Wash.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS INFORMATION
Thirty squads, which advanced out of three 27-team regionals, will participate in the NCAA Men's Golf Championships. Advancing out of the West in addition to USC were Oregon, Clemson, Washington, UCLA, Stanford, Saint Mary's Arizona State, Texas and San Diego State. Earning berths from the East Region were Georgia, Augusta State, UC Irvine, Mississippi State, Alabama-Birmingham, Auburn, Charlotte, East Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State and Virginia. Qualifying from the Central Regional were Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, Illinois, Florida, Louisville, Alabama, Texas A&M, Kent State, Penn State and Indiana
The Kampen Course plays more than 7,400 yards and is par 72. This is the first NCAA Men's Golf Championship it has hosted. The course has also played host to a number of prestigious collegiate and public tournaments such as the 2000 Men's Big Ten Championship, the 2003 Women's NCAA Championship, the 2004 Indiana Open and the 2005 Women's Western Amateur.
USC AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
USC's highest finish at an NCAA Championship final is third, something the Trojans have done six times, most recently in 1975. The Trojans' most recent top 10 finish came in 2005, when they took sixth. USC's closest finish to first place came in 1963, when the Trojans (in fourth) finished six strokes behind winner Oklahoma State.
Troy, which has appeared as a team at the NCAAs 48 times, boasts four NCAA individual title winners. Scott Simpson won back-to-back NCAA crowns in 1976 and 1977 and Ron Commans did it in 1981. A long drought ended last season when then-freshman Jamie Lovemark came from behind to win the individual title.
After failing to advance as a team in 2006 (though Taylor Wood qualified individually and tied for 27th), USC returned to the NCAA Championships final in 2007. Though USC was cut after three rounds, Lovemark's score, however, allowed him to continue as an individual entry, setting himself up for his final-round run to the title.
Results for the NCAA Championships final can be followed live at Golfstat.com.
USC AT THE NCAA WEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sophomore Rory Hie and junior Tom Glissmeyer each posted top 6 results to guide the No. 2 USC men's golf team to its first-ever NCAA Regional title at the 2008 NCAA Championships West Regional at the Gold Mountain G.C. in Bremerton, Wash. The Trojans won for the fourth time in their past six events. USC wrapped up play at 2-under 862 (291-283-288), two shots ahead of Oregon (864). Clemson was third (867), host Washington was fourth (874) and UCLA was fifth (876). Hie, who has won two events this season, finished tied for second at 5-under 211 (72-70-69), recording his ninth round in the 60s and seventh top 10 finish. He finished three strokes back of medalist Joey Benedetti of Oregon (208). Glissmeyer, meanwhile, remained blazing hot, notching his third straight top 6 finish, tying for sixth with a 3-under 213 (72-71-70).
USC AT THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
USC's hopes of repeating as conference champs for the second time this decade were dashed in a one-hole, six-player playoff, the Trojans falling to Arizona State on the final day of a hotly contested 2008 Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif. The Trojans began the day with a two-stroke lead over the Sun Devils, dropped into second - and then third - place before rallying during the final nine holes of the 72-hole three-day event, ultimately forcing a playoff. USC finished regulation play at 15-over 1435 (338-374-357-366), tied with Arizona State (354-361-356-364). With the six competitors for each school playing the 18th hole for the playoff (with the top five scores counting), USC finished with a combined 23 strokes to Arizona State's 21, giving the Sun Devils their first Pac-10 title since 2000. Trojan junior Tom Glissmeyer tied for sixth with a par 284 (69-74-72-68) to lead the Trojan finishers. The junior, who posted his second consecutive top 10 finish for the first time in his Trojan career, had a strong final round with four birdies and an eagle, his third of the tournament.
