Justin Suh (center) holds the trophy (USC photo)
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (February 26, 2019) - The Southwestern Invitational came down to the final group on the final green on Tuesday, with USC and Cal-Berkeley tied for the tournament lead and the fate of each team in the hands of two of the world's best amateur players.
One of them, USC senior Justin Suh (San Jose, Calif.), had all but clinched the individual title, holding a three-shot lead over Clay Feagler of Pepperdine. In so doing, Suh would win his 8th career college event and run his streak of top-15 finishes to six.
The other, Cal senior Collin Morikawa (La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.), was coming off of an 11-shot win at The Farms Collegiate, his fourth career college win.
Cal had just lost its lead when USC sophomore Kaito Onishi (Japan) birdied the 18th hole after a Cal bogey at the 17th. This set up the final-hole drama between Suh and Morikawa.
With Morikawa unable to birdie the 424-yard finisher, it all came down to a 12-foot birdie putt, which Suh would bury to sweep the titles for USC.
The putt capped off a third-straight round of 68 for Suh, and a four-shot victory. With the win, Suh moves to #2 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking, flipping places with Morikawa, who fell to #3.
“Today was one of those picture-perfect endings,” said Suh. “Coach Z (Chris Zambri) told me on the 17 tee that we were one back. During the walk after I hit my drive on 18, I smirked because I knew this was one of those team moments I was itching for.”
“For my teammate Kaito to make a birdie on 18 before me, it was such a great feeling grabbing the win with that last putt. I’m so happy to see the work we’ve put in pay off.”
For USC, it was their 7th win in the Southwestern Invitational, and the first since 2016 when Andrew Levitt was the individual champion for USC.
Suh joins an impressive list of Southwestern Invitational champions that includes Tiger Woods, Paul Casey, Patrick Cantlay, Billy Mayfair, Corey Pavin, Anthony Kim and Maverick McNealy.
Morikawa settled for a third-place finish with rounds of 70-70-71. Feagler, who held the lead going into the final round, closed with a 73 for his runner-up finish.
The defending champions UCLA finished third, five shots behind the Trojans.
ABOUT THE Southwestern Invitational
54-hole men's college tournament with team (best
scores of five players) and individual competitions.
Southwestern Invitational is the combination of two
tournaments: the Southwestern Intercollegiate
(started by USC in 1978) and the Jones Invitational
(hosted by Pepperdine since
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