No. 2 USC Erases 13-Stroke Deficit To Win Season-Opening ANNIKA Intercollegiate|
Sept. 27, 2016
Sophomore Robynn Ree fired a 5-under 67, senior Karen Chung turned in a 4-under 68 and senior Victoria Morgan completed her best career event with a 2-under 70 as the No. 2 USC women's golf team erased a 13-stroke final-round deficit to win the season-opening ANNIKA Intercollegiate on Tuesday (Sept. 27) at the Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla.
The Trojans, who won the event in 2015 at a school-record 36-under, weren't quite as sharp this week but put it all together in a superb 12-under final round to win at 24-under 840 (279-285-276), two better than second-place Arkansas and four better than third-place UCLA. The Bruins entered the final round 13 strokes better than USC while Arkansas was 11 ahead of Troy.
USC put some pressure on the field with a 5-under front 9 and took over the lead with a combined 7-under back 9, including eight birdies between 13 and 17.
Morgan accounted for two of those on 14 and 17, as she went on to tie for eighth at 7-under 209 (69-70-70). Her three rounds are her best three as a Trojan and the top 10 mark is her highest collegiate finish in a full team event.
Ree, who finished second last year by one stroke behind Chung, posted a six-birdie, one-bogey final round to tie for 17th at 4-under 212 (73-72-67). She joined seniors Tiffany Chan (67-72-73) and Gabriella Then (70-71-71) at 4-under.
Chung finished 25th at 2-under 214 (73-73-68), moving up the leader board with her fantastic final round that included a 3-under front 9 and no bogeys.
"It was a great final round and pretty exciting," USC Coach Andrea Gaston said. "We just couldn't make any putts on Monday and the girls were probably disappointed. Today it was a matter of finding the right attitude and forgetting Monday and trying to have a fresh perspective and allowing themselves to be patient and wait for the putts to drop.
"It was a bit of a surprise on the back to see we were only 5 back. From there I thought we could do it. We tried to stay in the moment rather than worry about the outcome. We tried to make a putts and wait for it to come together. Gabby made some putts, Victoria did as well as did the others. They all got hot on the back 9."
The win marks the third time in the last four seasons that USC posted a victory in its first event of the year, including last year's win at Reunion and a 2013 fall title at the Dale McNamara Fall Preview. USC won its first five matches in the 2013-14 season.
The victory is also the Trojans' 24th in its past 41 outings, 27th in the last 45 and 28th in the last 47 dating back to the third tournament in the fall of 2012.