Chen, Kim Guide No. 1 USC To Lead At Bruin/Wave Invitational|
March 3, 2014
Junior Doris Chen equaled her career best round en route to the individual lead while sophomore Kyung Kim was almost her equal to tie for second as the duo led No. 1 USC to a five-stroke lead after 36 holes of the Bruin/Wave Invitational at the El Caballero C.C. in Tarzana, Calif., on Monday.
The Trojans, whose school-record eight tournament win streak was snapped last week, look to begin a new victory run this week with their two-round 3-under 573 (295-277), five better than No. 2 UCLA's 2-over 578 (292-286) and eight ahead of the Bruins' co-hosts, No. 17 Pepperdine at 5-over 581 (291-290). USC's 11-under second round set a tournament record.
Chen's 5-under 139 (72-67) gave her a one stroke lead over Kim (70-70) and two others and at 4-under 140. Chen's 67 tied the tournament low and also tied her career low as a Trojan set as a freshman, which was also the last time she was a collegiate medalist, coming at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships.
Chen mixed four birdies and four bogeys in her first round and caught fire in the second, opening with a birdie on 17 during the shotgun start and then going to 3-under with an eagle on 1. She closed the round with a birdie on 16 to grab the lead heading into Tuesday.
Kim, looking for her second win this year, fourth top 10 and sixth top 13, knocked in five birdies during her first round and four in the second. She was 2-over through seven holes during her first go-around before finishing at 4-under. She was even after 14 holes on the second round but finished with birdies on 12 and 15.
Sophomore Annie Park is tied for eighth at 1-over 145 (77-68), rebounding from her career-worst-tying first round with her USC season-record-tying eighth round in the 60s this season in the second. It's also her 13th sub-70 of her career, joining Kim in a tie for fourth all-time at USC. Park, eyeing her fifth straight top 10, had only two bad holes on the day and they came back-to-back in the first round with a triple bogey on 1 and a double on 2 en route to her 5-over first round. She then had four birdies without a bogey in her 68-second round.
Senior Sophia Popov, USC's career leader with 20 rounds in the 60s, had a nice first round going at 2-under through nine before it went sideways and finished at 5-over. The slide continued through her first three holes of the second round at 3-over, but she rebounded like a true veteran, going 3-under the rest of the way to salvage the par round. She is 20th at 5-over 149 (77-72).
Freshman Gabriella Then is tied for 45th at 12-over 156 (79-77). She had three birdies on the day.
USC will tee off with UCLA and Pepperdine tomorrow with start times between 9:10 and 9:50 a.m. as it seeks its sixth win of the season, which would be one off last year's school record seven.