Chung Leads Trojans In NCAA Championships 2nd Round
May 21, 2014
(updated at 4:15 p.m. PT)
Freshman Karen Chung carded an even round while day 1 leader Doris Chen remained solid at 2-over to lead No. 1 USC during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Women's Golf Championships at the Tulsa (Okla.) C.C. on Wednesday (May 22).
The Trojans finished the morning wave at 11-over 291 for a combined 36-hole 24-over 584 (293-291), tied with UCLA and Arizona for fourth and nine back of first-place Oklahoma (575). Duke is second at 18-over 578 while Arizona State is third at 20-over 580.
USC is looking to become the first repeat NCAA champion since Duke won three in a row between 2005-07. The Trojans are nine-time winners this season, which broke last year's school season-record of seven.
"Even when you look at the nine wins we've had this season I still feel like we haven't played our best golf," USC Coach Andrea Gaston said. "And certainly the last couple of days, even under difficult conditions, we are a very talented team and capable of playing a lot better. Hopefully we can figure it out this afternoon and get a fresh start tomorrow and see some of our best golf in the next couple of days.
"Nine strokes is very manageable over two rounds, but we do need to figure out the golf course. We played the back 9 extremely well today. The front 9 has been our challenge. If we can start to put up a number on the front 9, that can make all the difference."
The Trojans began in the morning wave on the back 9 and got off to a collective good start, eventually moving from 13-over at the start of the round to 9-over as the team neared the turn. But the Trojans slipped with a combined 9-over on 18 and 1 and also lost ground on the treacherous par 3 6th hole that saw many balls land in the water short of the green.
Chung was USC's steadiest performer. After a bogey on 10 to open her round, she birdied 13 and 16 to get to 1-under. She bogeyed 1 and finished with eight straight pars to close play at a two-day 4-over 144 (74-70). She is tied for 18th.
Chen, who began the day in a three-way tie for first at 3-under, is now at 1-under 139 (67-72), good for fourth, four back. She was 1-under through 17 before her first real misstep of the tournament, a double bogey on 18. She bogeyed 2 after the turn but finished the final seven holes without a bobble, saving par with a two-putt from some 40 feet on 17 and turning in a nice up and down from just off the bunker on 18.
Sophomore Annie Park turned in her second consecutive 75 to finish the second round at 10-over 150, tied for 58th. She was 1-under through her first nine with three birdies but was 6-over coming home.
Sophomore Kyung Kim is tied for 67th at 11-over 151 (77-74), improving a bit on her first round score. She opened with birdies on 10 and 11 but did not have another the rest of the round.
Senior Sophia Popov was 2-over on her front 9 and was close on a handful of early birdie putts, but she couldn't find the momentum she was looking for and is now at 18-over 158 (79-79).