USC Climbs Into Pac-10 Championships Lead With One Round To Play.

April 29, 2008

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On another tough day of play dominated by wind in Northern Californian, three Trojans reached par and two others were just one over as the No. 3 USC men's golf team climbed over three schools into first place with one round to play on Tuesday (April 28) at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif.

USC put itself into position to defend its 2007 conference crown with a combined 2-over 357 and now sits at 4-over 1069 (338-374-357). Troy holds a slim two-stroke lead over second-place Arizona State (1071-354-361-356) while Cal is third (1079-346-362-371) and UCLA is fourth (1081-348-361-372). Stanford, in first after 36 holes, fell to fifth (1087-350-357-380), Washington (1094-357-367-370) and Oregon State (1094-354-366-374) are tied for six, Arizona is eighth (1095-354-360-381), Oregon is ninth (359-363-374) and Washington State is 10th (1126-369-380-377).

USC Head Coach Chris Zambri commented on the Trojans' solid third round after the wild ride of the first day in which USC's two rounds were separated by 36 strokes.

'The course is really tricky right now,' Zambri said. 'It's easy to lose your mind out there. We might have lost our minds a little bit yesterday and I just think they learned a little bit from yesterday's second round about keeping your composure.'

Freshman Matt Giles, sophomore Jamie Lovemark and junior Gavin Reid all scratched out even rounds to lead the Trojans' charge into first.

Giles is tied for second overall at 3-under 210 (69-70-71), Lovemark is tied for eighth at 1-under 212 (66-75-71) while Reid moved up into a tie for 34th at 9-over 222 (72-79-71).

Giles, from Australia, had an uneventful round compared to most on the course today, birdying the 1st and 4th holes, bogeying the 5th and 8th and taking pars the rest of the way. He and four others are one stroke behind leader Kevin Chappell of UCLA.

Zambri said the windy weather 'really fits right in' to Giles game, since the wind blows such much more in Australia.

'I think he could be competitive in any weather,' Zambri said 'but probably the more it blows the more of an advantage he's at.'

Lovemark had four birdies, recovering from a 2-over front 9 with a 2-under back 9. Reid's round counted toward USC's five-man total for the first time this tournament thanks to a pair of birdies and an eagle on the par 5 13th hole.

Junior Tom Glissmeyer (69-75-72) and sophomore Rory Hie (67-77-72) are tied for 15th at 3-over 216. Glissmeyer was 2-over going out, but 1-under coming home, his back 9 featuring an eagle on the par 5 15th hole. Hie birdied four times during his round.

Freshman Tim Sluiter is tied for 24th at 6-over 219 (67-77-75). He birdied twice on the day, but his round was the one that was thrown out in USC's team score.

Also at stake in this event are five points within the USC-UCLA Lexus Gauntlet competition, the season-long battle between Trojans and Bruins in all sports. Points for men's golf are awarded to the highest finisher between the crosstown rivals at the Pac-10 Championships. USC currently leads 52.5-37.5.

Final-round play begins tomorrow at 8 a.m. USC, paired with Arizona State, starts at 9:36 a.m.

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