Paolucci Captures First Collegiate Title At Jones Invitational|
Feb. 25, 2014
Results at Golfstat.com
Junior Anthony Paolucci birdied 18 to secure his first career collegiate victory while the No. 23 USC men's golf team fell one stroke short of forcing a playoff, taking second place overall, during the final round of the Jones Invitational at the Saticoy C.C. in Somis, Calif.
The Trojans finished the 54-hole event at a combined 18-over 882 (292-293-297), one back of San Diego State, whose final round 292 was the best of the day. USC's finish was its second second-place finish this season and fourth in the top 3.
Paolucci took first at par 216 (70-73-73), one better than the Aztecs' Riccardo Michelini. They entered the final round tied and Paolucci led by two before he bogeyed 13 and Michelini birdied 14. In a two-person battle for first, both players parred 15, 16 and 17 before Paolucci broke the stalemate with his birdie on 18.
"I'm very happy for Anthony," USC Coach Chris Zambri said. "He has been close and this is well deserved. It's disappointing that the team did not get the victory and it stings to come this close and lose. The good news is there is tons of golf left to be played this year we are playing pretty well."
Said Paolucci on his first win: "Obviously I'm very happy for picking up my first win. After a lot of hard work, I'm glad I could finally break through. Despite coming up one stroke short, our team battled hard today on a very difficult course. I know we are going to work hard to win in two weeks in San Diego."
For Paolucci, it was his fourth top 10 finish of the season and fifth in the top 12.
Freshman Rico Hoey took fifth at 5-over 221 (74-73-74) for his fourth top 7 finish this year. He sank five birdies on the day.
Senior Jeffrey Kang tied for 10th at 7-over 223 (76-73-74) for his fifth top 12 this year. He was 1-over on both 9s today and finished with birdies on 17 and 18.
Junior Eric Sugimoto tied for 15th at 9-over 225 (74-74-77) while junior Paul Smith tied for 19th at 10-over 226 (74-76-76). Senior Ramsey Sahyoun, playing as an individual, tied for 40th at 18-over 234 (81-73-80).