Friday, May 18 - Beginning the day in sixth place out of 13 teams, USC put together a fantastic round of 7-under par 272 to shoot up the leaderboard and take over first place heading into Saturday's final round of play. After a round Thursday of 289, the Trojans carded a team round of 12-under par 272, and now hold a one-stroke lead over Oregon, Kent State and TCU. The Trojans are led by the SCGA's Anthony Paolucci, who now has rounds of 67 and 69, good enough for a third-place tie on the leaderboard.
San Diego State also had a come-from-behind sort of day, posting a monster round of 15-under 262, 17 strokes better than their previous day's total, to climb out of 12th place and into the top half of the leaderboard with a great shot at making it to the Championships at the end of the month. The team was paced by J.J. Spaun, who had an incredible round of 7-under par 63 and now finds himself in a four-way tie for first place.
UCLA sure was glad to have built such a big lead Thursday, because the Bruins relinquished the bulk of their 10-stroke lead on Friday to enter the final day of play with just a 2-stroke advantage over Texas A&M. Tough days from SCGA Player of the Year Patrick Cantlay (+3) and SCGA Match Play Champion Anton Arboleda (+4) contributed to the teams slide. Bruin Pedro Figueiredo followed up Thursday round of 68 with a round of 69 Friday, however, to sit in a tie for first on the individual leaderboard. Alex Kim sits T9 after an impressive round of 4-under par 68.
Long Beach State recovered from their subpar performance yesterday, improving their team score by 16 strokes Friday. The 49ers now sit T7 in the Southeast Regional, and have a shot at finishing in the top-5 Saturday and earning a place at the Championships at Riviera CC. For the second-straight day Long Beach State was led by last year's California Amateur Championship medalist Philip Chian (pictured), who carded a round of 3-under par 68 to move from 26th on the individual list to seventh. He remains the only golfer on his team in the top-25.
The University of San Diego continued to struggle in the Southwest Regional, posting a team round of 11-over par. The Toreros are in 11th place, and will likely not make it to Riviera.
Thursday, May 17 - NCAA Regionals began yesterday across the country, and teams will continue to battle against each other through Saturday for a spot in the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship at Riviera CC May 26 - June 3. The top five teams from each Regional, along with top individuals, will advance.
UCLA seems to be the cream of the crop when it comes to Southland collegiate golf teams this season, and the Bruins dominated Thursday at the NCAA Central Regional in Bowling Green, KY., where they ended the first day of action in first place, leading second-place Chattanooga by 10 strokes. The Bruins were led by Pedro Figueiredo, who currently sits atop the leaderboard, tied with Jonathan Fly of Memphis. Figueiredo shot a 4-under par 68, just one stroke better than SCGA Amateur Champion Patrick Cantlay, who sits in third place after his 3-under par 69. SCGA Match Play Champion Anton Arboleda sits T11 after a 1-over round of 73.
USC, which is competing in the Central Regional in Ann Arbor, sits in the middle of the pack after Thursday's round, definitely within striking distance of a coveted spot in the Championships. Currently in sixth place out of the 13 teams, the Trojans as a team shot a combined 5-over par 289, just three shots back of second-place Kent State and one back of fifth-place Oregon. They were led by the SCGA's Anthony Paolucci (pictured), who is tied for first place with his 4-under par 67. Paulucci carried much of the weight, as no one else from USC is in the top-20.
Long Beach State really struggled. After earning an at-large bid into the tournament, the 49ers sit in 12th place at the NCAA Athens Regional in Georgia. Last year's California Amateur Championship medalist Philip Chian shot an even-par 71 to tie for 26th place, but his team remains nine strokes behind fifth-place Iowa.
It was also a disappointing first day for San Diego State, who entered the West Regional at Stanford as the No. 3 seed but sat tied for eighth place at the conclusion of play Thursday. The Aztecs find themselves just four strokes behind the three teams tied for fourth, however, despite having no individuals in the top-25.
The Aztecs neighbor, the University of San Diego Toreros, are in danger of missing Nationals for the first time in five years. Gunning for their fourth-straight trip to the Championships, San Diego finished the day +15 as a team, good enough for just 12th place out of the 14 teams at the Southwest Regional.