Central: USC protects slim lead, wins by one stroke
Saturday, May 19, 2012
A breakdown of the third and final round of the NCAA Central Regional:
Team winner: USC (11-under 841)
Also moving on: 2. Oregon (842), 3. Kent State (844), 4. Virginia (846), 5. TCU (849)
Individual winner: Albin Choi, North Carolina State (10-under 203)
Trojans hold on: Top-seeded USC entered the final round up by just one stroke over Oregon, Kent State and TCU.
And with the Ducks shooting 4 under Saturday to make a run at the title, the Trojans, No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, did not falter, duplicating Oregon's score to hold on for the victory.
"It feels great to play well in such a critical week," said USC head coach Chris Zambri, who has led the Trojans to the an NCAA Championship berth in each of his first six seasons. "Everyone contributed and now we need to find ways to improve and be sharp for Rivera."
USC finished the tournament at 11 under. Jeffrey Kang led four Trojans in the top 20, shooting 4-under 209 to finish 10th. Kang made eight birdies during his final round in which he carded a 4-under 67.
Streak snapped: Oklahoma State saw it's string of 65 straight NCAA Championship appearances come to an end Saturday in Ann Arbor.
The sixth-seeded Cowboys finished eighth at 11 over, 14 strokes behind TCU, which was the last team to make it into the NCAA Championship field.
Oklahoma State, which has won an NCAA-best nine Regional titles dating back to 1989, never got it going. The Cowboys were seventh after the first round and despite shooting 1-under 283 on Friday, were still eighth heading into the final round.
Just one golfer – Talor Gooch (even) – avoided shooting over par for the championship. Patrick Winther and Ian Davis were 1 over while Sean Einhaus finished at 4 over.
Short Shots: Oregon finished runner-up despite a 1-over tournament performance from Eugene Wong, Golfweek's fifth-ranked individual who had the fourth-worst score on the Ducks' roster at Regionals. . . . TCU was able to secure the final NCAA Championship berth, and quite easily, thanks to an opening-round 278. The Horned Frogs shot 284 and 287 to close the tournament, but still finished at 3 under, 10 strokes ahead of Notre Dame and North Carolina State. . . . Probably the biggest disappointment was No. 5 Baylor. The Bears finished 11th at 30 over and broke 290 just once in three rounds (289 on Saturday).
Information from USC Athletics was used in this report
Golfweek.com readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.