After a disappointing battle with the elements on day one, the USC men’s golf team put itself in contention to win the Gifford Collegiate Championship in San Martin, Calif., today after a stellar second round. The Trojans grabbed third place on Tuesday, besting their day one score by 27 strokes to jump up three places in the 12-team field.
The Gifford Collegiate Championship is held at the CordeValle Golf Club, a difficult course that proved a test for the team.
“The course is hard. The roughs are really long, so you have to hit straight. It plays tough,” freshman Jeffrey Kang said. Kang, along with freshman Ramsey Sahyoun, posted the lowest scores so far in the tournament for the Trojans.
On day one, the team faced high winds that sent balls careening off course and produced more bogeys than the team has hit all year.
Although there was still wind on day two, the Trojans were able to persevere and ended up at four-under-par 351 as a team, though not a single Trojan dipped under par in the first round. USC trails rival UCLA by just two strokes, and first-place Stanford by 13.
USC was led by Kang and Sahyoun, both of whom shot for two-under-par 69 — collectively 20 strokes better than their first day, when they both shot eight-over-par 79. The pair is caught in a seven-way tie for 24th.
Kang had the most consistent round of the pair, knocking out three birdies in the first nine holes and just a single bogey on the back nine.
“I hit the ball a lot better [Tuesday] than I did [Monday]. It worked out. I felt a lot more comfortable on the course,” Kang said.
Sahyoun had an equally impressive round; he hit two bogeys, two birdies and an eagle — one of three hit by the Trojans on Tuesday.
Next for USC was sophomore Martin Trainer. Trainer had a roller coaster of a round, hitting five bogeys, four birdies and an eagle to end up at a 1-under-par 70. This bumps him up to a tie for seventh place, four places better than his seat after Tuesday’s contest.
Placing fourth on the day was consistent-performer sophomore T.J. Vogel, who hit an even-par 71 to tie for 13th place. Vogel had three bogeys and three birdies, improving his day one score by four strokes.
Next came Junior Steve Lim, who hit his second 1-over-par 72 of the tournament to join Trainer in the top 10 at ninth place. Lim had a tough first five holes — he hit two bogeys and a triple bogey right away and spent the next 13 holes working to bring his score back down. Luckily for the team, Lim hit four birdies to close out the round.
Rounding out the Trojan squad was senior Bo DeHuff, who hit a 7-over-par 78 and sits in 70th place. As the six golfer for the team, DeHuff’s score won’t count.
The Trojans are looking to take their momentum into round three and keep moving up in the rankings.
“[Our goal is to] go as low as possible. You have to be smart playing this course. A lot of us did that pretty well [Tuesday], so we’re gonna try to keep that up and play well [today],” Kang said.
Action concludes Tuesday with the third and final round of play.