Zach Wright (left) and Brandon Pierce (right) celebrate
with Ben Taylor (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/Golfweek)
BRADENTON, Fla. — A long and exhausting week is over for two collegiate men's golf teams. Playing seven rounds of golf in six consecutive days were Louisiana State University and the University of Southern California, and after Wednesday's final match, LSU secured their fifth national title in the team's history.
Sophomore Brandon Pierce and junior Zach Wright captured the first two victories of the day for LSU, leaving just one more needed to bring home the Tigers' first NCAA Men's National Championship since 1955.
On 18, with a putt for par to clinch it for LSU, the team's emotional leader Ben Taylor, a senior from England, drained an eight-footer to defeat Bobby Gojuangco one-up.
The sophomore Pierce, of Covington, La., got LSU on the board first with a 2-and-1 win over USC's stud sophomore Rico Hoey. Next, the junior Wright of Phoenix, Ariz. posted his fifth consecutive match play win in the National Championship, dating back to 2014, with his victory over Trojan freshman Sean Crocker.
The Tigers reached the semifinals a year ago, losing to the eventual winner and two-time defending champion Alabama. Wright, having prevailed in both of his 2014 matches, extended that success to this year with a win in the quarterfinals over Carson Jacobs of Vanderbilt and in the semis against Mookie DeMoss of Georgia.
LSU capped off the regular season with an SEC Championship title — their first since 1987 — but had an arduous route to the National Championship. At the their' NCAA regional site, The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn., the Tigers sat outside of the top-six needed to advance past regionals entering the final round, and proceeded to shoot the lowest team total of the tournament. Their 12-under, 268 total boosted them into fifth place and onto The Concession Golf Club, where they would eventually win it all on Wednesday afternoon.
For the runners-up USC, the victory would have been the program's first title, but the result still brought the Trojan men's team their first second place finish.
Below are rankings results from the 72-hole medal play championship that preceded match play. For more on Bryson DeChambeau's individual title, click here.
ABOUT THE NCAA Championship
National championship of NCAA Division I
golf teams. 54 holes of stroke play determine
individual champion, with the low 8 teams
advancing to match play to determine the
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