Men’s golf surges into second place

After two days of competition at the U.S Collegiate Championship at The Golf Club of Georgia in Aplharetta, Ga., USC sits in second place, scoring a 9-under-par 567.

Open range · Junior Steve Lim, pictured above in 2009, and freshman Jeffrey Kang led the Trojans Monday, each with scores of 3-under-par 69. - Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information

After a solid first day where the Trojans hit an even-par 288 and ended up in fourth place, USC returned with a vengeance, scoring 9-under-par as a team and rocketing to second in the field. USC is 11 strokes behind leader Georgia Tech, despite besting the Yellow Jackets by six strokes in the second round.

Junior Steve Lim has been the star for USC this tournament, firing back-to-back 3-under-par 69 rounds to earn himself a tie for second place in the 78-man field, just six strokes back from first. Lim had a dominant second round, scoring five birdies and two bogeys in the best effort the Trojans have seen this year.

Next for the Trojans is sophomore T.J. Vogel. Vogel has consistently played well this season and continued that trend through the first two rounds, shooting a 2-over-par 74 followed by a 3-under-par 69 to land in a tie for ninth place at 1-under-par 143. Vogel bounced back from a tough first round to make one eagle, four birdies and three bogeys in a strong second round that elevated him from 28th place to his current ninth.

“I was a little out of rhythm [Sunday],” Vogel said. “But I worked really hard this morning to get one going. [Monday] was much easier. I was able to control my ball flight and get a lot of great shots.”

Third for USC is freshman Jeffrey Kang.

Kang held on to an even par score for most of his second round, starting off with two bogeys and two birdies but recorded four bogeys in the last six holes, ending up at 4-over-par 76 on the day.

Kang’s first round, however, was the best seen from him all year; Kang kept up with veteran Lim to shoot a 3-under-par 69, and a return to form in the third round isn’t out of the picture.

Kang is tied for 14th place, just two strokes behind Vogel.

Newcomer Ramsey Sahyoun is next for the Trojans, sitting in a tie for 23rd place.

After a tough debut round where he shot 5-over-par 77 for 55th place, Sahyoun rallied for an impressive 3-under-par 69 in round two. Sayhoun made three birdies and two bogeys before earning an eagle on the last hole.

Vogel was impressed with Sahyoun’s debut.

“[Sunday] was his first college start, but he was still able to go out and post a decent score,” Vogel said. “[Monday] seemed very comfortable. He hit a lot of great shots and made his putts.”

Rounding out the Trojan squad is sophomore Sam Smith.

Smith is in a tie for 33rd place at 4-over-par 148. Smith hit for an even-par 72 in a turbulent round two, matching four birdies with four bogeys.

Smith fired a 4-over-par 76 in round one.

This tournament marks the first time this season that the Trojans have been either par or under par as a team. They hope to continue the good play today to attempt to gain the lead.

“We’ve got to go out and try to do our thing [today], try to go low and make a run at Georgia Tech.” Vogel said.

Action concludes today with the final round of play.