SIMPLE REASONS FOR LOW SCORES.
Hunter Mahan has a simple formula for his golfing success: Keep it simple. Hit fairways, hit greens, make putts. No problem, right?
Not for Mahan, a USC freshman. He became the first Trojan to win back- to-back tournaments in three years when he won the Taylor Made Red River Classic last week in Dallas. Mahan's 204 was the lowest 54-hole score in 15 years. This performance followed his victory in the Windon Memorial Classic in Lake Forest, Ill.
This week, in the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, Mahan ``slipped'' to fourth with a 9-under-par 204, but that includes one round of a 63 - the lowest round by a USC golfer in at least 35 years. USC records are incomplete from 1928-65.
In no way does it negate his recent accomplishments.
``Having so many tournaments so close together, I'm playing well, and it's going well,'' he said.
One of his ``secrets'' (which isn't a secret to any serious golfer) is his strong mental approach. He'll approach a hole, see the pin and know he can aim for the flag.
But he doesn't. He simply aims for the center of the green.
``It works on every course,'' he said.
Mahan was born in Orange County but moved to McKinney, Texas, about six years ago. USC coach Kurt Schuette said the move made Mahan a better golfer. In Texas, the wind blows more, forcing golfers to adjust.
``He had to be creative with his shot-making,'' Schuette said. ``It teaches you to be more disciplined. He learned the elements were good for him. He had good circumstances.''
--Record in goal: Goalie Jenny Willemse is a major reason why the Cal State Northridge women's soccer team remains in the Big Sky Conference title chase. The senior has 6 1/2 shutouts this season and a 0.76 goals- against average. If her GAA holds up, it would be a school record. She already owns school records with 15 shutouts and 16 victories in her career, and she likely will finish first in minutes (she's second at 1,531) and career goals-against average.
While Willemse holds up, the same can't be said of the CSUN offense. The Matadors have played three scoreless ties this season and are 6-5-5. But by beating Sacramento State last weekend, the team put itself back into the conference race. Montana is 4-1 (12 points), Idaho State is 3-1-1 (10 points), Sacramento and Northern Arizona, at 3-2, have nine points, one more than CSUN's 2-1-2 record.
CSUN needs to win its final two matches, Friday at Montana and Sunday at home against Eastern Washington, to guarantee its place in the four-team conference tournament, scheduled for Oct. 26-27 at the site of the regular-season champion.
Fortunately, the scoring has come around. After scoring one goal in its first six matches, CSUN has six goals in its last two. Westlake graduate Kristina von Krog has three game-winning goals, including Sunday against Sac State.
--What happened? CSUN's men's soccer team was sailing along, full of momentum after beating Cal on Sept. 15.
At that point, the Matadors were 3-2. Since then, they're 1-7, which includes an 0-3 showing in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Eight of Northridge's nine losses have come on the road.
The youth movement continues. Six freshmen start every game.
``We're trying to establish roots,'' coach Terry Davila said. ``We don't have a tradition (with these players). These young kids are going to be our roots.''
Photo: USC freshman Hunter Mahan, who was born in California, improved his game in Texas, adjusting to the winds there.
Special to the Daily News
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Oct 19, 2000|
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