Park, Gaston Earn Top Pac-12 Honors
May 30, 2013
USC freshman Annie Park, already the 2013 WGCA national player and freshman of the year, has been named the 2013 Pac-12 Golfer and Freshman of the Year while 17th-year head coach Andrea Gaston was tabbed the Pac-12 Coach of the Year to go with her WGCA national honor, the conference announced Thursday (May 30).
Park was joined on the All-Pac-12 first team by junior Sophia Popov and freshman Kyung Kim while sophomore Doris Chen was selected to the second team and junior Rachel Morris earned honorable mention honors.
Additionally, Morris was also named to the 2013 Pac-12 All-Academic first team for the second year in a row while Popov earned second-team honors. Popov was on the honorable mention team last year.
Park, Popov and Kim all earned WGCA All-American first team honors on Wednesday while Chen was second team.
Park capped a dominant freshman season by winning the 2013 NCAA Women's Golf individual title by six strokes with a 10-under 278. The win was her fourth of the season (tying a USC season record) and followed titles at the NCAA West Regional and the Pac-12 Championships, making her just the second NCAA woman to sweep conference, regional and NCAA titles in the same season.
Park's stroke average of 71.36 broke USC's season record (71.55) and her four wins this season also tied a school record. An early enrollee who joined the Trojans in January, Park posted seven top 8 finishes and six in the top 3 in nine events. She finished the season with five rounds in the 60s and carded no worse than a 73 in her final 15 rounds and no worse than a 71 in any of her 10 postseason rounds.
Popov finished second on the team in stroke average at 72.25 (ninth best in school history) and also had seven top 10 finishes, including in six of her final seven starts. She won her USC-record-tying fifth career title at the SDSU Farms Invitational at 1-over 217, finished second at both the Pac-12 Championships and the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate, tied for fifth at the Liz Murphey Fall Preview and tied for sixth at the NCAA Championships.
Kim led the Trojans with six rounds in the 60s and had one win among her six top 10 finishes, claiming the Stanford Intercollegiate at 7-under 206. Kim, whose stroke average of 72.55 was third-best on the team and tied for 11th in school history, was third at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge and tied for third at the NCAA West Regional, where her final-round 63 set USC's record for lowest round ever. She tied for sixth at the NCAA Championships and was the only Trojan to break 70 twice in the event.
Chen had four top 10 finishes and seven in the top 16. She finished a season-best tied for third at the Stanford Intercollegiate and tied for fourth at the SDSU Farms Invitational.
Morris just missed earning All-American honors but polished off her best season as a Trojan with seven top 22 finishes in her final eight events, including three 10th-places in a row (one at the Pac-12 Championships) and a tie for 17th at the NCAA Championships.
Gaston's conference coach of the year honor is her second and the 2013 WGCA National Coach of the Year honor was the third of her career. She led USC to a school-record seven wins this year, including collecting USC's fourth conference title, its NCAA record ninth regional title and the program's third NCAA title.