Crocker 66 Leads No. 14 USC To Tie For Second In NCAA Regional First Round|
May 14, 2015
Freshman Sean Crocker claimed a share of first with a 6-under 66 - which included six consecutive birdies to close his round - while sophomore Rico Hoey fired a 3-under 69 to lead the No. 14 USC men's golf team to a tie for second place after the first round of the NCAA Regional at the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash.
USC, which needs a top 5 finish to advance to its ninth straight NCAA Championships final, finished with a 7-under 281, tied with TCU and one back of leader UAB. Iowa State and host Washington are tied for fourth at 1-under 287 while the regional's top seed, South Carolina, was sixth at even 288.
Overall, six 54-hole regional tournaments are conducted. Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams will compete at three regionals while the other three regionals features 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.
Crocker tied his season-best round with his 66 today, racing up the leader board over the final six holes. The freshman, who leads the team with 18 rounds under 70 this year, was even on the front 9 with one birdie and was still even through 12 before stringing together his run of is birdies to close the round.
Hoey turned in a strong round as well to tie for seventh at 3-under 69. He was 1-over through 13 before sinking four straight birdies between 14 and 17. He now has 17 rounds in the 60s this year.
"I'm proud of the way both guys hung in there mentally so they could both have finishes like they had," USC Head Coach Chris Zambri said. "It takes a lot of patience to turn an average round into a very good one. They both did great."
Freshman Jonah Texeira is tied for 14th at 1-under 71. He was 2-under through 9, fell to even after 13 but birdied 18 to get to 1-under for the round.
USC will tee off with TCU and UAB Friday morning beginning at 9:15 a.m.