Men's preview: No. 12 USC
Sunday, September 2, 2012
In preparation for the upcoming college season, Golfweek is breaking down the rosters of each of its preseason top 30 teams.
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2011-2012 Golfweek rank: 4
Go-to guy: Jeffrey Kang
Season outlook: Just six players saw action last season for USC, which finished third at a competitive Pac-12 Championship, won an NCAA regional title and finished T-15 at the NCAA Championship.
The good news for the Trojans is that four of those players return, each with at least 28 rounds of experience last season. Junior Jeffrey Kang leads that group. He won the Amer Ari Invitational and was second on the team with a 71.7 stroke average as a sophomore. He is joined by senior Sam Smith, junior Ramsey Sahyoun and sophomore Anthony Paolucci, each of whom had a 73.5 stroke average or better a season ago.
The bad news is the Trojans must replace Steve Lim, an honorable mention All-American last season. His loss means the final starting spot will go to an untested player. The candidates include seldom-used senior Stewart Hagestad and freshmen Yi Keun Chang, Andrew Levitt and Michael Moorhead.
However, if one of them steps up -- and if Paolucci can make a leap to elite status in his second season -- the Trojans will again contend for conference and national titles.