No. 1 USC Wins National Best 11th NCAA Regional|
May 9, 2015
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 Saturday (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).
The top six teams plus the top three individuals from each of the four regionals advanced today to the championship round, scheduled for May 22-27 at Concession G.C. in Bradenton, Fla.
"It was great to have a cushion coming into the final round, but it was still a sense of relief to win the tournament and advance," USC head coach Andrea Gaston said. "By our standards, it wasn't the best finish today, but Entrada Country Club is very difficult and it showed in the scores. Playing a golf course like this, where we were really challenged in every way, will help us at nationals. We head to Florida knowing we can survive, and even thrive, at a very difficult venue. Hopefully, that toughness will be something we can take away from this week."
USC's win was its fifth this year, marking the third straight year it has won at least that many events. Troy has also won at least four events in six of the past eight years.
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.
Chung tied for 11th at 9-over 222 (71-76-75). She was even through 13 before some late trouble that dropped her out of the top 10. It was still her best finish since her win at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational in March and was her seventh top 20 this season.
USC turns its sights on the NCAA Championships, looking for its fourth title in program history. It currently has an NCAA best active streak of nine consecutive NCAA top 5 finishes.