The No. 23-ranked USC men’s golf team tied for sixth this past weekend at the Western Intercollegiate Golf Tournament at Pasatiempo Golf Course in Santa Cruz, Calif. USC finished the tournament a combined 22-over par. Led by freshman Rico Hoey, who finished the tournament in a three-way tie for third place, the Trojans were disappointed with a 12-over par final round on Sunday.
The No. 6 Stanford Cardinal won the tournament, while No. 15 Washington finished second. No. 2 California ended up in third place and unranked Oregon and San Diego State landed in fourth and fifth place. USC tied unranked Arizona State for the sixth spot.
After finishing the first round in fifth place, only eight strokes behind second-place Washington, USC struggled to climb the leaderboards during Sunday’s final round. Though this tournament does not provide the Trojans with much momentum heading into the Pac-12 championships, USC head coach Chris Zambri remained confident that this team has all the tools needed in order to succeed and compete with the top schools in the conference.
“This week was somewhat disappointing,” Zambri said. “If we are to make some noise this postseason we need production from everyone, not just a couple of guys per tournament. I think we are capable of winning tournaments, but it really does not matter what I think. What matters is how we play and we need to play better.”
Junior Anthony Paolucci finished in a tie for 50th place at 10-over par and junior Paul Smith ended up tied for 62nd at 12-over par. Meanwhile, senior Jeffrey Kang shot a 3-over to place 23rd on the individual leaderboard and senior Ramsey Sahyoun tied for 72nd place at 14-over.
Though Hoey’s streak of rounds in the 60s ended at seven this weekend, with an even-par 70 on Sunday, he continues to be the Trojans’ captain heading into postseason play. If the Trojans are to turn Hoey’s efforts into team success, other golfers on the roster must kick it up a notch. USC’s win at the San Diego Classic last month proved that the men’s golf team has shown it has individual talent to win these upcoming tournaments, beginning with the Pac-12 Championships. They will need to put together a strong team effort, however, in order to come away with hardware.