No. 1 USC Defeats Arizona, Wins SDSU March Mayhem Tournament|
March 23, 2016
Juniors Gabriella Then and Karen Chung and freshman Robynn Ree all won matches to lead No. 1 USC to a 3-1 win over No. 9 Arizona in the championship match of the SDSU March Mayhem Match Play at the Farms C.C. in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., on Wednesday (March 23).
In the fourth straight win of the event and the third straight victory over a Pac-12 rival, USC defeated Arizona for its fourth tournament title of the season. Today's victory followed an opening round win over UC Irvine, a quarterfinal win over Oregon and yesterday semifinal triumph over Stanford.
Chung clinched the win today at 1up after a tight match came down to 18. Chung, who had held a slim lead for most of the match over Arizona's Haley Moore, needed to halve 18 to win her match. She hit her third shot from 131 yards to within six yards of the pin for a birdie try while Moore had 10 feet for eagle. But Moore missed her putt while Chung sunk hers for the one-hole win.
Then earlier defeated Arizona's Lindsey Weaver, 4&3 for USC's first point. After halving the first five holes, Then took her first lead with a birdie on 6 and gave herself a two-hole lead with another on 8. She stretched the lead to three on 12 and used a par on 15 to clinch her match.
Ree won her match over Wildcat Krystal Quihuis, 3&2, and, like Then, never trailed in the match. After an early lead, she was all square through 7 before winning the next two holes. She extended the lead to 3up through 15 and won her match after halving 16.
Sophomore Amy Lee led Arizona's Jessica Vasilic, 1up, through 17 when play was called. Lee lost the first hole but never trailed again in another close match.
Senior Victoria Morgan, USC's hero against Oregon in the quarterfinal thanks to her key half on her 18th hole that tied the match and allowed USC to advance, fell to Arizona's Gigi Stoll, 2&1, for the Wildcats' sole point.
"This was a great event and a neat format," USC Coach Andrea Gaston said. "Four rounds, it's a lot of golf, and gives us good experience. Oregon on Monday was a heck of a match and emotions ran high. It was great to see Victoria come through with a couple great shots to halve her match and give us that win.
"We were able to lead Stanford most of the way, yesterday, as they did not have one of their better days, and today was really good because every match was pretty close. We had the lead but a lot can go wrong in the match and momentum can turn around. I love how Karen closed it out today, nailing that nine iron, against the wind, to within six feet and converting the putt."