USC No. 2 In Preseason Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll|
Aug. 29, 2016
The USC men's golf team, which returns all five starters from last season's NCAA semifinal squad while adding two top flight recruits, is ranked No. 2 in the preseason Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll released Friday and is one of only two schools with multiple first-place votes.
The Trojans received four first-place votes, behind only top-ranked Texas' 16 first-place votes. USC fell to the Longhorns in the 2016 NCAA Championships semis a year after reaching the NCAA final in 2015.
Click here for the complete poll.
USC, under 11th-year head coach Chris Zambri, returns seniors Rico Hoey and Andrew Levitt, juniors Sean Crocker and Jonah Texeira and sophomore Justin Suh, all starters during a 2015-16 campaign in which Troy was ranked No. 1 for much of the season.
Added to the mix this season is freshman Cheng Jin, from China, one of the top amateurs in the world, as well as talented freshman Kyle Suppa, both of whom will push for starting spots. Also back are seniors David Kim and Danny Ochoa, sophomore Ryan Slater (USC's most-used reserve last year) and redshirt freshman Ing Ratanavadi.
USC golfers had a successful summer, most recently highlighted by Texeira's trip to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur, repeating Crocker's run in 2015.
Hoey, who finished second at the 2016 NCAAs at 3-under 277 en route to PING All-American second team honors, won the 117th SCGA Amateur title in July. Crocker, an All-Pac-12 second teamer, won the Monroe Invitational Championship, posting a four-stroke victory.
Suh, a PING All-American honorable mention pick last season, played as an amateur in the U.S. Open this summer while Jin played in The Master's in May and won the Players Amateur title in July to earn an exemption into the PGA's RBC Heritage next spring.
Hoey, Crocker, Suh and Jin all joined Texeira in the U.S. Amateur field as well.
USC starts the 2016-17 season at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields C.C. in Chicago, Sept. 16-18.