USC Edges UCLA To Win Playoff At Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate|
Feb. 26, 2013
Junior Sophia Popov holed a seven-foot birdie try on the first playoff hole to give the No. 1 USC women's golf team the title at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate on Tuesday (Feb. 26) at the English Turn Golf and Country Club in New Orleans.
USC (287-293) and UCLA (283-297) had tied at 4-over 580 after 36 holes of regulation play (bookending a rained out Monday), setting up Popov's winning putt on the 18th hole.
The win, clinched during a final round made difficult by strong winds, is USC's second this year, its third top 2 finish in a row and its fifth top 3 finish in five outings.
"I was really impressed with the girls," USC Coach Andrea Gaston said. "With the conditions that we had to face this week, I'm certainly happy that we were able to get the second round in. I'm so proud of the team because I know that we just kind of had to get up for the game. We were in sixth place going into today and we wanted the opportunity. Given the conditions with the wind, it was very difficult play today. We didn't quite know where balls were going to end up, but the team came through. It was very exciting and I'm really proud of them."
Popov tied for second at 2-under 142 (70-72) for her best finish of the season and her second in the top 5. After bogeying her opening hole (3) in the shotgun start, she finished with three birdies against two bogeys for the par round, one of only six rounds of par or better Tuesday in the 90-woman field.
Freshman Annie Park tied for eighth at even 144 (71-73). With a 2nd hole start, she bogeyed three of her first four holes, but tightened things up and finished the final 14 holes at 2-under. It was her third top 18 finish in as many outings in her first semester of action.
Fellow freshman Kyung Kim (73-74) and junior Rachel Morris (73-74) each continued their recent solid play, tying for 20th. Kim, in her fifth top 23 outing in as many events this year, had one birdie against three bogeys in an overall steady round while Morris had the same to notch her third top 22 finish this year.
Freshman Kim Santiago tied for 90th at 23-over 167 (84-83).
USC returns to action next week at the Bruin Wave Invitational, Monday and Tuesday (March 4-5) at the El Caballero C.C. in Tarzana, Calif.