No. 2 USC Takes Early Lead At Fall Preview|
Sept. 23, 2011
Live results are available at Golfstat.com.
Sophia Popov, the 2011 NGCA Freshman of the Year, picked up where she left off in her first round as a sophomore, finishing tied for second and leading No. 2 USC into first place after 18 holes of the Mason Rudolph Fall Preview on Friday (Sept. 23) at the Vanderbilt Legends Course in Nashville, Tenn.
The Trojans, who won four events last season, finished with a combined 4-over 292 in wet, cold weather, one-stroke better than Arizona State (293) and four better than UCLA (296).
"It was a great start to the season," USC 16th-year head coach Andrea Gaston said. "The key was we persevered in tough conditions and finished strong."
Popov climbed into a tie for second with back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 to close her day. She was 1-under through 9 but bogeys on 13, 15 and 16 set her back before her strong finish. She is among seven players tied at even, one behind Arizona State's Justine Lee (71).
Senior Lisa McCloskey and freshman Kristen Park are tied for ninth at 1-over 73. Like Popov, McCloskey birdied the final two holes, her first two of the round. Park birdied 4 and had bogeys on 6 and 10 in a steady debut for the highly touted freshman.
Action continues Saturday at 8 a.m. (CT) and Sunday at 7:30 a.m.