Men’s Golf | January 13, 2024
LOS ANGELES–The USC men’ s golf team will compete in its first tournament of the spring, starting Sunday morning (Jan. 14.), in Maricopa, Ariz. at the third annual Copper Cup. The two-day event hosted by Arizona State will take place at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club consisting of four rounds of match play with the Rivalry Sessions on Sunday and the Championship and Consolation Sessions on Monday.
The format of the tournament will be similar to the Ryder Cup. The Team Match will be played for a total of 12 points with the winner being the team to secure a minimum of 6.5 points. Morning rounds will be played in pairs (with 4 points up for grabs) while afternoon rounds will be head-to-head format (with 8 points at stake). The selection of pairings for both daily matches will be done live the night before (Jan. 13) between the coaches.
Last year, Arizona State, currently ranked No. 4 in the nation, took home the crown, beating Arizona 15-9 after coming back from a 7-5 deficit the day before. Only Arizona and Arizona State competed at the first two Copper Cup’s. This year, the tournament will see an expanded format with USC and UCLA joining, allowing the Trojans to see a similar format to the NCAA Tournament in May. Of the 4 team fields this weekend, both teams from Arizona are ranked in the current Top 25 of the NCAA Coaches Poll as of November 17th.
USC head coach Mark Hankins is optimistic about the state of the team as the Trojans begin their spring campaign. “We need to continue to grow as competitors and the match-play this weekend is good for that,” he said. “The matches require that each guy play solid golf while competing directly with the other team and players. Our guys are talented and this format helps to move the competitive needle in the right direction, while setting us up for future tournaments this spring. Everyone understands that it’s about staying patient and positive as we compete for our team.”
Originally designed by the duo of Schmidt-Curley Design and Fred Couples, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club was built in 2002 and is ranked as one of the top 100 resort courses in the U.S. and is listed as the No. 6 course in Arizona by Golf Week. The course sits on the Ak-Chin Native Reservation offering an Australian Sand…