No. 2 USC Wins Pac-12 Championship!|
April 20, 2016
No. 2 USC's sprint through the first two rounds of the 2016 Pac-12 Women's Golf Championships turned to a grind over the final back 9, but the Trojans passed the gut check with strokes to spare and won the program's sixth conference title by three shots on Wednesday (April 20) at at the Ruby Hills G.C. in Pleasanton, Calif.
Troy, which featured all five of its golfers in the top 18 and all at par or better, won its first Pac-12 crown since 2013 at a combined 18-under 846 (278-275-293), needing most of the 13-stroke cushion it built during the first 36 holes. It was enough to hold off hard-charging No. 4 UCLA, which took second at 15-under 849 after a 5-under final round. No. 10 Arizona State was third at 13-under 851.
Junior Gabriella Then, one of three Trojans who carded 1-over 73s today, tied for third at 8-under 208 (70-65-73), her best effort of the season and first top 10 since the season-opener in September. The final Trojan on the course, Then shook off a bogey on 15 with easy pars over the final three holes to secure USC's win.
Juniors Karen Chung (71-69-73) and Tiffany Chan (67-72-74) tied for 10th at 3-under 213. Chung, with her team-high-tying fourth top 10 finish, was 2-over through 10 but got to even with birdies on 13 and 14 before a bogey on 17. Chan, who notched her third top 10, was 2-over today with bogeys on 2 and 13.
Freshman Robynn Ree tied for 12th at 1-under 215 (70-69-76) with only her third round over 74 all season. Ree, with her sixth top 17 finish this season, was 6-over through 12, but birdied 13 and 14 to get to 4-over, which is how she finished.
Senior Kyung Kim tied for 18th at par 216 (71-72-73) for her third top 18 this year and fifth in the top 30. She was 1-under going out with two birdies. Her only blip on the back 9 was a double bogey on 17.
The victory is USC's fifth of the year, marking the fourth straight season the Trojans have won at least that many. Troy's three-stroke margin of victory was its slimmest among its Pac-12 victories. Its first conference win, as part of the Pacific West in 1986, came after counting its fifth golfer as a tiebreaker.
Next up is the NCAA Championships Regionals, May 5-7. USC has won 11 NCAA regionals and six in a row, both national bests.
SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup Within the USC-UCLA SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup competition, the season-long battle between Trojans and Bruins in all sports, points for women's golf are awarded to the highest finisher between the rivals at the Pac-12 Championships. With today's title, USC adds 10 points and now leads UCLA, 80-55.