The victorious USC golf team
(USC Athletics Photo)
LAS VEGAS, NV (March 8, 2017) -- No. 4 USC led after the first day and steadily extended their lead until they ultimately won their second consecutive Southern Highlands Intercollegiate over a powerhouse field by 10-strokes.
The victory for USC at Southern Highlands Golf Club was their third of the season and it came on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes. USC previously won the Cypress Point Classic and Gifford Collegiate during the fall portion of their schedule.
USC teamed for an 11-under week and they were led throughout the week by freshman Cheng Jin and sophomore Justin Suh, both whom at 5-under finished in a share of third and one shot out the playoff for individual honors.
Of the two Trojans at 5-under the better day in the final round came from Cheng who fired a 3-under 69. Cheng carded four birdies and one bogey in his final round.
The rest of USC line up this week was rounded out by junior Sean Crocker (T12; -2), redshirt senior Andrew Levitt (T29; +5) and senior Rico Hoey (T34; +7).
In the individual race it came down to a playoff between Collin Morikawa of California and Grant Hirschman of Oklahoma.
Morikawa started the day ahead by one at 7-under but with a 1-over 73 he fell back to 6-under. Teeing off on No. 10 Morikawa, a sophomore, birdied the 13th hole to reach 8-under only to slip up with a double-bogey on the 2nd hole.
Hirschman needed to go low just to reach the playoff and he did just that with a 4-under 68. Starting on the front side Hirschman parred the first hole and then birdied four of the next six holes to reach 6-under. Following a 10th hole bogey Hirschman birdied Nos. 13, 15 and 16 to reach 8-under only to give two shots back with bogeys on each of the final two holes.
Unfazed by the finish Hirschman handled Morikawa in the playoff and won his third career individual title and second of the season after his win at the Gopher Invitational.
Joining Jin and Suh in the tie for third were Jared du Toit (Arizona State) and Ivan Ramirez (Texas Tech) while three others including John Oda (UNLV), Hannes Ronneblad (Texas Tech) and Kristoffer Ventura (Oklahoma State) shared seventh at 4-under.
Stanford's Maverick McNealy struggled with a 3-over 75 and ended up in 16th place at 1-under. Defending individual champion, Sam Horsfield of Florida was 2-under and in a tie of 12th.
The top-five of the standings was filled out by No. Oklahoma State (-1) in second, No. 7 Texas Tech (+3) in third and No. 8 Stanford (+9); Pepperdine (+9) in fifth.
ABOUT THE Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by UNLV.
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