Xiong gets 3rd straight title with playoff birdie

Norman Xiong of Oregon claimed his third straight victory with a birdie on the third playoff hole to beat Collin Morikawa of California in the 72nd Annual Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.

Xiong, a sophomore from Canyon Lake, Calif., hit his approach shot to within a foot of the hole for the winning birdie.

“I think I figured out golf is starting to become a mental game at this level, because we can all hit it, we can all putt it, we can all chip it,” said Xiong, who won for the fifth time this season for the sixth time in his Duck career. “But, if you have the right mental game, you can feel comfortable, which I did these past couple of weeks. You can really get it done out here.

“ … Staying patient for sure. Because of the rain delay, it made the greens kind of bumpy. They weren’t the smoothest. The course played get-able, but you had to be patient on the greens. Staying patient on the greens and realizing they were soft, you could score out here.”

Xiong posted a score of 68-65-67—200, 10-under-par, while Morikawa finished at 69-67-64—200, and George Cunningham of Arizona wound up at 66-66-68—200, but dropped out of the playoff with a bogey on the first extra hole.

Said Oregon Coach Casey Martin of Xiong: “He carried us again. He is such a talent and he is on a roll.”

Justin Suh of USC was fourth at 67-68-67—202, followed by Ben Griffin of North Carolina at 66-67-70—203, while Sebastian Crampton of Cal shot 67-68-69—204 to tie for sixth with PJ Samiere of San Diego State, who finished at 73-63-68—204, and Jose Montano of North Carolina, who came in at 72-67-65—204.

Trevor Norby of San Diego State totaled 69-66-71—206 to tie for ninth with Spencer Soosman of Texas, who wound up at 71-69-66—206.

Bradley Knox led Stanford in a tie for 13th at 72-66-70—208, Joshua McCarthy of Pepperdine tied for 20th at 67-74-69—210, and David Kim of UC Irvine shot 70-72-69—211 to tie for 24th with Bryce Wortman of San Jose State, who finished at 68-72-71—211.

North Carolina took home the team title with a score of 350-340-346—1036, 14-under, while California was second at 355-341-350—1046, and San Diego State totaled 355-341-356—1052 to tie for third with USC, which finished at 352-350-350—1052.

Texas was fifth at 347-352-355—1054, while Stanford wound up at 356-355- 347—1058 to tie for sixth with Oregon, which came in at 353-355-350—1058.

Colorado State was eighth at 361-355-349—1065, followed by Arizona at 362-353-351—1066, and Pepperdine at 361-350-356—1067.

San Jose State finished 11th at 365-357-358—1080, and UC Irvine tied for 14th at 358-378-365—1101.

For complete results, visit http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=14253.

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