No. 1 USC, Sophomore Kim, Post Victories At Fall Preview
Sept. 11, 2013
Sophomore Kyung Kim won her second career individual title with three straight rounds in the 60s while senior Sophia Popov joined her under par in the final round to lead the No. 1 and defending NCAA champion USC women's golf team to a come-from-behind victory at the 2013 Fall Preview on Wednesday (Sept. 11) at the Tulsa (Okla.) C.C.
The Trojans, who finished the 2012-13 season by winning their final three events (all in the postseason), extended their victory streak to four with a combined 8-over 848 (288-284-276) thanks in part to a 4-under final round that helped them erase a three-stroke second-round deficit. USC also won four events in a row to close out the 2008 season, which culminated with Troy's second NCAA team title.
The win is also USC's seventh in its last eight starts dating back to last year.
Oklahoma took second at 12-over 852 with Oklahoma State third (855) and Alabama and Duke tied for fourth (856). The Tulsa C.C. will also serve as host for the 2014 NCAA Championships and the field included 12 teams that finished in the NCAA top 21 last year.
Kim, who led USC with six rounds in the 60s last year, became the first Trojan since Dewi Claire Schreefel in the fall of 2007 to go under 70 in all three rounds of an event, taking first at 6-under 204 (69-69-66). Her three-round total is tied for the second lowest in school history, joining Schreefel's 204 at the aforementioned 2007 event (also a Fall Preview).
Kim, who won last year at the Stanford Intercollegiate, was 1-over through seven holes in her final round before a birdie on 8 gave her a par front 9. She then birdied four holes on the back 9 without a bogey to get to 4-under for the day, tying her second-best round as a Trojan.
Kim led USC with six rounds in the 60s last year and is already halfway to that total after one event.
Popov, looking to become just USC women's golf's second four-time All-American this season, tied for 17th at 5-over 215 (73-74-68) and extended her school record for rounds in the 60s to 17 today. She had three birdies on the day and was without a bogey until 18.
"We fought really hard out there to get that `W'," Popov said. "We struggled the first two days so it was great to show the other teams today that we belong up there and have just as strong a team as we had last year. Today's round showed the potential our team has and we hope to keep the momentum going."
Freshman Gabriella Then, in her debut as a Trojan, took 23rd at 6-over 216 (71-73-72), sophomore Annie Park tied for 24th at 7-over 217 (75-68-74) and junior Doris Chen is tied for 39h at 10-over 220 (76-74-70).
Then bogeyed her first and 18th holes and carded 16 pars in between. Park, the 2013 WGCA and Pac-12 Player of the Year, bogeyed four times today while Chen was 2-under through 14 before a couple late bogeys dropped her to par.
USC's 276 tied its second-lowest combined round in school history, equaling the second round at last year's NCAA Championships (though this event was on a par 70 course).
USC had six individual titles last year. Park had four and Popov had one as well.