The men’s golf team fell in the quarterfinals against Illinois on Tuesday.
The Trojans put up their best effort against a winning team, but would ultimately be defeated by the Illini, 3-1-1. Going into the quarterfinals, the originally top-seeded Trojans were tied with defending champion Oregon in fifth place. They were looking for their first national title after finishing as runners-up in 2015 and semi-finalists in 2016.
Though the Trojans didn’t achieve their goal, they secured themselves a place in USC history as they finished in the top eight for the third consecutive year, a feat they had not accomplished since 1977. USC is also one of only three teams that have reached match play in the last three years — the others being Illinois and Vanderbilt, who both advanced to the semifinals.
The Trojans were led by senior Rico Hoey, who was the last man standing against Illinois’ Nick Hardy. Hoey finished his last match as a Trojan at 3 over par, a tie for team best in Round 4 with junior Sean Crocker. They were followed by senior Andrew Levitt, freshman Cheng Jin and sophomore Justin Suh.
When the Trojans return in the fall, they will be without Hoey, Levitt, and Crocker, who has decided to go pro. However, the team will retain the eight remaining players including Jin and Suh, the two underclassmen who made it to the NCAA finals.