Women's Golf
    No. 1 USC Finishes With A Share Of 5th At NCAA's

    Sophia Popov was 2-under in Saturday's final round.

    May 21, 2011

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    BRYAN, TEXAS - The No. 1 USC women's golf team jumped in the standings for the second straight day Saturday (May 21) at the 2011 NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Texas A&M's Traditions Club. The Women of Troy closed out play at 36-over (302-302-292-294) to finish tied with No. 11 Arkansas (305-296-296-293) for a share of fifth place.

    No. 2 UCLA (289-295-294-295) finished at 21-over defeating No. 4 Purdue (292-295-298-292) by four stokes to win the championship. No. 7 LSU (292-296-303-290) took third at 29-over and No. 5 Virginia (291-300-299-296) finished fourth at 34-over. LSU's Austin Ernst won the individual title at 7-under (72-66-77-66).

    Senior Lizette Salas, playing in her final tournament as a Trojan tied for 22nd at 7-over 295 (75-73-74-73). She managed two birdies on a day that featured dazzling approach shots and wedge play, but couldn't get her putting game on track finishing the round at 1-over.

    Freshman Sophia Popov (78-76-73-70) finished the tournament with a share of 26th place at 9-over after turning in the Trojans top round on Saturday. Popov rattled off an impressive five birdies in her 2-under round of 70. Fellow freshman Rachel Morris (75-76-75-75) and junior Inah Park (76-78-71-76) finished the championship tied for 45th at 13-over. Sophomore Cyna Rodriguez (76-77-74-76) rounded out the team tied for 55th at 15-over.

    "I think we had a great season and we proved ourselves as a No. 1 team with our play this year," said head coach Andrea Gaston. "When you come to a national championship in that position the target is on your back. We just didn't get off to the start we wanted the first two rounds...It was a great year for us, a top-5 finish is something we are very proud of."