USC Men's Golf Set to Compete at William H. Tucker Invitational
LOS ANGELES--The USC men's golf team gears up for its second tournament of the season, teeing off on Monday morning (Sept. 25) in Albuquerque, N.M. for the William H. Tucker Invitational. The two-day competition will be played on the University of New Mexico's Championship Course consisting of three stroke play rounds, with the first and second being on Monday and the final round being on Tuesday. Each round will begin in a shotgun start. The Championship Course has been the home of Tucker Invitational for the past 43 years and looks to again set the stage for an exciting clash in the desert.
Last year, the San Diego State Aztecs took home the title by 5-strokes over host New Mexico. The Trojans were not in attendance at this tournament last season. With a field of 20 teams, compared to the 12 that played in Washington two weeks ago, the team looks to bounce back with the addition of junior Jackson Rivera who has spent the last 3 months battling injury.
"My goals for this upcoming tournament are definitely a team win," said Rivera. "Then individually, I want to get a win or at least have a chance coming into the final round. I've been trying to get back to scoring and playing golf because I've been on a little break due to injury."
"The biggest thing that I've been focusing on at practice this week is hitting the ball straighter, finding more fairways, and making the round easier for myself," said sophomore Antonio Safa.
A much more open layout than the tight fairways of Shalee, The Championship Course was home of the 1950, 1976 and 1992 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships as well as the 1998 NCAA Championships. The better of two tracks at the University of New Mexico's Golf Courses is ranked third among Golfweek's top public courses in New Mexico. For the 3 rounds of competition, the par 72 course will measure 7,555 yards.
"We had some great practice this past week and are well prepared," said head coach Mark Hankins. "We have great depth on this team and anyone of the five starters could be our leader this week. We learned a lot in our first event, gained some experience and comfort, and need to work to post 15 quality scores this week to contend with a solid field."