Men’s golf takes fifth at Trinity Forest Invitational

John McGillen | Daily Trojan

Junior Justin Suh captured his second career collegiate title on Tuesday, as the men’s golf team finished fifth at the Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas. The Trojans were competing in the second tournament of their fall season after opening with a 12th-place finish at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational last week.

No. 8 USC ended the invitational 14 strokes behind runaway winner No. 10 Florida (-17), but Suh topped the individual leaderboard with a score of 10 under par over three strong rounds. The junior shot over par in just five of 54 total holes, birdieing 14 of them and making par on the rest. He bookended the tournament with 4-under rounds, mixing in a 2-under day in-between.

“My overall golf game felt solid, but what specifically helped me this week was my mental approach,” Suh said. “The work I’ve put in with [team psychologist] Kevin Sverduk showed throughout the highs and lows of the event.”

Suh’s win at Trinity Forest built on his ninth-place finish at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational, and it was his first victory since topping the Western Intercollegiate in April.

Sophomore Kyle Suppa recorded USC’s second-lowest score behind Suh, tying for 20th at 1-over. Suppa’s best day came during his second round, when he tallied four birdies for a 1-under day. Freshman Kaito Onishi was just below his teammate on the leaderboard, tying for 24th at 2-over thanks to 10 birdies spread across three rounds.

Three underclassmen rounded out the rest of the Trojan field in Dallas. Redshirt sophomore Ryan Slater tied for 42nd after shooting 5-over, and sophomore Cheng Jin finished 7-over to tie for 49th. Freshman Owen Calvin-Smith, who was playing in his first collegiate tournament, shot 19-over across three rounds to finish in a tie for 75th.

As a team, USC finished behind Florida, No. 13 Auburn, No. 22 Texas Tech and No. 6 Texas in the final standings. A trip to North Plains, Ore., is up next for the Trojans as they compete in the Nike Collegiate Invitational. The tournament kicks off on Sunday and runs through Tuesday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.