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USC climbs back from 17-shot deficit to win St. Mary's title
Issei Tanabe (USC Athletics photo)
Issei Tanabe (USC Athletics photo)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2018) – USC might as well have been playing a different course than the rest of the field in the final round of the Saint Mary’s Invitational. The Trojans’ 19-under 265 at Poppy Hills Golf Club was 14 shots lower than the next-best round and carried them three spots up the leaderboard into first.

USC trailed BYU by 17 shots at the start of the day but was eight shots ahead by the end of it. The Trojans ended the tournament at 21 under while BYU was 13 under. Pepperdine was third at 4 under followed by Arizona at 2 under.

According to research by USC Athletics, the team’s final-round score at Poppy Hills was its best round since February 2005 when the Trojans posted the same score at Waikoloa Village G.C. (a par-72 course while Poppy Hills plays to a par 71). No Trojan team has gone lower since at least 1994.

Issei Tanabe led the team with a 65 on Wednesday while Kaito Onishi contributed 66. Justin Suh and Kyle Suppa came in with rounds of 67.

“Making a 17-shot comeback takes great play by everyone on the team so I think it shows the confidence that we have in ourselves and each other that we were able to accomplish that,” Suppa said.

It’s the second straight win for USC after the team won the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate last month.

“It was an incredible day for the team,” USC Head Coach Chris Zambri said. “The guys played solidly yesterday to give us a chance. Today was just about perfect. It’s great to see Issei lead this team. I’m so proud of him. He’s worked hard and he deserves days like these.”

In the individual race, no one could catch BYU’s Peter Kuest, who posted a 1-under 71 to reach 13 under and finish off a five-shot victory, his third this season. Kuest opened the week with a remarkable 10-under 61.

Information from USC Athletics used in this report

Results: Saint Mary's Invitational
1CAPeter KuestFresno, CA60061-69-70=200
2CAIssei TanabeTorrance, CA40072-68-65=205
3ORCraig RonneKlamath Falls, OR30071-66-70=207
T4COKyler DunkleFort Collins, CO30071-68-69=208
T4HIKyle SuppaHonolulu, HI30073-68-67=208

View full results for Saint Mary's Invitational

ABOUT THE Saint Mary's Invitational

54-hole men's college tournament hosted by St. Mary's College (CA). Team (best four scores out of five players each round) and individual competitions.

View Complete Tournament Information

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