PITTSFORD, NY (June 11, 2016) -- Sean Crocker began the final round of the Monroe Invitational 4-over and five-strokes behind 54-hole leader Andrew McCain. However, Crocker put together the low round of the week, firing a 7-under 63 to finish 3-under and four shots ahead the rest of the Monroe Golf Club field.
Crocker sprinted out of the gates going 5-under on the first four holes to quickly move his score to 1-under. The USC junior opened his round with consecutive birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 and then really got a jolt of energy on the 3rd hole.
Crocker missed the fairway with this drive on the 460 yard par-4, but only had a 130 yards left. With his second shot Crocker went with a 52 degree wedge and all he did was jar it to move his score to 1-under for the tournament and 4-under for the day. Crocker followed the eagle up with another birdie on the 4th before cooling off the bit with two bogeys and a birdie to turn in 4-under 31 and at even-par for the week.
"The first three holes are birdie holes if you can hit the ball straight," said Sean Crocker. "But after I started 5-under through four holes I thought I had a really good chance to play for the win."
Despite the fantastic start by Crocker; Andrew McCain, the 54-hole leader, continued to play solid golf on the front nine shooting a 3-under 32. McCain, from Jacksonville, FL began the round 1-under and after birdies on holes 1, 3 and 7 he was 4-under and still comfortably ahead as play headed for the final nine.
Once play turned to the back nine, Crocker once again dialed it in. On No. 10 Crocker knocked his approach to a foot and birdied, on No. 11 his approach shot landed eight-feet away leading to another birdie and after another birdie on the 12th Crocker was 3-under overall.
"I kept on attacking pins and hitting fairways and that is all I did for the rest of the round," said Crocker of his mentality after his fast start.
The birdie on the 492 yard par-5 12th was set up by "one of (my) best shots of the day". Playing into a strong wind Crocker had 230 yards left to the green and he was able to place his second shot to 30 feet. From there Crocker two-putted for birdie.
On the ensuing hole the Westlake Village, CA resident gave back a stroke before carding his final birdie of the day on the 15th to once more reach 3-under. It wasn't all smooth sailing though for Crocker on the way to the clubhouse, in particularly on the 17th hole were he hit a poor drive.
Before hitting his tee shot on 17, Crocker knew he was one-stroke behind but after the drive he was forced to punch out and take a conservative shot into the green leaving himself 20 feet for par.
However, while all this was happening McCain was in some trouble of his own on the 13th where he double-bogeyed. Now back to Crocker on 17, somehow he heard about the double-bogey prior to his par putt which he promptly drained to take the lead.
After a par on 18 it was time for Crocker to sit back and see how his 3-under score would hold up. McCain was four holes behind and had a chance to win the tournament yet he struggled coming in with a bogey on No. 16 and another double-bogey on the closing hole. When all was said and done McCain shot a final round 2-over 72 and finished in second place, 1-over for the tournament.
Crocker ended up being the only player to finish under-par after his tournament best final day score. "My goal today was to just go out and play good golf because I hadn't played good for a little while now, but I was able to hit some good drives and wedge shots and then hole some putts," Crocker said. "It was a huge win for me."