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Lovemark Leads USC to Pac-10 Championship, Ducks Eighth
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 04/25/2007
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EUGENE -- Jamie Lovemark shot a 67 in the final round  to lead the USC Trojans to their first Pac-10 title since 2002 Wednesday afternoon at Eugene Country Club. As a team, the Trojans shot a 51-under 1389 to win the tournament by 36 strokes over UCLA. The margin of victory was the third-largest in school history, and the most since 2000, when Arizona State won the tournament by 37 strokes with a 56-under.

"The win hasn’t really hit me yet, but overall this is just a big day for USC Golf," Lovemark said. "It was a long day but I just stayed focused, taking one shot at a time."

The Trojans were led on the final day by Rory Hie, who rebounded from a disappointing third round 74 to card the best round of the day, 6-under 66, to move to 9-under and fourth place.

"I thought today went great," USC head coach Chris Zambri said. "We want to be recognized as one of the best teams in the country and to prove ourselves we need to come out and play the way we did this week."

Joey Benedetti led the Ducks on the final day, shooting a 3-under 69. Oregon finished the tournament in 8th place with a team score of 1464 after their round of 2-over 362. The Ducks finished 10th at last year's Pac-10 tournament.

For the tournament, the Ducks were led by Derek Sipe and Benedetti, who finished tied for 19th. Senior Eric Hastings' even-par 72 on the day put him at 7-over 295 for the tournament and he finished tied for 36th place with fellow Duck Marcus Sostak.

"It’s been a humbling week for us," Oregon head coach Casey Martin said. "I’m proud of the guys; we’re not used to seeing the course like it was this week."

UCLA finished second in the tournament after their final round 3-under 357 left the Bruins at 15-under 1425. All of the Bruins were consistent on the final day, as the team counted three 1-under rounds of 71 and two even par rounds. Daniel Im, the defending Pac-10 champion, led the Bruins throughout the tournament but dropped back a bit on the final day, carding an even par to finish at 8-under, placing 5th overall in the field.

Arizona State's Niklas Lemke finished second in the individual race with a 13-under 275 to help the Sun Devils finish third at 1433. It was the second year in a row that the senior finished runner-up in the event.

No. 2 Stanford finished in fourth place after a 5-under round which brought them under par for the tournament at 4-under (1436). The Cardinal were led by Rob Grube, who finished at 2-under on the day and 6-under for the tournament, good enough for seventh place.

After Stanford, it was Washington at plus-13, followed by Arizona (plus-17), Oregon State (plus-18), Oregon (plus-24), California (plus-28) and Washington State (plus-44).

"We had two pretty good rounds and two that we weren't good and we know we're better than that," said Oregon coach Casey Martin. "We've struggled with our consistency the entire season and we need to work on that if we get invited to regionals."

The field for the May 17-19 NCAA regionals will be announced on May 7.

NOTES: Lovemark's bogey-free streak ended on the 5th hole of the final day at 58 holes. Lovemark carded three bogeys and five birdies in the fourth round.

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