Zimbabwean golfer Crocker wins the Italian Amateur Champs

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Zimbabwe amateur golfer Sean Crocker continued his rise on the global stage, after romping to a dominant five-shot victory at the prestigious Italian International Amateur Championship in Lecce, Italy, yesterday.

BY Daniel Nhakaniso

Crocker carded solid rounds of 68-69-70-70 for a 72-hole total of seven-under par 277 to secure an impressive five shot victory at the Circolo Acaya Golf & Country Club.

Crocker, who is on a scholarship at the University of Southern Carlifonia, stormed into the lead on the second round on Friday and never looked back as he sealed his biggest win outside the US thus far.

After laying the foundation in the opening two rounds he consolidated his lead in the final two rounds.

Crocker increased his lead to three strokes with identical rounds of two under par 70 in the last two rounds to romp to victory by 5 strokes.

Yesterday’s win came less than a week after Crocker, who currently leads the University of Southern Carlifonia this year in stroke average, had been selected to the United States Arnold Palmer Cup team it which was announced last Thursday.

Crocker, who will make his first Arnold Palmer Cup appearance, was selected for the 10-man American team that will take on a 10-man European squad at the annual Ryder Cup-style competition to be played June 9-11 at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

The six United States players determined by the ranking included Sam Burns of LSU, Texas A&M’s Chandler Phillips, Collin Morikawa of California, Virginia’s Jimmy Stanger, Stanford’s Maverick McNealy and Oregon’s Norman Xiong.

John Coultas of Florida Southern, Illinois’ Nick Hardy and Crocker were committee selections. Coultas was the designated non-division I player. Doug Ghim of Texas was John Fields coach’s pick.

Crocker leads USC with a 70.30 stroke average in 20 rounds. He has four top 10 finishes this season and has not finished outside the top 16 in any of his seven events. He is second on the squad with nine rounds in the 60s.

Crocker is part of a USC squad that has won three times this season and has been part of the Trojans’ back-to-back trips to the NCAA Championships semifinals the past two years.

USC returns to action at The Goodwin at the Stanford GC on March 30.-amh