USC, Park Win At Windy City Collegiate Championship|
Oct. 7, 2014
Junior Annie Park missed USC's season-opener but arrived just in time for its second Fall event and proved vital, winning the Windy City Collegiate Championship at 5-under while spearheading a three-stroke team victory as the Trojans defended their 2013 title on Tuesday (Oct. 7) at the Westmoreland (Ill.) C.C.
The Trojans began the day six ahead of host Northwestern, stretched the lead to as many as nine before seeing it all evaporate on the back 9. But a Park eagle on 11 and a birdie on 13 helped rebuild the advantage and proved the difference as USC won at 12-over 876 (294-287-295), three ahead of the Wildcats' 879. Iowa State took third at 24-over 888.
Park's win was the sixth of her Trojan career, breaking the tie with former teammate Sophia Popov, Irene Cho and Mikaela Parmlid. She finished at 5-under 211 (73-69-69), her final two rounds giving her 17 rounds in the 60s for her career, tied with junior teammate Kyung Kim for second place in program history. Kim, a two-time All-American first teamer, has yet to play this season for the Trojans.
Park posted her victory days after flying to Illinois from Florida, where she successfully advanced into the final stage of the LPGA's "Q" School.
While Park hung on for the win with a 3-under back 9 and a finish of five straight pars, senior Doris Chen turned in her second straight strong outing and tied for fourth at even 216 (71-73-72). She was battling Park for the individual lead through the front 9 before Park's back 9 eagle and her two late bogeys that dropped her to par for the day and the tournament.
Chen, who tied for 11th with sophomore Karen Chung last week in the season opening ANNIKA Intercollegiate, has not finished lower than 22nd for seven straight events dating back to last year (including the 2014 NCAA title), and has six top 11 finishes within the streak.
Chung tied for 19th at 6-over 222 (75-70-77). She carded a 1-under front 9 but was 6-over on the back.
Junior Victoria Morgan, playing individually, tied for 54th at 16-over 232 (78-80-74) in the 82-woman field.
"It was nice to pull out a win," USC Coach Andrea Gaston said. "We're not at full strength but still found a way to pull it out. The course was tough and very challenging. The windy city lived up to its name.
"Annie sure played strong golf. She had a great back 9 and that helped lead the way. It was a good team effort. I'm proud of Doris for another strong outing. Hopefully she can continue to learn to finish strong, which she showed she can do at the NCAA Championships last year."