Women's Golf
    No. 1 USC Florida Bound For NCAA Championships

    May 19, 2015

    The No. 1 USC women's golf team, boasting five wins this year and eight top 2 finishes in 12 tournaments, will compete for the program's fourth NCAA title beginning Friday (May 22) at the Concessions C.C. in Bradenton, Fla.

    The Trojans, coming off of their NCAA best 11th regional title - and sixth in a row - sport a national-best streak of nine consecutive NCAA top 5 finishes.

    For the first time, the NCAA women's golf team champion will be decided in a combination of stroke and match play. The 24 teams will compete in 54 holes of stroke play, the top 15 advancing to a final round (May 22-25), where the individual winner will be determined as well. The top eight teams after 72 holes will be seeded into a match-play format. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be held on May 26 and the final will be May 27.

    USC will tee off with South Carolina and UCLA in the first round on May 22 at 8:36 a.m. (ET). The Trojans will tee off with the same group on Saturday (May 23) beginning at 1:06 p.m. (ET).

    Live results will be available at NCAA.com.

    Golf Channel will air live coverage of Monday's final stroke play round (May 25) from 1-4 p.m. and will broadcast quarterfinal and semifinal match play action on Tuesday (May 26) from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and from 12:30-4 p.m. It will broadcast the finals of match play on Wednesday (May 27) from 12-4 p.m. All times are PT.


    USC NCAA Championships History
    * USC has won three NCAA titles -- spread out five years apart -- in 2003, 2008 and 2013. USC is one of only five schools with at least three NCAA team titles. Arizona State has seven, Duke has six while USC, San Jose State and UCLA have three. The Trojans finished 21 strokes better than Duke in 2013 (the biggest margin at the NCAA Championships since Arizona won by the same amount in 2000), six strokes ahead of UCLA in 2008 and were 15 strokes better than second-place Pepperdine in 2003.
    * This is USC's 28th overall NCAA Championship final appearance and 18th in a row, the current streak all coming under 19th-year head coach Andrea Gaston.
    * In addition to winning three titles, the Trojans have finished second five times (2014, 2012, 2010, 2006 and 1994) and also finished third in 2009 and 1986, fourth in 2007, 2000 and 1987, fifth in 1993 and tied for fifth in 2011.
    * USC, which has finished in the top 2 three straight times and in four of the past five years, has a national-best streak of nine straight top 5 finishes. USC's combined 15 NCAA top 5 finishes trail only conference rival Arizona State (16) and are tied with UCLA for second.
    * The Trojans' second-place finishes in 2010 (Purdue, one stroke), 2012 (Alabama, one stroke) and 2014 (Duke, two strokes) were by a combined four strokes.
    * USC has won five NCAA individual titles, including Jennifer Rosales in 1998, Mikaela Parmlid in 2003 (in a one-hole playoff), Dewi Claire Schreefel in 2006, Annie Park in 2013 and Doris Chen in 2014. The last school to post back-to-back individual titles was Duke in 2001-02. No school has won it three straight years and no player has won it twice.
    * USC's five individual titles are tied for the most with Arizona State. In addition to its five individual champions, USC players have posted 10 other top five finishes. Jennifer Song (2009) was second, Paola Moreno (2007) tied for second, Irene Cho (2003), Candie Kung (2001) and Dana Arnold (1990) all tied for third, Jill McGill (1994) and Belen Mozo (2008) finished fourth, Rosales tied for fourth (1999) and Leila Chartrand (2000) and Song (2010) tied for fifth.
    * The NCAA title in 2008 was USC's fourth consecutive tournament win at the time, a then-first in program history.
    * USC had five All-Americans in 2008 for the first time in school history (Dewi Claire Schreefel, Paola Moreno, Belen Mozo, Stefanie Endstrasser, Lizette Salas) while all five of USC's finishers at the 2013 NCAAs finished in the top 17.
    * Rosales was 9-under par after three rounds in 1998 while Park did the same in 2013, tying for the best score in NCAA Championship history through three rounds with two others.
    * USC's best combined round at an NCAA Championships is 270 in the final round in 2014. That score - also a school record - shattered the recently set mark of 276, set in the second round in 2013.
    * Troy's best individual round at an NCAA Championships is 65 by Sophia Popov, also carded in the 2014 NCAA Championships final round. The previous best was a 66, carded by Rosales during her title run in 1998.
    * The Trojans finished at 19-under 1133 (284-276-285-288) in its 2013 win, shattering the previous NCAA Championship record for most strokes under par, which was previously four (UCLA, 2004).

