USC Downs Vandy, 4-1, Advances To NCAA Championships Semifinals

    May 31, 2016


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    Freshman Justin Suh (6&5) and sophomore Jonah Texeira (5&4) posted runaway wins while junior Rico Hoey won 2&1 as No. 3 USC defeated No. 8 Vanderbilt, 4-1, in a quarterfinal match on Tuesday morning (May 31) at the Eugene (Ore.) C.C. and advanced to a semifinal bout with top-seeded Texas at 2:20 p.m.

    The Trojans, a semifinalist for the second straight year after posting a program-best runners-up finish last year, will face the Longhorns in match play action for the second straight year after beating them in the quarterfinals last year.

    Sean Crocker led on 9 when play was called and was credited with a 1up win while senior Andrew Levitt trailed by two holes on 8 when play stopped.

    USC, which tied for fourth with Vanderbilt at 17-over to qualify for the match play bracket, jumped to an early lead over the Commodores and never trailed in the match.

    Four of the five Trojans won the 10th hole to start the match and soon led on three fronts with Suh and Texeira each quickly going 3up through 13, Levitt going ahead two holes through 13 and Hoey leading by two after 12.

    While Hoey and Crocker went all square after 14, Suh extended his ambush, going 4up on 15 and going 5up over Carson Jacobs at the turn. Suh went 7up through the 2nd hole, the last of a string of four straight wins, before clinching his match with a half on 4.

    Texeira also controlled his match all the way. He seesawed between two- and three-hole leads through the 18th hole before going 4up on 4 and clinching the match over Will Gordon by taking the 5th hole.

    With Suh and Texeira now spectators, eyes turned to Crocker and Hoey. Crocker almost won the match on 8 before Vanderbilt's Theo Humphrey connected on a long par to extend the match. Hoey won the 7th hole to go 2up and then won the match over the Commodores' Patrick Martin when Martin's birdie putt failed to find the cup.

    This is USC's third time playing in the NCAA match play bracket since the format changed in 2009. USC fell to Michigan in the quarterfinals that year, and lost to LSU in the final last year. LSU fell to Oregon today, 3-1-1. The Ducks will face Illinois in the other semifinal today, starting at 1:30 p.m. The Illini, who USC beat in the semifinals last year, downed South Carolina, 4-1.