No. 13 USC Advances To First-Ever NCAA Championships Match Play Semifinals|
June 2, 2015
Junior Bobby Gojuangco won 4&2, sophomore Rico Hoey won 2&1 and freshman Sean Crocker won his final three holes culminating in a playoff win to lead the USC men's golf team to a 3-0 quarterfinal victory over second-ranked and four-seed Texas to claim the Trojans' first match play semifinal appearance at the 2015 NCAA Championships on Tuesday (June 2) at the Concession G.C. in Bradenton, Fla.
USC, trying to win the program's first NCAA team title, hadn't played in the NCAA Championships match play bracket since its lone appearance in 2009, a quarterfinal loss to Michigan.
The Trojans, underdogs to the heavily favored Longhorns, trailed early but led for the majority of the quarterfinal 4-5 matchup.
Gojuangco led USC off on the 10th tee to open the match. After dropping the first hole and halving the second, he tied his match on 3 and never trailed again. He built a three-hole advantage after 1, got back to a three-hole lead after a par on 6 and clinched his win over Kramer Hickok with a great birdie putt on 7.
Hoey never trailed in his match against Texas's Doug Ghim, but never led by more than two holes either. The pair was all square through 15, but Hoey earned his first 2up lead with a birdie on 18. Ghim won 3, but Hoey won 4 to go back up two holes and took that lead onto 8. Both players sent their second shots into the bunker left of the hole. Ghim, unable to better Hoey's bogey, conceded the hole and match.
Freshman Jonah Texeira was assigned Texas's top golfer Beau Hossler, one of the top amateurs in the country. The Trojan freshman, however led for most of the match, but fell back to all square after trouble on 8.
As Hossler and Texeira headed to 9 to complete their match, play was backed up on 10 as Crocker teed off on 10 to start his playoff with senior teammate Eric Sugimoto waiting to go next.
Sugimoto, USC's top golfer over the final 36 holes of stroke play, trailed Scottie Scheffler for the first six holes before squaring things on 16. He built a two-hole lead twice and had a chance to close out the match on 8, but Scheffler birdied 8 and then got in for par on 9 to even the match.
With Sugimoto headed to a playoff and Texeira tied on 9, Crocker completed his fantastic comeback on his first playoff hole. He had trailed the Longhorns' Gavin Hall by three after 12 holes, but closed to win two on 4. Crocker remained two down until winning 8 (thanks to a near perfect iron to within inches of the flag) and 9. Crocker completed the comeback with a win on 10 when Hall, fighting uphill after an errant tee shot, conceded the hole with Crocker poised for par.