No.15 USC Travels To The Desert This Weekend For The Wal-Mart National Invitational

March 24, 2005

The 15th-ranked Trojan men's golf squad travels to Arizona on Sunday, March 27 to compete in the 2005 Wal-Mart National Invitational at the Omni Tucson National Resort and Spa.

'We're looking forward to getting back out there to compete, especially after struggling in Georgia,' said USC coach Kurt Schuette. 'We have a renewed perspective - we're ready to bounce back and be competitive.'

The Trojans were ranked 8th going into the highly competitive E-Z-GO Schenkel Invitational last week but fell in the rankings after finishing 14th in the tournament.

Eight of the 13 teams set to compete this weekend are ranked in the nation's Top 30 by Golfweek, including fourth-ranked UNLV, fifth-ranked New Mexico and 10th-ranked Arizona State.

Hosted by the University of Arizona, this three-day, 54-hole tournament will be played at Tucson National's Orange and Gold nines. The 7,094-yard, par 72 course is the same layout used in the PGA Tour's Chrysler Classic.

The golfers will play 18 holes each day of the tournament. There is a practice round at 11:30 a.m. MST on Saturday for all interested teams. Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday and Monday with the final round commencing at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Last year, the Trojans shot 861 for a third-place finish, just five strokes back of team champion Arizona State (856). Senior classmates Ben Hayes and Nico Bollini finished in the top five individually. Hayes shot a career-low 211 over 54 holes to finish second (he shot 205 at the 2005 Taylor Made Intercollegiate) and Bollini finished tied for fifth after shooting 212.

'Our team has improved greatly since last year and we want the opportunity to prove that in Arizona,' Schuette said. 'Third place isn't good enough this time. We are playing to win.'

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