USC’s women’s golf team, ranked No. 1 nationally, used a handful of birdies and key pars to erase a late deficit and win the NCAA West Regional tournament by one stroke on May 10. The team advances to the NCAA finals scheduled for May 20-23.
The Trojans, battling cold and windy weather at the Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash., finished at 12-over 876 (284-294-298). That’s one better than second-place host University of Washington (877), which enjoyed a five-stroke lead on the back 9. Arizona State University was third at 25-over 889.
NCAA West, Central and East Regionals, each made up of 24 teams, determine the championship final field. The top eight teams plus two individual players from each field advance to the championship round, which will be played at the Tulsa (Okla.) Country Club.
The Trojans’ win extends their 2013-14 season record to nine wins, while also nailing down their NCAA-best 10th regional win, including five in a row. USC is the defending national champion.
Sophomore Annie Park and freshman Karen Chung led the Trojans at the NCAA West Regional with a pair of 1-over 73s while senior Sophia Popov, junior Doris Chen and sophomore Kyung Kim all posted 4-over 76s.
Park tied for 2nd at 1-under 215 (71-71-73) for her fifth top 3 this season and her ninth top 11 in a row. She was 4-over for her round through 11 before birdies on 12, 14 and 15. She finished with pars on her final three holes as USC rallied.
Kim tied for fourth at even 215 (66-74-76) and was 2-over on the front and back 9s. The finish was her fourth in the top 5 and sixth in the top 8.
Chung finished at 6-over 222 (77-72-73) for a top 15 finish and birdied 14 and 16 during USC’s comeback. Chen finished at 10-over 226 (72-78-76) while Popov finished at 12-over 228 (75-77-76).