Popov and Park finish 1-2 after 18 holes.
Trojans looking for fifth conference crown and fifth win this season.
Trojans tie for fifth, their three-event win streak snapped.
Junior is one off lead, Trojans eight back.
Trojans, seeking fourth straight win, are in third after first round.
THIS SEASON: Junior Sophia Popov, a German native who was the top NCAA freshman in 2011 and an All-American for the second time in 2012, is primed for another big year as one of the top golfers in the country ... During the fall, she led Germany to second place at the 2012 Women's World Amateur Team Championship at the end of September in Antalya, Turkey. Popov led Germany to a combined 10-under during four rounds of play, three back of first-place Korea. Popov, in fact, led the German team at 6-under 282 (72-70-72-68), good for sixth place.
2011-2012: Popov earned NGCA All-American honors (honorable mention) for the second year in a row as a 2012 sophomore. Ranked in the top 15 much of the year, Popov finished with a pair of top 2 finishes (including one win), five in the top 8 and six in the top 16. Her four rounds in the 60s tied for team high and gave her 11 for her career, four shy of the school record and one shy of fourth place. She opened the year with a tie for eighth at the Mason Rudolph at 2-over 218 (72-72-74) but was injured in USC's second event, ending her fall campaign. She regained her form in the spring, taking second at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge and winning the rain-shortened Battle at Rancho Bernardo with a 2-under 142 (71-71). At the Pac-12 Championships, she tied for fifth at 4-over 220 (79-69-72). Popov, a 2012 All-Pac-12 second team selection, finished third on the team in stroke average (73.57). Her win at Rancho Bernardo was the fourth of her career, one off of USC's career record (held by Irene Cho).
2010-2011: Popov earned NGCA and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and NGCA All-American and All-Pac-10- first team honors in 2011 and was ranked as high as No. 3 by Golfweek.com in one of the top debuts ever for a Trojan ... She led USC with seven rounds in the 60s, one off the school season-record, and her 72.16 stroke average was seventh-best in school history ... She won three events last year, part of a string of eight straight top 7 finishes, including the Pac-10 title, claimed in a one-hole playoff after a 6-under 210 (69-71-70) performance. Her first title of the year came at the Pac-10/SEC Challenge when she fired a 6-under 207 (72-68-67). She complemented the win with a title at the PING/ASU Invitational with a 5-under 211 (69-71-71) ... Popov's string of top 8 finishes began with a fifth-place finish at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational at 2-under 214 (68-74-72). After her Pac-10/SEC win, she posted a tie for seventh at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at 8-over 221 (74-74-73) and another tie for seventh at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Invitational at 1-under 215 (74-72-69). She then tied for fifth at the Battle at Rancho Bernardo with a 3-over 219 (74-73-72) before the PING/ASU win. At the NCAA West Regionals, she was third at 1-under 215 (69-73-73). She tied for 26th at the NCAA Championships, ending the streak ... Popov had a busy and fruitful off-season, mainly competing throughout Europe. She made the cut at the British Open with a 36-hole 145 (70-75) and finished 67th overall. She was 15th at the International European Ladies Amateur Championship, where she was the defending champion, and helped Germany to third place at the European Ladies Team Championships, going 4-2. She also went 3-1 to lead Team Europe to victory over Great Britain and Ireland in the Vagliano Trophy. She made it to the round of 16 at the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship and qualified for the match-play at the U.S. Women's Amateur.
HIGH SCHOOL: Popov, who attended European School Karlsruhe, is a German national team member who represented Germany at the Junior Solheim Cup in 2009 as well as at the 2009 European Girls' Team Championships. Popov, ranked first among German juniors, won the 2010 International European Ladies Amateur Championship, the 2008 German Championship Girls 16 and under and was second in both the 2008 German Ladies Championship and the German Girls and Boys International Championship. She was fourth at the 2008 Skandia Girls in Sweden and tied for fifth in stroke play at the 2008 Girls British Open Amateur Championship (she was a quarterfinalist in match play) and was 16th there in 2007.
PERSONAL: Popov's brother, Nicholas, is a swimmer at Arizona. Her mother, Claudia, was a top swimmer at Stanford while her father, Philip Popov, was a first division field hockey player ... Popov was an accomplished amateur tennis player and swimmer in Germany before deciding to focus on golf ... In the winter of 2012, Popov was among three USC student-athletes who represented the Trojans at the Athletic Prevention Programming and Leadership Education conference, designed to promote student-athlete health and wellness.
Lowest 54-Hole Score: 207
Lowest Round: 67
Round in the 60s: 7
Highest Finish: 1st (four times)
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