Women's Golf
    No. 1 Trojans Take Lead At Northrop Grumman

    Junior Sophia Popov carded a second-round 68 for her 13th career round in the 60s.

    Feb. 12, 2013

    Results at Golfstat.com

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    Junior Sophia Popov fired a 3-under 68 while junior Rachel Morris and freshman Kyung Kim carded 2-under 69s to help the No. 1 USC women's golf team erase a 10-stroke deficit and rocket to first place after the second round of the annual Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at the Palos Verdes (Calif.) G.C. on Tuesday (Feb. 12).

    A day after combining for a 14-over first round, USC was the only team under par today with a collective 4-under for a two-day 10-over 578 (298-280), one better than second-place UCLA (579). The Bruins held the first-round lead before their 7-over second round. Duke is third at 17-over 585 with Texas fourth.

    USC's 280 is tied for the eighth-best round in program history and was its best ever in its many rounds at the Palos Verdes G.C. The previous low for the Trojans at the course was a 283 during their Pac-10 title run in 2008.

    Kim moved into a tie for second at 1-under 143 (74-69) while Popov jumped into a tie for fifth at even 144 (76-68). Duke's Alejandra Cangrejo is in first at 2-under 140. Morris is tied for 10th at 4-over 146 (77-69).

    Popov was 1-over through 3 holes before stringing together four birdies in a row between the fourth and seventh holes and tacking on another one at 9. She added a birdie on 14 to get to 5-under before two late bogeys kept her from second place.

    Kim started play with birdies on 1 and 2 en route to a 1-under front 9 and birdies on 14 and 16 helped her complete her 2-under second round. Morris was 2-under on the front 9 thanks to birdies on 4 and 8 and was even on the back 9 with two more birdies.

    Popov's 68 was her second round in the 60s this season and gives her 13 for her career, two short of the school record of 15 (Jennifer Song). For Morris, it was her first sub-70 round since a 69 early in her sophomore season and the second of her career as a Trojan. Kim's round is her third in the 60s in her young career.

    Freshman Annie Park is tied for 18th at 6-over 148 (72-68). After a shaky start that saw her go 6-over through five holes, she steeled herself and finished the final 13 holes at 1-under. Sophomore Doris Chen rounds out the Trojans' efforts tied for 30th at 8-over 150.

    Freshman Kim Santiago is tied for 59th at 14-over 156 (76-80) while freshman Ellie Chai is tied for 79th at 21-over 163 (79-84) as they play individually.

    The final round begins Wednesday with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.