Oklahoma State opens spring with 17-shot win at Amer Ari Invitational

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Oklahoma State opens spring with 17-shot win at Amer Ari Invitational

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Oklahoma State opens spring with 17-shot win at Amer Ari Invitational

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Like fall, like spring. And that’s a good thing for Oklahoma State.

The top-ranked Cowboys opened their spring season this weekend and did so in dominant fashion, posting a 17-shot victory at the loaded Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii.

In an 18-team field that included seven of the top 20 squads in the country, Oklahoma State was a cut above the rest.

The Cowboys fired an 18-under 270 on Saturday on the Kings’ Course at Waikoloa to jump its margin from nine to 17 shots. It was a 47-under total for the 54-hole week for Oklahoma State, similar to the crew’s 52-under total at the season-opening Carmel Cup.

That one was a 14-shot victory at Pebble Beach.

Texas Tech, ranked 14th by Golfweek, finished second at 30 under while No. 15 USC came in at third at 27 under. The 19th-ranked Texas Longhorns finished fourth at 23 under, with No. 5 Georgia Tech, No. 10 Auburn and No. 40 TCU tied for fifth at 22 under.

This victory marks Oklahoma State’s third in four starts this season. The Cowboys host the NCAA Championship this spring and are hoping for a different result than when they hosted in 2011 (a shocking semifinal loss to Augusta State).

This start to the spring is a good sign.

The Cowboys had four players finish in the top 10 in Hawaii. Matthew Wolff, ranked 15th by Golfweek, and Viktor Hovland, who closed in 65, led the way in tying for second at 12 under. Hayden Wood tied for fourth at 11 under while No. 7 Zach Bauchou posted a T-9 at 9 under.

Medalist honors went to Justin Suh of USC.

Wood held the 36-hole lead by one and began his final round with par-5 birdies at Nos. 2 and 4. Suh made an eagle at the fourth, but it appeared his shot at the win might’ve gone by the wayside after consecutive bogeys at Nos. 9-10.

Then the junior put on the afterburners. Suh birdied Nos. 13-14 and then closed birdie-birdie to post a 4-under 68 and a 13-under total. Wood couldn’t keep up. He was 12 under entering the penultimate hole but saw his chances fall away with a crucial double bogey.

The top-ranked Suh has now won in his last two starts and boasts three victories overall in five events this season. Those other two showings were a tie for second and a tie for ninth, which means Suh has all top-10 finishes thus far in 2017-18.

Fellow Trojan Kaito Onishi tied for fourth at 11 under, but no other USC player placed in the top 35.

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