Southern California, LSU reach NCAA golf final
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Eric Sugimoto beat Nick Hardy 3 and 1 to lift Southern California past Illinois on Tuesday in the NCAA semifinals.
Southern California will play LSU in the final Wednesday at The Concession Golf Club. Southern California beat Illinois 3-1-1, and LSU topped Georgia 3-1-1.
''This is something we all dreamed about, making a reality,'' Sugimoto said. ''We had an up and down season, but the talent was there.''
Rico Hoey and Bobby Gojuangco also won matches for Southern California, and Jonah Texeira halved his match.
''I'm not one bit surprised with the way Bobby is playing or Eric,'' Trojans coach Chris Zambri said. ''They're just playing phenomenal golf. They work really hard and I think we've found a place that really fits us.''
Zach Wright led LSU, routing Mookie DeMoss 7 and 6. Benjamin Taylor and Eric Ricard also won matches for the Tigers. Brandon Pierce halved his match.
''Obviously, proud of the guys,'' LSU coach Chuck Winstead said. ''Today, the match play is a long day, quarterfinals and semifinals, and so to be able to kind of keep your mind right and play at a level to do what they've done, proud of that. Looking forward to tomorrow, and we'll see how we do.''
Southern California is seeking its first team title. LSU won the last of its four championships in 1955.
''We know that we're good enough to compete in the finals of the national championship and we're all very excited to go compete tomorrow and perform well,'' Taylor said.
In the morning semifinals, Southern California beat Texas 3-0-2, LSU topped Vanderbilt 3-1-1, Illinois edged UCLA 3-2, and Georgia beat South Florida 4-1.
On Monday, SMU's Bryson DeChambeau won the individual title.