Trojans set to begin spring season
The USC men‚Äôs golf team looks to ride its fall season momentum into the spring this week as it kicks off its 21st annual Amer Ari Invitational in Waikoloa, Hawaii.
The team finished up this fall with three top-five finishes in a row and looks to repeat that performance at the 20-team invitational.
The tournament, hosted by the University of Hawaii at Manao and the University of Hawaii of Hilo, will take place at the Waikoloa Kings‚Äô Course, a course USC has yet to play on.
In addition to USC and the hosts, Arizona State University, Stanford University, UCLA, Washington, Oregon and others will be competing.
‚ÄúWe want to win, and we‚Äôre definitely capable of it,‚ÄĚ said sophomore Martin Trainer. ‚ÄúFour of our guys finished in the top seven places at events last year, so we are strong enough to win.‚ÄĚ
Bolstered by its strong fall play, and traveling with a well-tested squad, USC looks to be in the chase throughout the tournament.
Vogel led the team this fall with three top-five finishes.
Vogel posted the team‚Äôs lowest score this fall, hitting for second place at the U.S. Collegiate Championships with a 7-under-par 209.
Vogel also finished fourth at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational.
Lim is USC‚Äôs most consistent golfer, with 14 sub-70 rounds, but he only competed in three events this fall.
His best showing was a sixth place finish at the U.S. Collegiate Championships.
Trainer played well this fall, finishing seventh at the Gilford Intercollegiate and eighth at the Bill Cullum Invitational, generally posting scores that put him in the top three on the team.
Kang competed in four events this fall, his best the Jack Nicklaus Invitational where he tied for a career-best fourth place and finished first for the team.
Sahyoun is coming off a fall season that saw him playing twice and never quite breaking above the middle of the pack for the tee ‚ÄĒ his best effort was a tie for 18th at the Gifford Intercollegiate.
Sophomore Sam Smith, who competed twice with the team in the fall, will be competing as an individual.
Despite a rough fall and plenty of uncertainty as the new season begins, the team remains hopeful.
‚ÄúT.J. is one of the best golfers in the country, and Steve is right up with him,‚ÄĚ Trainer said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve all had some really good events. We‚Äôre a lot better than our rankings.‚ÄĚ
Action starts today, at 5:30 p.m.