Then Ties For First At UCI Invitational Before Falling In 5-Hole Playoff|
Feb. 24, 2015
Sophomore Gabriella Then tied for first before falling in a five-hole playoff while the No. 2 USC women's golf team took second place at the UCI Invitational at the Santa Ana (Calif.) C.C. on Tuesday.
The Trojans finished second at 1-over 865 (287-290-288), 11 back of first-place Washington (854). Texas A&M was third (865).
Then, whose previous collegiate best was a tie for fifth as a freshman, tied for first today at 5-under 211 (70-68-73) with Aggie Marijosse Navarro. Then's birdie putt on 17 for a two-stroke lead lipped out, one of a handful of putts that didn't fall for Then today, and Navarro birdied 18 to force a playoff.
The two tied on the first four playoff holes with a birdie, par, bogey and birdie. But Then missed a par putt to stay alive on the fifth hole.
Despite the playoff loss, the finish was Then's second top 10 to start spring play.
"She played really well," USC Coach Andrea Gaston said. "She was really consistent. Her preparation has been terrific over the last two tournaments. She's doing a lot of things right, paying attention to detail and doing well at practice."
Said Then: "I had a lot of opportunities out there today and birdie chances. My putts kept rimming the holes each time. They weren't dropping today. But overall, things I've been working on, like my greens and driving, worked well today."
Junior Kyung Kim (70-78-69) and freshman Amy Lee (71-73-73) tied for 10th at 1-over 217. Kim's final round gives her 19 rounds in the 60s for her career, tying her with junior Annie Park for second on USC's career chart. The team record is 22.
Kim had five birdies on the day and was 2-under on the front 9. Lee finished with her second straight top 10 to start her collegiate career after a third at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.
Sophomore Karen Chung tied for 33rd at 8-over 224 (76-75-73) while Park, in her first spring event, was 35th at 9-over 225 (77-74-74).
Junior Kim Santiago, playing individually, tied for 55th at 16-over 232 (74-78-80).
USC's roster now features five players who have won at least one collegiate event, including Then (one), Park (six), Kim (three), Chung (one) and senior Doris Chen (two).