No. 3 USC Fourth After Blustery NCAA Regional Second Round|
May 17, 2016
Sophomore Sean Crocker was one of only six players to card a 74 or better during a blustery second round of the 2016 NCAA Albuquerque (N.M.) Regional that saw No. 3 USC finish Tuesday’s action in fourth with 18 holes to play.
On a day when winds snarled between 25 to 40 miles per hour on the University of New Mexico Championship course, the Trojans finished 23-over and are now a combined 26-over 602 (291-311).
Needing a top 5 finish to advance to the NCAA Championship final for the 10th year in a row, USC is five strokes out of second (20 back of leader Arizona State) and are one of seven teams separated by 10 strokes between second and eighth place. TCU is second at 21-over and is followed by South Florida (24-over), USC and Texas A&M (27-over) in the top 5. San Diego State and host New Mexico are tied for sixth (29-over) while Texas Tech is eighth (31-over) in the 14-team field.
Crocker managed the windy challenges as well as almost anyone on Tuesday and is tied for second at par 144 (70-74) after his 2-over second round. He opened with a birdie on 1 and also started his back 9 with a birdie to offset four bogeys. He is three shots back of Arizona State’s Jon Rahm.
Senior Andrew Levitt was the only other Trojan to break 80 today, carding a 5-over 77 and he is now tied for 41st overall at 12-over 156 (79-77). Freshman Justin Suh is USC’s second-highest individual, tied for 28th at 9-over 153 (73-80).
The Trojans, a region top seed for the first time since 2012 and for the fourth time since 2008, need a top 5 finish in Albuquerque – one of six regions in play this week – to advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., set for May 27-June 1. USC finished a program-best NCAA runner-up last year.
USC will open final round play at 7:50 a.m. MT with Texas A&M and San Diego State.
The Trojans are looking to earn their 57th team trip to the NCAA final and the 10th in a row. Their current streak of nine is tied for the second longest streak in the country (UCLA has gone 12 straight times). USC finished third at the NCAA Washington Region last year to advance to the NCAA final, where they finished as a program-best runner-up.