Junior Doris Chen made it two in a row for USC, winning the individual national title in women’s golf at the NCAA Championships on May 23, but the Trojans were unable to defend their 2013 NCAA team title despite a remarkable comeback in the final round.
Chen was nearly infallible on the final day of the tournament in Oklahoma, shooting a 3-under 67 to win by one stroke over Celine Boutier from Duke, which won the team title. Chen was 6-under for the week with rounds of 67, 68, 72 and 67.
The Women of Troy looked every bit the No. 1-ranked team in the country in the final round, shooting a school record 270 (10-under). USC started the day trailing Duke by six strokes, and the Trojans surged past the Blue Devils by as many as four strokes. However, a couple of hiccups and near misses down the stretch proved costly as Duke prevailed by two strokes. USC has now finished second three times in the last five seasons (2010, 2012 and 2014).
USC waged a strong defense of its 2013 title this year with a school-record nine wins and a second place finish at the NCAA Championships. Next season, the Trojans only lose one starter, Sophia Popov, who finished her career with a collegiate career best 65 on the tournament’s final day. They will be in the mix next season led by Chen and Annie Park, who won the individual national championship in 2013, Kyung Kim, who went 67 and 67 in the final two rounds, and Karen Chung, who finished in the nation’s top 30 as a freshman.