Western Intercollegiate: North Carolina, Xiong Prevail
The victorious North Carolina Tar Heels (UNC photo)
The victorious North Carolina Tar Heels (UNC photo)

SANTA CRUZ, CA (April 8, 2018) - Senior Jose Montaño fired a final round 5-under 65 and senior William Register shot a 69 to lead the University of North Carolina to a 10-stroke victory in the Western Intercollegiate on Sunday at the Pasatiempo Golf Course.

Carolina, ranked No. 20 in the nation in the current Golfweek standings, shot 4-under 346 in the final round (five players scored per team in each round in this tournament) and finished the 54 holes with a 14-under 1036. Fifth-ranked California was second at 1046, San Diego State and No. 21 Southern California were tied for third at 1052 and 17th-ranked Texas was fifth at 1054.

The win is Carolina's second of the season and the sixth team title for seniors Register and Ben Griffin. It's the first time UNC has won multiple events in a season since their freshman year in 2014-15.

"I'm so happy for all our guys. We have a group that works hard and we've been learning and growing and getting better all year," says head coach Andrew DiBitetto. "They're confident and have been waiting for their breakthrough moment and maybe this is it. We won the Tar Heel Intercollegiate at home earlier this year, but this is a big tournament against a great field, so I am really happy for them to be rewarded with a win. Our guys played with a high golf IQ this week. I thought we had a very good approach to the rounds, knowing where and when to attack certain holes. This will certainly help our confidence heading into the post-season."

All six Tar Heels in the lineup scored in the 60s in at least one of the three rounds, led by Griffin, who finished fifth after shooting 66-67-70–203 and Montaño, who posted 72-67-65–204 to finish tied for sixth.

Montaño began his day on the fifth hole and made birdies on 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 17 en route to his 65.

Junior Joshua Martin tied for 16th after shooting 70-67-72–205, his second consecutive top 20 finish. He was eighth at the John Hayt Intercollegiate in UNC's previous event.

Arizona's George Cunningham, Oregon's Norman Xiong and Cal's Collin Morikawa tied for the individual lead at 200, three shots ahead of Griffin. The three went to a playoff, where Cunningham was eliminated in the first hole with a bogey. Xiong and Morikawa tied on the the next hole before Xiong won with a birdie on the third playoff hole to Morikawa's par.

Carolina was tied for the lead after the first round on Saturday and took a two-shot lead overnight after the second round was suspended with most of the field needing to finish five to seven holes.

The Tar Heels shot 10-under-par in the second round and went into the final 18 holes with a six-shot advantage over both San Diego State and California. Four Tar Heels shot in the 60s in the second round, led by Griffin, Joshua Martin and Montaño, who each had 67s, and a 69 by Ryan Gerard.

In the final round, Montaño led with 65, followed by Register's 69, 70s by Griffin and Austin Hitt, and 72 by Martin.

Thanks to the University of North Carolina for this report.

Results: Western Intercollegiate
1CANorman XiongCanyon Lake, CA70068-65-67=200
T2AZGeorge CunninghamTuscon, AZ50066-66-68=200
T2CACollin MorikawaLa Cañada Flintridge, CA50069-67-64=200
4CAJustin SuhSan Jose, CA40067-68-67=202
5NCBen GriffinChapel Hill, NC40066-67-70=203

View full results for Western Intercollegiate

ABOUT THE Western Intercollegiate

54-hole men's college tournament hosted by San Jose State University. “The Western” is one of the most highly recognized national collegiate tournaments, conducted since 1946 Pasatiempo Golf Club; a historic venue where a player’s talent is always well-tested. Pasatiempo perennially ranks among the best by all of the major golf publications.

The format is slightly different than most college events. Six-player teams take the best five scores each round to determine the team score.

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