Park First, No. 1 USC Second To Open Northrop Grumman
Feb. 9, 2014
Sophomore Annie Park fired a 4-under 67 to claim the individual lead while the top-ranked Trojans - attempting to extend their school-record and national-best win streak to eight tournaments - are in second place after the first round of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at the Palos Verdes (Calif.) G.C.
The Trojans, the defending NCAA champions who opened this season with four straight wins, finished the first round a combined 4-under 288, two back of first-place Baylor. No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 Duke are tied for third at 6-over 290 while Arizona, Duke and Washington are tied for fifth at 8-over 292.
Park, who finished the fall season with a season-best second at the Pac-12 Preview (which followed a tie for third), maintained her strong play with her 4-under opening round that included 2-under front and back 9s. She put together a string of five birdies and an eagle between the fifth and 13th holes to offset a double on 3 and a bogey on 14. She is one up on Baylor's Louise Gateau-Chovelen and Duke's Yu Lui. Her round ties her for team lead with five rounds in the 60s.
Sophomore Kyung Kim is fifth at 1-under 70. Kim, Troy's leader in rounds in the 60s entering today, seemed poised to get another after going 4-under through 13 holes. Kim, however, bogeyed three of the final five holes as she proved human on the back stretch.
Senior Sophia Popov, like Park coming off two top 3 results to close the fall schedule, is tied for 28th at 3-over 74. She was 1-over on the front 9 and 2-over on the back with three birdies on the day.
Freshman Gabriella Then, playing individually, had a strong round and is tied for sixth at par 71, tying her season-best round. She was 1-under on the front 9 and 1-over on the back.
The Trojans will tee off between 10 and 10:36 a.m. in Monday's second round. Action concludes Tuesday.