Two USC men’s golfers, senior Sam Smith and freshman Yi Keun Chang, were named 2013 PING All-American honorable mention selections by the GCAA on Thursday. Being the team leaders in stroke average for the 2013 season, both were key players in getting the USC men’s golf team to the NCAA championships last year.
As a senior, Smith led the team in stroke average at 71.76 and was the Trojans’ top finisher for five consecutive events late in the season. During that stretch, he also got his first career win at the 2013 NCAA Pullman Regional. There, he finished 14 under par, shooting a 202 (62-64-76). His first two rounds established a new school record for the lowest score over 36 holes by any USC player. To round out Smith’s accomplishments, he also had nine top-20 finishes over the course of the season, the most on the team.
Chang, who finished the season with a stroke average of 71.78, had a team-best nine rounds in the 60s, including three rounds where he shot 66. Only a freshman, he had four top-10 finishes, a team high, including a win at the North Ranch Intercollegiate, where he finished with a two-under-par 211. In his collegiate debut, he finished fifth at the Pac-12 preview. Chang also had the best finish of any USC golfer at the NCAA championships with a 4-under 207, which was good enough for a tie for 16th place.
With Smith graduated, Chang poses a bright future for USC men’s golf as the team prepares for next spring.