By Derren Ha, University of Oregon
Norman Xiong (University of Oregon photo)
EUGENE, OR (March 27, 2018) - Oregon secured a share of the team title at the Duck Invitational Tuesday at Eugene Country Club while sophomore Norman Xiong claimed his third individual title of the season.
The Ducks finished the tournament at 13-over par and in a tie atop the leaderboard with Liberty after shooting 1 over in the final round. Xiong fired a near flawless round of 7-under 64 to win by one shot at 11-under par.
"The greens were rolling really nice and it was definitely scoreable, soft conditions," said Xiong. (Yesterday) my game felt really good but I just couldn't make the putts and (today) I played the same kind of golf and made a lot more putts."
Xiong again got off to a steady start, making par on the first three holes before breaking through with birdies on holes three and six. He made par on the next two holes to sit at 6 under for the tournament and two shots off the individual lead through eight holes.
Xiong caught fire at the turn, making four straight birdies from holes nine through 12, including sinking one from distance on the par-3 12th to take a two-shot lead. After a par on 13, he birdied 14 and 15 to move to 12 under but closed with his only bogey of the day on 18 to drop back to 11 under.
When asked what sparked his run of six birdies in seven holes, Xiong answered "I think what really got me going was hole eight, I was in the middle of the fairway and I kind of squandered a shot and almost three-putted, so that really got me geared up to really go on that run."
Ryan Gronlund shot a 1-over 72, making one birdie and two bogeys in a steady final round to finish in a tie for ninth. Donald Kay shot a 2-over 73 and finished the tournament 12 over and tied for 43rd. The freshman delivered a clutch birdie on the par-3 second hole, his final hole of the day, to help the Ducks remain tied atop the leaderboard.
Thomas Mulligan shot a 5-over 76 and came in tied for 71st and Edwin Yi closed with a 6-over 77 and ended tied for 43rd. Marcel Boet shot a 2-over 73 for the second straight day playing as an individual and finished 35th at 10 over.
Notable: Xiong tied Aaron Wise (2015-16) and Wyndham Clark (2016-17) for the program record for wins in a season with three … He also matched Wise (2014-16) and Daniel Miernicki (2009-12) for the UO career record of five wins … Gronlund turned in his third straight top-10 finish, fifth of the season and eighth of his career … Head coach Casey Martin earned his 28th career win.
ABOUT THE Duck Invitational
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by
University of Oregon. Team (best four scores out of
players each round) and individual competitions.
View Complete Tournament Information