Salas Wins At Turtle Bay|
Nov. 4, 2009
Thanks to her third sub-par round in a row, junior Lizette Salas won her first tournament of the season and the third of her career to lead the short-handed No. 6 USC women's golf team, which posted a third-place finish at the Turtle Bay Invitational in Kahuku, Hawaii, on Wednesday (Nov. 4).
The Trojans finished the event at 15-over 879 (291-290-298), 11 shots behind winner UC Davis (868) while UCLA was second at 877. USC played without All-American Jennifer Song for the second straight event. The sophomore is coming off a weekend in which she tied for 65th in the LPGA's Hana Bank Kolon Championship in South Korea after receiving an amateur wild card. USC is also without senior Belen Mozo, who is nursing an injury.
Salas, who is returning to her All-American form after recovering from a back injury suffered at the end of the 2008-09 season, earned medalist honors with an 8-under 208 (71-67-70), five strokes better than second-place Cristina Corpus. Salas was 2-over through the first eight holes of her final round, but a birdie on 9 provided the momentum for a fine finish as she birdied three more times to clinch first place.
With Salas' victory, a Trojan has won the individual title in three of four events this year. Song won first at both the Mason Rudolph Championship and the Stanford Intercollegiate.
Though she fell back during her final round, senior Stefanie Endstrasser still finished as the second-highest Trojan, tying for 21st at 8-over 224 (74-71-79). Freshman Cyna Rodriguez was two strokes back of Endstrasser, taking 24th at 10-over 226 (71-80-75).
Senior Caroline Kim tied for 33rd at 12-over 228 (75-73-80) while sophomore Inah Park tied for 51st at 17-over 233 (80-79-74). Park was 4-over through the front 9 but birdies on 10 and 12 helped her finish at just 2-over for the final round.
USC is now off until the spring semester, when it resumes play at the Northrop Grumman Challenge, scheduled for Feb. 8-10 in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.