It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
Despite placing just seventh and eighth in its previous two tournaments, USC placed first in the Gifford Collegiate Championship at the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., to wrap up its fall slate of play, while senior Steve Lim also captured his first individual title as a Trojan.
In the final round, Lim shot a 69 which earned USC its first title of the season. For the tournament, Lim finished 11-under 202 (66-67-69).
“It was a great victory for our program,” USC coach Chris Zambri said. “We all felt capable of having a week like this. It is great to go into the break with a win.”
Following the second round of play, USC had a 12-stroke lead which helped them fight off Pac-12 rival UCLA in the final round.
The Trojans finished 8-under 1057 (345-352-360) and four shots better than UCLA’s 4-under 1061 (348-361-352).
UCLA All-American Patrick Cantlay finished 10-under 203 (63-70-70). Fellow Pac-12 school Oregon placed third and finished at 20-over 1085.
Sophomore Jeffrey Kang had a final round of 69 and finished sixth at even-par 213 (68-76-69). Kang had four birdies which helped him garner his first top-six finish this season.
Freshman Anthony Paolucci tied for 13th at 3-over 216 (68-76-72). Paolucci had two birdies and was 1-under in his round before a double bogey on his third to final hole.
Sophomore Ramsey Sahyoun tied for 17th at 4-over 217 (74-66-77). Sahyoun had his best round in the second round of the competition at USC in which he shot a 66.
Juniors Martin Trainer and Sam Smith tied for 20th at 5-over 218. Trainer (73-70-75) had four birdies in the final round. A quadruple bogey for Smith (70-73-75) ultimately tarnished a decent round.
USC will next compete in The Big Island Invitational in Waikoloa, Hawaii. The tournament commences Wednesday, Feb. 1 and wraps up Friday, Feb. 3.