USC At SEC/Pac-12 Challenge To Wrap Fall Slate|
Oct. 20, 2011
The USC womens' golf team, featuring returning All-Americans Lisa McCloskey and Sophia Popov and ranked No. 8 by Golfweek.com, completes the 2011-2012 fall schedule with the 2011 SEC/Pac-12 Challenge, Friday through Sunday (Oct. 21-23), at the Holston Hills C.C. in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Trojans, however, will be without Popov this weekend due to a wrist injury suffered last week, and, because of scheduling conflicts with other players, will play with only four players. Typically, teams play with five players because scoring allows teams to drop their lowest individual score per round. Playing this week are McCloskey, senior Inah Park, sophomore Rachel Morris and freshman Kristen Park.
The last time USC began a tournament with only four players was the 2002 NCAA Regional. That year, despite the handicap, USC still finished in the top eight and advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Action begins Friday on the par 72, 6,4470-yard course at 9:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday with a shotgun start. In addition to USC and host-Tennessee, the field includes Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, California, UCLA, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oregon, Oregon State, South Carolina, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Washington and Washington State.
Live results are available at Golfstat.com.
The Trojans, who have finished in the NCAA top 5 six years in a row and in seven of the past nine seasons, return five golfers from the 2011 squad that tied for fifth at the 2011 NCAA Championships and that won four tournaments, including the 2011 Pac-10 Championships and the 2011 NCAA West Regional.
Leading the mix is McCloskey, a senior, and Popov, a sophomore who was the national and Pac-10 freshman of the year last season. Also back are junior Cyna Rodriguez (2010-11 All-Pac-10 honorable mention), a regular starter last year, as well as senior Inah Park and sophomore Rachel Morris (2011 All-NCAA West Region), both of whom registered multiple starts as well.
The Trojans are led by 16th-year head coach Andrea Gaston, who was named the National Golf Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 2011 for the second time in here career after leading USC to four wins on the season.
2011-2012 Event Recaps
2011 Fall Preview, Sept. 23-25
2011 Stanford Intercollegiate, Oct. 14-16