No. 3 USC, Popov Win At Battle At Rancho Bernardo
March 20, 2012
Sophomore Sophia Popov fired a final-round 71 to secure her first win this season while freshman Doris Chen joined her in the top 10 as the duo led the No. 3 USC women's golf team to its first victory of the season on Tuesday (March 20) at the San Diego State/Battle at Rancho Bernardo (Calif.).
USC finished with a combined 14-over 590 (295-295) during the 54-hole event that was turned into a 36-hole affair after the first round was washed out by rain Sunday. The Trojans opened the final round tied for second, two back of first, but a solid team outing churned out USC's first team win since the 2011 NCAA West Regional. Arizona State took second at 16-over 592 (295-297) with Texas A&M third (596). First-round leader Tulane tied for fifth at 26-over 602.
Popov collected her fourth career win and first this season at 2-under 142 (71-71). It's also her third top 10 mark this year and fourth in the top 16. She opened with a birdie on 2 before bogeys on 4 and 7 dropped her to 1-over for the round, even for the tournament. But she responded with birdies on 11 and 12 and pars the rest of the way to claim the individual title.
Popov's four career wins are one off the school record, held by Irene Cho.
Chen registered her third straight top 10 finish at 3-over 147 (73-74). She was 1-over both going out and coming in with bogeys only on 7 and 18.
Senior Inah Park posted her fourth top 20 finish this year, tying for 14th at 5-over 149 (75-74). She opened the round with a 3-over front 9 and was 4-over through 14, but birdied two of her final four holes.