Suh’s Birdie Gives USC Southwestern Title

Justin Suh of USC sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole to give third-ranked USC a one-stroke victory over Cal in the Southwestern Invitational at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village.

USC claimed its third victory of the season by recording a score of 284-285-291—860, while Cal finished at 289-289-283—861, followed by UCLA at 286-288-291—865, Pepperdine at 296-288-285—869 and Tennessee at 291-290-296—877.

“Justin Suh had another amazing week,” USC Coach Chris Zambri said. “It’s crazy, the difference one guy can make. He is so special. We’ve all been lucky to be a part of this.”

The Trojans lost a seven-stroke lead at the start of the day, but rallied after Cal went ahead on the back nine.

San Jose State was sixth at 293-296-289—878, followed by Oregon State at 295-292-293—880, San Diego State at 293-298-290—881, Loyola Marymount at 298-291-297—886 and Washington at 305-299-285—890.

Suh, a senior from San Jose, claimed the eighth victory of his USC career and second this season with a score of 68-68-68—204, 12-under, followed by Clay Feagler of Pepperdine at 69-66-73—208 and Collin Morikawa of Cal at 70-70-71—211.

“Today was one of those picture-perfect endings,” Suh said. “Coach Z told me on the 17 tee that we were one back. During the walk after I hit my drive on 18, I smirked because I knew this was one of those team moments I was itching for.

“For my teammate Kaito (Onishi) to make a birdie on 18 before me, it was such a great feeling grabbing the win with that last putt. I’m so happy to see the work we’ve put in pay off.”

Kevin Velo of San Jose State shot 69-75-69—213 to tie for fourth with Gavin Cohen of Loyola Marymount, who finished at 73-68-72—213, Sebastian Crampton of Cal, who totaled 73-71-69—213, Sean Maruyama of UCLA, who wound up at 73-65-75—213, and Kaiwen Liu of Cal, who came in at 72-71-70—213.

Spencer Tibbits of Oregon State was ninth at 74-71-69—214, while Kaito Onishi of USC shot 69-72-75—216 to tie for 10th with Devon Bling of UCLA, who finished at 69-74-73—216, and Hunter Wolcott of Tennessee, who wound up at 72-69-75—216.

Joey Moore led San Diego State in a tie for 13th at 70-73-74—217.

Rounding out the scoring for team champion USC were Kyle Suppa in solo 19th at 76-72-71—219, Charlie Reiter tied for 32nd at 76-73-74—223 and Issei Tanabe totaled 72-74-79—225 to finish in a tie for 38th that included teammate Sam Kim, who wound up at 75-73-77—225.

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