Men's Golf Year In Review
June 12, 2001
The USC men's golf team shined throughout most of the 2000-2001 season, winning three team tournaments and capturing its first Pac-10 title since 1986 while climbing to as high as sixth in the collegiate rankings. Only a late-season stumble at the NCAA West Regionals spoiled what shaped up to be Troy's most successful season since 1995-96. Still, the Trojans can look back with pride on many of their accomplishments in the 2000-2001 campaign.
USC started the season in September with a fourth place showing at the Northwest Classic in Corvallis, Ore. Highly touted freshman Hunter Mahan finished tied for fifth in his Trojan debut, while senior Nick Jones tied for seventh. It foreshadowed a fantastic October to come for Mahan, who put together back-to-back tournament wins at the Windon Memorial and the Red River Classic and placed fourth at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate (in which he shot a second round 63--the lowest-known round in USC history). What's more, the Trojans placed second at the Windon Memorial, first at the Red River (which included the team's season-low round, a 17-under-par 271) and sixth at the Jerry Pate. As the fall season ended, USC's spring outlook was optimistic.
The Ping Arizona Intercollegiate saw the return of senior Alex Kuyumjian, who had sat out the fall to concentrate on academics. His return paid off big time, as USC won the Ping (four Trojans placed in the top 12) and Kuyumjian took individual medalist honors. Troy then rattled of five top seven finishes before heading to the Pac-10 Championships at Stanford, Calif. There, Mahan came through again, shooting four rounds in the 60s to place second and lead the Trojans to their first conference title since 1986. For his efforts, Mahan was named to the All-Pac-10 first-team and was also honored as Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Kuyumjian also made first team honors, while Jones was named to the second team, junior Kevin Stadler made the honorable mention squad and head coach Kurt Schuette won Coach of the Year honors. The Trojans followed up the Pac-10 title with a sixth place showing at the Maxwell Invitational, before ending their season with a 12th place finish at the NCAA West Regionals. At season's end, Mahan was named an All-American second-team, while Kuyumjian was an All-American honorable mention selection. Mahan, Kuyumjian and Stadler each also made the All-District Eight Team.
All in all, the 2000-2001 season, though bittersweet, had a lot to show for it: three tournament wins, a Pac-10 championship, a team stroke average of 288, a No. 9 final ranking and numerous individual awards.