No. 1 USC Near Top Of Leaderboard After Weather-Shortened NCAA First Round|
May 26, 2017
Sophomore Justin Suh is two strokes off the lead and No. 1 USC is fourth after a weather-shortened first round of the 2017 Men’s Golf Championships at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., on Friday (May 26).
The Trojans, looking for the program’s first NCAA title after back-to-back semifinalist appearances the last two years, including one finalist appearance in 2015, were part of the 15-team second wave of teams whose first round was interrupted twice by lightning and then heavy rain, forcing teams off into shelter twice and preventing a complete first round.
USC played solidly overall and sits at a combined 4-under thanks to Suh’s four birdies without a bogey through 15 holes as well as senior Andrew Levitt’s 1-under 71, the lone Trojan to complete his round Friday.
Vanderbilt leads the field at 8-under, but is among the second wave of schools that will return at 6:30am CT on Saturday to complete the first round. Auburn is in second and is the clubhouse leader at 6-under 282 while Oklahoma State sits at 5-under, another team that will get up early to finish. In fact, the four-team tie for fifth at 3-under of UNLV, Illinois, LSU and Baylor will also be up early to complete the first round.
Senior Rico Hoey (+1), second last year in stroke play, and Sean Crocker (+3) joined Suh as a trio of Trojans who completed just 15 holes. Freshman Cheng Jin finished 16 holes at even, his hot start of 5-under through 11 holes tempered by back-to-back doubles on 3 and 4 and a bogey on 7 to drop him back to par.
Suh is tied for third, two back of Ole Miss’ Braden Thornberry’s 6-under 66. Levitt is tied for 24th while Jin’s par is tied for 41st. Hoey is tied for 62nd, Crocker is tied for 106th.
The Trojans are aiming for a top 15 finish after 54 holes and a top 8 after 72 holes to move into the NCAA’s match play bracket to decide the national champion.