Chen, Park Lead No. 1 USC During First Day of Pac-12 Preview
Nov. 4, 2013
Senior Sophia Popov, junior Doris Chen and sophomore Annie Park were all under par and in the top 6 to lead the top-ranked No. 1 USC women's golf team in its quest for its seventh-straight win after a 36-hole first day of the Pac-12 Preview at the Nanea G.C. in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, on Monday (Nov. 4).
The Trojans, already riding school records streaks for wins (six) and victories to start a season (three), combined for a two-round 12-under 572 (284-288), four strokes back of No. 5 Washington (568) and two behind No. 2 UCLA (570).
USC, featuring for the first time this season the entire lineup that swept through the 2013 postseason en route to last season's NCAA title, will tee off in tomorrow's final round beginning at 7:30 a.m. HT.
Park and Chen each carded first-round 69s and second-round 72s on the par 73 course to tie four fourth at 5-under 141, six back of UCLA's Bronte Law (135). Popov tied for sixth at 4-under 142 (70-72).
Park, who in the last round of USC's previous event tied USC's second-lowest round ever with a 64, opened play with a 69 thanks to six birdies, including on 17 and 18. She had three more in her second round, including one on a 1-under back 9.
Park's opening round marked her fourth round in the 60s this year, one back of sophomore Kyung Kim's team-best five. She had five (in 25 rounds) as a freshman en route to national and Pac-12 Player of the Year honors.
Chen, coming off back-to-back top 13 finishes, sunk five birdies against one bogey during a near flawless first round and mixed four birdies against three bogeys in her second.
Popov, fresh off a tie for second at the Stanford Intercollegiate, is tied for sixth at 4-under 142 (70-72). Her 3-under first round featured a birdie on 17 and an eagle on the par 5 18th. She opened the second round at 3-under before finishing it at 1-under.
Kim is tied for 26th at 2-over 148 (76-72) while senior Rachel Morris, in her first appearance in the starting five this season, is tied for 40th at 6-over 152 (78-74).