The Trojans sailed to their second tournament win this year on the strength of three subpar scores in the final round Wednesday. Their 1-over tournament total of 865 was three shots better than No. 5 Oklahoma State.
Jamie Lovemark, a sophomore who won last years NCAA individual crown, matched the tournament record Wednesday by firing a 6-under-par 66 and tied for second individually at 7-under-par 209. He had six birdies and no bogeys in his round, while teammates Gavin Reid and Rory Hie posted a 70 and 71, respectively.
This is a phenomenal win against a great field, and we didnt back into it at all, said USC coach Chris Zambri, Hopefully, this lets these guys know they can play to the highest level. I know (Tech head coach Bruce Hepplers) vision was to have the premier event in college golf, and I think hes done that.
Leon, junior, captured his first collegiate win with a 54-hole score of 8-under-par 208. His teammate Rickie Fowler, with a final-round 67 tied Lovemark for second place and helped the Cowboys finish second as a team, three strokes back.
Aside from the nationals and the conference, this is the best tournament you can win, said Leon, who earned the victory with three steady rounds (69-69-70). I pretty much told myself, Ive been in this position too many times and messed it up.
Alabama finished third at 8-over 872, led by the nations top-ranked player in Michael Thompson, who shot 73 Wednesday and finished the tournament 1-over 217. Host Georgia Tech was unable to make up ground on the lead Wednesday, holding onto its fourth place standing with a 1-over-par round of 289. The 10th-ranked Yellow Jackets finished the tournament at 11-over-par 875.
Florida State shot 3-under 285 Wednesday and finished fifth at 13-over-par, followed by Texas A&M (17-over). First-round leader UCLA faded to seventh at the finish (18-over), while Georgia State was eighth (19-over) and No. 2 Georgia placed ninth (22-over).
Individually, Georgia States Joel Sjoholm finished fourth at 6-under 210 after posting a 68 on Wednesday. Georgia Techs Cameron Tringale, who shot 73 Wednesday, finished fifth at 3-under 213, his third top-10 finish in four spring tournaments. Texas A&M teammates Nacho Elvira and Matt Van Zandt tied for sixth at 1-under 215, while Thompson and Charlottes Corey Nagy tied for eighth at 1-over 217.
The tournament, played at the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course, finished in the best weather conditions of the week, calm winds and temperatures approaching 70 degrees. Heppler, watching a field that included nine of the nations top 11 teams this week, lays claim to hosting the nations best regular-season event.
Its not even close. Were getting a lot of people out here to watch, said Heppler. The way everything is done here, from the rules, to pace of play, under five hours on a hard golf course, there is just no way to do it any better than they do it here. I love this course, and I love this club. Its a big part of our program, and Im glad everybody else can see it.