     

     


    SEASON NOTES
    * USC has five wins this year, marking the third straight year it has won at least that many events. USC won nine times in 2014 and seven in 2013. Troy has also won at least four events in six of the past eight years.
    * Junior Annie Park qualified for the final stage of the LPGA "Q" School, but did not finish high enough to earn a card. Park tied for third at the Stage II event at 6-under 282 (70-71-71-70). She has announced that she will turn pro after this season.
    * Park's win at the Windy City Collegiate Classic was the sixth of her Trojan career, breaking the USC career record she previously shared with former teammate Sophia Popov, Irene Cho and Mikaela Parmlid.
    * Juniors Kyung Kim and Park are tied for second on USC's career list for rounds in the 60s with 21. Park started the season with 15, Kim at 17. Popov owns the record at 22.
    * The Trojans have put together an amazing amount of wins over the past two-plus seasons. USC has finished first in 17 of its past 28 outings, 20 of 32 and 21 of 34 dating back to the fall of 2012.
    * A USC golfer has also finished first 14 times in the Trojans' past 32 events (minimum three rounds), dating back to the fall of 2012.
    * USC's roster now features five players who have finished first (or tied for first) in at least one collegiate event, including Then (one), Park (six), Kim (three), Chung (two) and senior Doris Chen (two).
    * Sophomore Gabriella Then posted a career-best effort at the UCI Invitational, tying for first at 5-under 211 (70-68-73), which included a career low in the second round, before falling in a five-hole playoff. She might have won the event out-right had she not suffered multiple putts that lipped out down the stretch. Then posted her third straight top 10 with a tie for third at the Darius Rucker Invitational at 1-over 214 (69-72-73). Overall, Then has five top 10 showings - all in the spring, including a fourth at the NCAA Regional at 4-over 217 (74-76-67).
    * Junior Kyung Kim quietly strung together six top 14 finishes to start her season (three or more rounds), including one fourth and a pair of ties for seventh.
    * Park has four top 5 finishes this year. In addition to her win, she tied for third at the PING/ASU Invitational at 5-under 211 (71-67-73), took fifth at the NCAA Regional at 5-over 218 (72-71-75) and tied for fifth at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational at 6-under 210 (70-68-72). * Sophomore Karen Chung has seven top 20 finishes and posted one of USC's top individual outings with a win at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational, when she finished at 11-under 205 (67-68-70). The last Trojan to finish double digits under par was Park, who won the 2013 NCAA title at 10-under, though over four rounds. Irene Cho holds the USC record for most under par on a par 72 course, a 13-under 203 at the Guadalajara (Mexico) Invitational. Dewi Claire Schreefel won the 2007 Fall Preview at the par 73 New Mexico Championship Course at 15-under 204.
    * USC's team win at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational came at 30-under 834 (280-271-283). USC's second round was its second-lowest total ever and the lowest ever on a par 72 course, giving the Trojans a school-record 17-under round. The previous record for most under par was a 13-under 275 during the 2010 Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational final round.
    * Freshman early enrollee Amy Lee started her Trojan career with a brilliant debut at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, finishing third at 2-under 211 (68-72-71) and followed it up with a tie for 10th at the UCI Invitational at 1-over 217 (71-73-73). She posted her third top 10 with seventh place at 5-under 211 (76-65-70).
    * USC has featured the most golfers on the LPGA Tour for the past two seasons and 2015 graduate Sophia Popov is ready to help make it three in a row. The 2014 graduate and four-time All-American who helped USC to a 2013 NCAA title and second-place finishes in 2012 and 2014, earned full-time LPGA Tour status after tying for 11th during the five-round LPGA Qualifying School final stage at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., in December. Popov finished at 5-under 355 (70-67-72-71-75) to earn her tour card on the first try. She will join on tour, among others, former teammate Lizette Salas, who finished the 2014 season 24th on the LPGA's official money list, as well as top 70 finishers and former Trojan All-Americans Belen Mozo, Dewi Schreefel, Candie Kung, Jennifer Song and Jennifer Song.

    Trojan Overview
    USC had nine wins last year, including a national best 10th NCAA regional crown, the total two better than the school-record seven it won in 2013. The Trojans finished no lower than a tie for second place in the four events it didn't win.

