No. 1 USC Wins NCAA Washington Regional, Clinches Trip To NCAA Final|
May 17, 2017
\Senior Rico Hoey turned in his third straight 1-under 70 to join junior Sean Crocker and sophomore Justin Suh in the top 5 as the No. 1 USC men’s golf team won the NCAA Washington Regional on Wednesday (May 17) at the Aldarra G.C. in Sammamish, Wash., and clinch a spot in the NCAA Championships final.
The Trojans won their third regional crown at a combined 3-under 849 (280-283-286) as USC weathered some front 9 struggles to close with a 5-under back 9 and win by six strokes over second-place No. 12 Kent State’s 3-over 855. No. 24 Florida State and No. 36 Alabama tied for third at 10-over 862 while No. 49 Penn State earned the final NCAA berth from the regional in fifth at 11-over 863.
The five qualifying teams in Washington and the 25 others from the other five regionals are all headed to Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., May 26-31.
USC’s win – its fifth this season and most since five firsts in 2008 -- marks its national co-leading 11th straight trip to the NCAA Championships final along with Texas, which advanced as well today. Additionally, USC, Texas and Illinois are the only schools to advance out of NCAA regional play each season since it was split into six sections in 2009.
The Trojans are still looking for the program’s first national title after getting close the past two years, finishing as NCAA runners-up in 2015 and a semifinalist in 2016.
Crocker (64-74-71) led after the first round and Suh (68-68-73) after the second and the two tied for fourth at 4-under 209, three back of Penn State’s Cole Miller (69-69-68). Hoey, meanwhile, tied for fifth at 3-under 210 (70-70-70). Crocker closed at 3-under over his final eight holes while Suh was 2-under during the same stretch.
It was Crocker’s and Hoey’s seventh top 10 finish each and the sixth for Suh, who also now has four top 4 finishes. Hoey has five top 5 results while Crocker has four.
“This week is always somewhat stressful,” said USC 11th-year coach Chris Zambri, who has directed Troy to the NCAA final in each year on the job. “We’re very happy it turned out how it did. Now we need to get ourselves ready for a big week in Chicago.”