It took till November but USC has win number one of the year
(USC Athletics Photo)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA (November 8, 2017) - Led by medalist Justin Suh the Trojans of USC have won the Saint Mary's Invitational and their first tournament of the year.
USC moved into the lead on Tuesday with a 16-under second round and then held off Pac-12 rival No. 14 Stanford in the final round as they finished 28-under and six shots clear of the Cardinal (-22).
Suh continued his stellar play in the final round with a 4-under 67 that pushed the junior to 13-under and five-strokes clear of three others in second place including USC teammate Kaito Onishi.
In the final round at Poppy Hills Golf Club Suh birdied six-times and bogeyed just twice. The birdies for Suh on Wednesday, who started on the 10th hole, came on Nos. 13, 16, 18, 1, 4 and 7. The victory was the second career individual title for Suh who also won the 2017 Western Intercollegiate.
Kaito Onishi earned a tied for second finish with an 8-under showing that was sparked by a course record 8-under 63 in round two while USC also received a big lift from tied for sixth finisher Kyle Suppa at 6-under.
Rounding out the top-five of the team standings were No. 19 Colorado State (-12) in third, BYU (-9) was fourth while in fifth came San Francisco (-5).
Joining Onishi in second place of the individual standings were Patrick Fishburn (BYU); Hayden Shieh (Santa Clara) and in fifth was Brandon Wu (Stanford) at 7-under.
Behind a Poppy Hills Golf Club course record by Kaito Onishi the USC Trojans and are leading the way at 13-under with one round remaining at the Saint Mary's Invitational.
The Trojans, following a season best 16-under in the second round will look to end their fall season on a high note with their first win of the year. Pac-12 rival No. 14 Stanford will begin the final round in hot pursuit at 12-under and just one behind.
Onishi, a freshman, sitting at 6-under overall surged up the leaderboard with a bogey-free round that included six birdies and an eagle. Beginning on No. 10 Onishi birdied Nos. 11 and 12 to jump start his round while also adding birdies on the 16th, 18th, 3rd and 9th holes with the eagle falling on the par-5 1st.
A native of Japan, Onishi moved stateside and attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL before settling on USC for his college golf. As a junior payer Onishi was a 2016 Rolex Junior All-American honorable mention after in 2015 finishing on the second team. In the 2017 U.S. Amateur Onishi reached match play before losing to current teammate Cheng Jin.
Along with Onishi, USC also has the medalist leader after 36-holes in their lineup in the form of the 9-under Justin Suh. Thus far Suh, a junior, has combined rounds of 67-66 to build a three shot advantage. During his second round 5-under 66 Suh birdied five-times, eagled the par-5 18th and bogeyed twice.
The All-Pac-12 first teamer from a year ago, Suh is looking for his second career win after capturing the 2017 Western Intercollegiate.
Stanford, also looking for win number one of the year, is currently being led by Brandon Wu (T3; -5) and Franklin Huang (T10; -3). The Cardinal moved up the leaderboard with an 11-under day two that saw four players turn in sub-par rounds.
The top-five of the team standings is concluded by St. Mary's (-3) in third, San Francisco (E) is fourth while in fifth it is No. 19 Colorado State (+1).
Behind Suh and Onishi the top-five of the individual standings is completed by Brad Reeves (Arizona) in a tie for third with Wu while Patrick Fishburn (BYU), Hayden Shieh (Santa Clara), Ash Hakim (St. Mary's), Thomas Thurloway (Toledo) and Connor Blick (St. Mary's) are sharing fifth at 4-under.
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.
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