    That included a two-stroke loss to Duke at the 2014 NCAA Championships, where USC just missed its second straight national title and the fourth in program history. In addition to national championships in 2003, 2008 and 2013, Gaston's USC teams have finished second at the NCAAs four times, including three times in the last five seasons (2010, 2012, 2014) by a combined deficit of four strokes.

    USC's 286.26 stroke average per round this year was the best in school history, breaking the record set last year (288.76) by 2.5 strokes. The Trojans also set a record for team rounds of par or better with 21, seven more than last year, the previous best.

    The Trojans bring back the past two NCAA champions in senior Doris Chen (2014) and junior Annie Park (2013), three- and two-time All-Americans, respectively. Also back is two-time All-American junior Kyung Kim, All-American sophomore Karen Chung and oft-used sophomore Gabriella Then. Chen, however, has been hampered by injuries this spring, limiting her availability.

    In addition to the five returning starters (Then was a part-time starter), USC welcomes back juniors Victoria Morgan and Kim Santiago, both walk-ons. USC's two fall newcomers are junior transfers Elizabeth Doty (Wake Forest) and So Young Hwang (Daytona State). The Trojans have also added freshman enrollee Amy Lee, a prep star from Brea, Calif., who joined the team in January.

    2014-15 Event Recaps

    Annika Invitational
    Senior Doris Chen and sophomore Karen Chung tied for 11th, topping the USC women's golf team's season-opening efforts as the Trojans finished sixth at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate at the Reunion Watson Course in Orlando, Fla., on Sept. 30. The Trojans, playing without All-American juniors Annie Park and Kyung Kim, finished a combined 5-over 869 (287-291-291), 15 back of winner South Carolina (854). Arizona took second (861). Chen (70-72-73) and Chung (72-72-71), also 2014 All-Americans, each finished at 1-under 215. Chen was 3-over through 16 before finishing with two birdies. Chung was 1-over going out but 2-under coming back. Sophomore transfer Elizabeth Doty tied for 25th at 3-over 219 (72-74-73) and had four birdies against five bogeys in the final round.

    Windy City Collegiate Championship
    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 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. 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. 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.

    Stanford Intercollegiate
    Juniors Kyung Kim (67) and Annie Park (68), senior Doris Chen (69) and sophomore Karen Chung (70) all carded under-par final rounds as the USC women's golf team came from behind to earn a share of the title at the Stanford Intercollegiate at the Stanford (Calif.) G.C. on Oct. 19. The Trojans, the two-time defending champions of the event, began the day three back of UCLA, but used a 10-under 274 final round to finish at 15-under 837 (284-279-274), tied with host Stanford for first. UCLA finished a stroke back at 838. The next closest team was Washington (1-under 851). USC was coming off a win in its previous event at the Windy City Collegiate Classic. Chen, the 2014 NCAA individual champion, finished second at 6-under 207 (73-65-69) for her second straight top 4 finish while Kim, making her season debut, took seventh at 4-under 209 (79-72-67). Chung was 12th at 2-under 211 (72-69-70) for her third straight top 20, Park was 16th at 1-under 212 (71-73-68) that followed a win in her last event and sophomore Gabriella Then was 40th at 4-over 217 (71-75-71). Kim had a five-birdie day to complete her first event and was 3-under on the back 9. Park had two birdies and an eagle on the par 5 seventh hole en route to her third round in the 60s this year while Chen had five birdies against three bogeys.

    Pac-12 Preview
    Sophomore Gabriella Then led No. 3 USC with a final-round 72 as the Trojans completed the fall season with a tie for fifth at the Nanea Pac-12 Preview on Nov. 4 at the Nanea G.C. in Kailua, Hawaii. The Trojans, who came into the event with two straight first-place finishes but without senior All-American Doris Chen, tied for fifth at 16-over 892 (294-303-295). Washington won the event at 11-under 865. Junior Kyung Kim led USC with a tie for 14th at 3-over 222 (74-75-73) while junior Annie Park tied for 17th at 4-over 223 (69-77-77). Then turned in a season-best tie for 21st at 6-over 225 (77-76-72) while sophomore Karen Chung tied for 31st at 11-over 230 (74-83-83). Sophomore Elizabeth Doty tied for 41st at 14-over 233 (78-75-80).

    Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge
    Freshman Amy Lee completed a strong collegiate debut with a third-place finish while sophomore Gabriella Then turned a final-round 69 as the No. 6 USC women's golf team finished second at the annual Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge on Feb. 10 at the Palos Verdes (Calif.) G.C. The Trojans wrapped up play at 15-over 867 (287-292-288), four back of first-place Baylor's 11-over 863 (281-289-293) and 13 better than third-place Arizona State (880). USC was playing without senior Doris Chen (2014) and junior Annie Park (2013), the past two NCAA individual champions. USC, which won the event last year with an 866, rallied during the back 9, slicing what was a 10-stroke lead to three late in the day, but fell just short of catching the Bears. Lee, who like Park two years begins her collegiate career at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge as a spring semester early enrollee, took third at 2-under 211 (68-72-71), three back of UCLA individual winner Bronte Law. In a steady final round, Lee was even on both nines with a birdie and bogey on each. Then turned in her second-best collegiate effort, finishing 10th at 3-over 216 (73-74-69). Her final-round 2-under featured four birdies and she was 2-under on the back 9. Junior Kyung Kim tied for 13th at 6-over 219 (72-72-75) for her third top 14 in as many outings this year. She had three birdies on the day and was 1-over on the front 9. Sophomore Karen Chung tied for 18th at 8-over 221 (74-74-73) for her fourth top 20 finish this season.

    UCI Invitational
    Sophomore Gabriella Then tied for first before falling in a five-hole playoff while the No. 2 USC women's golf team took second place at the UCI Invitational at the Santa Ana (Calif.) C.C. on Feb. 24. The Trojans finished second at 1-over 865 (287-290-288), 11 back of first-place Washington (854). Texas A&M was third (865). Then, whose previous collegiate best was a tie for fifth as a freshman, tied for first today at 5-under 211 (70-68-73) with Aggie Marijosse Navarro. Then's birdie putt on 17 for a two-stroke lead lipped out, one of a handful of putts that didn't fall for Then today, and Navarro birdied 18 to force a playoff. The two tied on the first four playoff holes with a birdie, par, bogey and birdie. But Then missed a par putt to stay alive on the fifth hole. Despite the playoff loss, the finish was Then's second top 10 to start spring play. Junior Kyung Kim (70-78-69) and freshman Amy Lee (71-73-73) tied for 10th at 1-over 217. Kim's final round gives her 19 rounds in the 60s for her career, tying her with junior Annie Park for second on USC's career chart. The team record is 22. Kim had five birdies on the day and was 2-under on the front 9. Lee finished with her second straight top 10 to start her collegiate career after a third at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.

    Darius Rucker Intercollegiate
    Sophomores Gabriella Then tied for third for her second straight top 3 while junior Kyung Kim tied for seventh to lead the No. 3 USC women's golf team, which took second for the third event in a row at the Darius Rucker Invitational on March 8. The Trojans combined for a 15-over 867 (285-296-286), tying with LSU behind first-place Duke, which won at 6-over 858. Fourth place was 22 shots back of USC and LSU. The Trojans have posted top 2 finishes in five of its last six events. Then, who tied for first in her previous tournament, registered her third straight top 10 with her tie for third at 1-over 214 (69-72-73). Then was even going out and 2-over on the back. Kim's tie for seventh at 3-over 217 (72-77-68) was her highest finish since her first event in October. She had five birdies on the day. Kim's final round is her third in the 60s this year, 20th for her career, second behind school-record holder Sophia Popov's 22. Sophomore Karen Chung tied for 13th at 6-over 219 (70-75-74), her third top 13 this year. She had two birdies on the day.

    Arizona Wildcat Invitational
    Sophomore Karen Chung won her second career collegiate crown and led four Trojans in the top 7 and five in the top 17 as the No. 1 USC women's golf team secured its third victory this season with a wire-to-wire win at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational. The Trojans combined for a 30-under 834 (280-271-283), 11 strokes better than second-place host Arizona (19-under 845). UNLV was third at 1-over 865. USC's second round was its second-lowest total ever and the lowest ever on a par 72 course, giving the Trojans a school-record 17-under round. The previous record for most under par was a 13-under 275 during the 2010 Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational final round. Chung, who entered the tournament without a top 10 this year, turned in her best 54 holes of the season to win at 11-under 205 (67-68-70), outlasting Wildcat Lindsey Weaver, who finished at 10-under. Weaver missed a 10-foot par putt on 18 to force a playoff. Chung became the third Trojan to finish first at an event this year, joining junior Annie Park and sophomore Gabriella Then. The last Trojan to finish double digits under par was Park, who won the 2013 NCAA title at 10-under, though over four rounds. Irene Cho holds the USC record for most under par on a par 72 course, a 13-under 203 at the Guadalajara (Mexico) Invitational. Dewi Claire Schreefel won the 2007 Fall Preview at the par 73 New Mexico Championship Course at 15-under 204. Junior Kyung Kim took fourth for her fourth top 10 this year at 8-under 208 (67-70-71) while Park tied for fifth at 6-under 210 (70-68-72). Kim had four birdies today to offset a bogey and a double bogey while Park had six birdies and six bogeys.

    Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic
    Freshman Amy Lee and junior Kyung Kim won their final match-ups while junior Annie Park halved hers and the No. 1 USC women's golf team held the decisive edge on tiebreakers to win the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic for the second year in a row at the University of Georgia on March 29. The Trojans, who sneaked into the top bracket Friday, tied for seventh, before defeating top seed UCLA, 3&2, and then defeated Duke, 4&1, on Saturday, squared off against the host Bulldogs today and came back after trailing for much of the day. USC held the tiebreaker, 8-5, with the larger differential in matches won. Lee won her match decisively, 6&4 over Roclo Sanchez. Kim then edged Sammi Lee, 2&1, for USC's other point. Sophomore Karen Chung fell, 2&1, to Harang Lee while sophomore Gabriella Then lost to Manuela Carbajo, 3&2. Park trailed in her match for most of the back 9 until she was able to halve it with a par on 18. The win is USC's fourth this year, second in a row, and the fifth straight top 2 finish and seventh overall.

    PING/ASU Invitational
    Junior Annie Park tied for third while sophomore Gabriella Then tied for sixth as the USC women's golf team tied for fourth, wrapping up the regular season at the PING/ASU Invitational April 12 in Tempe. The Trojans combined for a 6-over 870 (289-287-294), nine back of first-place Arizona. Baylor and host Arizona State tied for second at 4-over while USC and South Carolina tied for fourth. Park combined for a 5-under 211 (71-67-73), one shy of her seventh first-place finish of her collegiate career. She was 3-over on the front 9 but used three back 9 birdies to tie for first before a bogey on 17 dropped her one stroke back. Park's finish was her third top 5 this year. Then had a strong round to move up into a tie for sixth at 2-under 214 (74-70-70), registering her fourth top 10 in the last five events (of 54 holes). She was even on the front nine and 2-under on the back.

    Pac-12 Championships
    Junior Annie Park and freshman Amy Lee tied for 18th as No. 1 USC finished sixth at the 2015 Pac-12 Championships at the Boulder (Colo.) C.C. on April 22. The Trojans combined for a 54-hole 24-over 876 (293-292-291). Arizona won the title at 1-over 853 (292-282-279) while Oregon was second at 6-over 858 (284-289-285) and Washington was third at 9-over 861 (289-287-285). Park and junior Kyung Kim, in an awards ceremony following the tournament, were each named to the All-Pac-12 first team for the third year in a row. Sophomores Karen Chung and Gabriella Then were both tabbed as honorable mention picks. Chung was second team last year. Park (74-73-71) and Lee (73-73-72) tied for 18th at 5-over 218, 12 shots off the pace. Park had three birdies on the day while Lee had two and also eagled the par 5 10th hole. Park's finish is her fourth straight in the top 20 and seventh this season. It is Lee's fourth top 20.

    NCAA Regional Championships
    Sophomore Gabriella Then turned in a collegiate best 67 while junior Annie Park and sophomore Karen Chung joined her in the top 11 as the No. 1 USC women's golf team won the NCAA St. George (Utah) Regional on May 9 and advanced to the NCAA Championships. The Trojans won their 11th regional crown and sixth in a row - both NCAA bests - by six strokes at the Entrada at Snow Canyon C.C. at 28-over 880 (293-292-295). Stanford moved up to take second at 34-over 886. Arkansas was third (892) while UNLV was fourth (895), Virginia was fifth (898) and California was sixth (900). Then took fourth at 4-over 217 (74-76-67) for her fifth top 10 this year. Her final round 67 featured five birdies, four on the front 9 and another on 16. Park tied for fifth at 5-over 218 (72-71-75). She opened with an 8 on the par 4 1st hole but was even the rest of the round for her fourth top 10 this year.