Every win is putting him closer to being one of the best golfers in ACC history.
N.C. State’s Albin Choi fended off Daniel Berger of Florida State and Dykes Harbin of South Carolina to capture the USF Invitational by three strokes on Tuesday afternoon at the par-72 Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club just outside of Tampa, Fla. The victory is the junior’s eighth career win — two short of 2009 NCAA Champion Matt Hill’s NCSU school record — and the fourth in his past seven starts. According to Golf Week, the Toronto native has become the 18th-ranked amateur in the world and is currently the 9th-ranked collegiate player in the nation.
The 54-hole event got off to an auspicious start for Choi who birdied three of his first six holes en route to an opening round 68 (-4). Despite four bogeys in the first seven holes of his second round, Choi utilized a sizzling back nine 31 to duplicate his first round score and land him atop the leader board heading into Tuesday’s final round. A late double bogey on hole No. 15 gave the rest of the field some momentary hope, but a birdie at No. 17 sealed what would end up being a three-short victory for Choi (68-68-72).
In the team portion of the event, N.C. State (-4) had just enough fire power to outlast No. 43 South Carolina (-3) and No. 16 Florida State (-1). State’s Logan Harrell (-1) and Carter Page (E) snuck into the top 10 on the individual leader board to help Choi (-8) earn their team its first victory of the year.
The Wolfpack returns to action next week at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate in Aiken, S.C. where Choi can earn his third consecutive win. He has already doubled the mark of past greats Tim Clark and Carl Pettersson, two players who have combined for five PGA TOUR victories.