Hoey, Paolucci Finish 1-2 At Gifford Intercollegiate

    Freshman Rico Hoey won his first collegiate event after finishing the final three holes at 4-under today.

    Nov. 5, 2013

    Results at Golfstat.com

    Freshman Rico Hoey finished his final three holes at 4-under to collect his first collegiate win, leapfrogging junior teammate and second-place finisher Anthony Paolucci in the process, the duo helping the USC men's golf team rally to a second-place finish on the final day of the Gifford Collegiate Championship on Tuesday (Nov. 5) at the Pelican Hill G.C. in Newport Beach.

    The Trojans, who began the final round nine back of top-ranked Alabama, finished second at 4-under 836 (283-277-279), just three behind the victorious Crimson Tide (836=275-276-285). SMU was third at 2-over 842.

    "It was a great way to finish the fall segment," USC eighth-year head coach Chris Zambri said. "We have some guys on the team playing some great golf, the kind of golf that will allow us to win big events. My hope is that their play will lift the others on the team to get better so that we can start getting some wins."

    Hoey claimed the top spot at 8-under 202 (68-66-68), becoming USC's first golfer to post three sub-70 rounds in an event since senior Jeffrey Kang did it as a sophomore at the Amer Ari Invitational from Feb. 1-3, 2012.

    After a 1-under front 9, Hoey had fallen back to 2-over for the day before stringing together a fantastic finish with birdies on 16 and 18 that sandwiched an eagle on the par 5 17th.

    Paolucci was close to his first collegiate win before Hoey's hot finish. The junior, whose previous best was a tie for second last year, finished second at 7-under 203 (68-66-69). He opened his final round with a pair of birdies before back-to-back double bogeys on 3 and 4. He got back to par for the round with birdies on 7 and 8 and moved to 2-under with birdies on 11 and 13 before a final bogey on 14. Hoey went from three back of Paolucci to one ahead over the final three holes.



    Junior Paul Smith notched his second top 20 finish in the fall with a tie for 18th at 3-over 213 (75-70-68). His season-best round included four birdies against two bogeys.

    Kang tied for 45th at 14-over 224 (75-75-74) while senior Ramsey Sahyoun was 53rd at 23-over 233 (72-76-85).

    The Trojans are off until the Arizona Intercollegiate, Jan. 27-28, in Tucson, Ariz.