LSU defeats USC to win NCAA men's golf championship

Ben Taylor made a tricky eight-foot par putt on the 18th hole Wednesday to give Louisiana State its first NCAA golf championship in 60 years.

The Tigers beat USC, 4-1, at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., for their fifth team title and first since 1955.

USC missed a chance for its first team title but had its best finish in program history.

"Second place is way better than third," Trojans Coach Chris Zambri said. "In the end, where we are, that's how we're measured, so I'm pretty bummed. You've got to play great and survive, so when you get [to the final], you want to get it done. Again, second beats third, fourth, dead last by a mile, yet we still haven't won a national title and that's a bummer."


After Taylor holed the putt for a 1-up victory over Bobby Gojuangco, he dropped his putter and embraced teammates who raced up the fairway to the final green.

"The first [putt] was up the slope and very quick, and I didn't even get it anywhere near the hole on that putt," Taylor said. "Then I had an eight-foot putt, down grain and hill. Coach always says to hit the last putt, it's just one more putt. When I hit it, I knew it was going in the hole without a doubt."

Brandon Pierce got LSU on the board, beating Rico Hoey, 2 and 1. Zach Wright extended his record to 5-0, topping Sean Crocker, 3 and 2. Eric Ricard beat Jonah Texeira, 1 and 2.

Eric Sugimoto accounted for USC's lone point, beating Stewart Jolly, 1 and 2.

"I'll remember this for the rest of my life," Sugimoto said. "It's bittersweet college golf ending, and besides not winning it all today, I wouldn't change a thing."