USC'S PAC-10 HONORS
USC second-year Head Coach Chris Zambri was named 2008 Pac-10 Men's Golf Coach of the Year while five of his players were named to either the first or second teams. Sophomores Jamie Lovemark and Rory Hie were tabbed as All-Pac-10 first team, Lovemark's second such honor, Hie's first. Selected to the All-Pac-10 second team were junior Tom Glissmeyer and freshmen Tim Sluiter and Matt Giles. No other team had more than a combined three golfers selected to the first and second teams. Zambri, in his second year as head coach, has directed USC to a stellar season so far that has seen the Trojans win four of 11 tournaments. USC just missed a fifth win by being edged out in a playoff by Arizona State in the Pac-10 Championships.
TROJANS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGSSophomores Jamie Lovemark and Rory Hie are ranked No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, in Golfweek.com's top 100 ranked players. USC is the only school with two players ranked in the top 10. Junior Tom Glissmeyer is ranked No. 42, freshman Matt Giles is No. 44 and freshman Tim Sluiter is No. 83.
TROJAN STAT NOTESSophomore Jamie Lovemark has 29 career rounds in the 60s, including eight this season. Sophomore Rory Hie has 21 career rounds in the 60s, including nine this season. Junior Tom Glissmeyer has 16 career rounds in the 60s, including five this season. Freshmen Matt Giles and Tim Sluiter have six and four, respectively ... USC's opening round of 266 at the U.S. Intercollegiate was its second lowest combined round ever (five players, count four) in school history. The school-record is 265, set at the 2005 Waikoloa Intercollegiate. Troy's second-lowest round this season is a 270 at the UH Hilo Invitational, tied for fifth lowest in school history ... Hie broke USC's school record for a round with a second-round 62 on the par 70 course at the UH Hilo Invitational. He tied the mark with an opening-round 62 at the U.S. Intercollegiate on a par 71 course.
SO FAR THIS SEASON
After winning three tournaments in 2006-07, the 2007-08 Trojans have won four times in 11 tournaments (all four coming in the last six events) and have finished in the top 4 in their last 10 events. USC has also had two players finish in the top 10 nine times ... Troy is coming off a four-stroke in at the 2008 NCAA West Regional (May 15-17), its first ever NCAA regional title. Troy was led sophomore Rory Hie and junior Tom Glissmeyer, who tied for second and sixth, respectively ... Prior to that, USC tied for first at the Pac-10 Championships (April 28-30), but fell in a playoff to Arizona State. Glissmeyer (tied for sixth) and sophomore Jamie Lovemark (tied for eighth) led USC ...USC posted a 13-stroke win at the U.S. Intercollegiate on April 20 that featured an eight-stroke win by Hie ... The event before, USC won by three strokes at the U.S. Collegiate Championship on March 26, the Trojans led by Lovemark's tie for second place ... Prior to that, USC posted a fourth-place finish at the UNLV Southern Highlands Collegiate on March 9, where Hie won the individual title after a three-way playoff ... Troy had won its own USC Collegiate Invitational less than a week earlier on March 4, posting a four-stroke win. Its opening-round even 284, played during extremely windy conditions, was the low for the event and enabled Troy to hold off any challengers during the final two rounds. Freshman Tim Sluiter, who was entered in the tournament as an individual, earned medalist honors with a 5-over performance while frosh teammate Matthew Giles was second, one stroke back ... USC tied for second at the UH Hilo Invitational in the previous event and took third in the CordeValle Collegiate, the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate Invitational and the Ping/Golfweek Fall Preview.
Sophomore Jamie Lovemark, a 2007 All-American first teamer and NCAA individual champion who won virtually every individual award available to an NCAA men's golfer as a freshman, again leads the Trojans in stroke average at 71.06 ... A 2008 All-Pac-10 first team selection (for the second year in a row), he is tied for team high with seven top 10 finishes (all in the top 8), including a tie for second at the U.S. Collegiate Championships, a second at the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate, a tie for sixth at the Ping/Golfweek Fall Preview, ties for fifth at the UH Hilo Invitational and U.S. Intercollegiate, a tie for seventh at the UNLV Southern Highlands Collegiate and a tie for eighth at the Pac-10 Championships ... Lovemark, who has not finished lower than a tie for 16th this season, missed USC's season-opener while representing the United States at the Walker Cup ... He has eight rounds in the 60s, including a season-best 65 at the UH Hilo Invitational ... Lovemark was a finalist for the 2008 The Ben Hogan Award (he was a semifinalist in 2007) as well as the 2008 Nicklaus Award, which he won in 2007... Also, Lovemark was one of 11 finalists for the 2007 Sullivan Award.
Sophomore Rory Hie, who has two wins this season and is second on the team in stroke average (71.44), is a 2008 All-Pac-10 first team selection (after being named All-Pac-10 second team in 2007) ... Hie, who has three career victories as a Trojan, got his second at the UNLV Southern Highlands Collegiate (71-69-73-213), where he tied for first and won a three-man playoff with a birdie on the first hole. After a 13th at the U.S. Collegiate Championships, Hie won again, registering an eight-stroke win at the U.S. Intercollegiate (62-71-67-200). His first round tied the school record he set earlier in the season ... He has a team-high tying seven top 10 finishes. In addition to his two wins, he has a tie for second at the NCAA Championships West Regional, a tie for fifth at the UH Hilo Invitational, a tie for sixth at the Ping/Golfweek Fall Preview and ties for ninth at the CordeValle Collegiate and the USC Collegiate... Hie has team-high nine rounds in the 60s, including his first 62 this season in the second round of the UH Hilo Invitational (on a par 70 course). The previous USC record was 63 ... Hie is on 'Watch List' for the 2008 Nicklaus Award, which honors the top college player in the nation ... Hie was tabbed as the Pac-10's Player of the Month for March 2008. He won the honor in March 2007 as well.
Junior Tom Glissmeyer is a 2008 All-Pac-10 second teamer (and was a 2007 All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection). He has three consecutive top 6 finishes (he never had back -to-back top 10 marks before this run) for the first time as a Trojan, including back-to-back ties for sixth at the NCAA Championships West Regional (72-71-70-213) and the Pac-10 Championships (69-75-72-68-284,) as well as a tie for second at the U.S. Intercollegiate on April 20. At the Intercollegiate, he fired a 208 (66-73-69), his first round his USC best ... He has five rounds in the 60s this year and is averaging 72.52 strokes per round ... He finished tied for seventh at the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate and has two other top 16 finishes.
Freshman Tim Sluiter, from The Netherlands, has been a major contributor in his first season with the Trojans and boasts a stroke average of 73.35. Sluiter, a 2008 All-Pac-10 second team selection, recorded his first collegiate victory with a 4-over 218 at the USC Collegiate, coming from behind with a final-round 1-under 70. He tied for seventh at the U.S. Intercollegiate, tied for ninth at the CordeValle Collegiate (which included a final-round 69), tied for 11th at the Fall Preview and tied for 14th at the Inverness Intercollegiate ... He fired a season-low 67 at the UH Hilo Collegiate (since tied at the Pac-10 Championships) and has four rounds in the 60s and five top 20 marks ... On April 30, he was selected to play for the European team in the 2008 Palmer Cup.
Freshman Matthew Giles, from Sydney, Australia, is a spring semester enrollee who made his Trojan debut at the UH Hilo Collegiate. He tied for 20th and posted a 68 first round and a 67 third round ... He then took second at the USC Collegiate with a 6-over 219 (68-77-74), tied for 27th at the UNLV Southern Highlands Collegiate, tied for 21st at the U.S. Collegiate, tied for 27th at the U.S. Intercollegiate and tied for 11th at the Pac-10 Championships and tied for 35th at the NCAA Championships West Regional ... A 2008 All-Pac-10 second team pick, he has six rounds in the 60s.
Junior college transfer Gavin Reid has played in five tournaments this season, including four times as part of USC's scoring team. He finished a season-best 30th at the CordeValle Collegiate and was tied for 45th at the Pac-10 Championships.